This felt like it was going to be a loss.
The Tribe was behind. Trevor Bauer was on the verge of imploding. The weather was cold. Ervin Santana was doing a fantastic job of keeping the Indians’ hitters off-balance.
All of the above were decent enough reasons to figure this one was going to go down as an “L” for the good guys. Wrong . . . again. The Indians scored five runs in the last three innings to surprise the Twins (and me) to finish off a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon.
Trevor Bauer deserves mucho credit for keeping it together during his 6 1⁄3 innings. Bauer wasn’t particularly efficient (yeah, it’s not normally his thing), but his only blemish came in what was a reasonably odd fourth inning. It started with a Joe Mauer double to left center. After a Miguel Sano strikeout, Max Kepler singled to move Mauer to third. Robbie Grossman then walked in a dang good at-bat to load the bases full of Twinkies. Here’s the odd part; Bauer then slipped during his delivery causing his back foot to slide off the rubber. That’s a balk in this silly baseball game we like and allowed Mauer to stroll home for the game’s first run.
After Bauer finished that at-bat by walking Jason Castro, things looked ripe for a huge Twins inning. But Bauer buckled down and got a fly out (sacrifice fly though) and strikeout to limit the damage to just two runs.
Offensively, Carlos Santana was excellent, going 3-for-5 with two big RBI doubles. One of those came in that big seventh inning; a frame that also saw the Twins get burned by intentionally walking Francisco Lindor to get a lefty-on-lefty matchup with Michael Brantley. The Tribe’s lefty worked a bases-loaded seven-pitch walk that brought home the go-ahead run and the Indians never looked back.
With the win, the Tribe now sits 8-7 on the year and head on to the windy city for a three-game series against the White Sox. Tomorrow’s matchup of Corey Kluber versus Jose Quintana looks like a dandy . . . Let’s Go Tribe!