Bradley Zimmer’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning cracked open a tie and completed a rally from three runs down. It proved to be the difference as Cleveland prevailed against Detroit 7-5. Emmanuel Clase converted his sixteenth save and headlined a five-man band of relievers who came to starter Zach Plesac’s rescue.
Meanwhile, the team committed two errors. The Tigers? The same.
Cleveland now sits two games below .500 for the season.
Starter Zach Plesac labored through four innings. While he struck out six batters he allowed three walks and a home run. Four of his five runs were earned and he needed 84 pitches to do it. This is the second start in a row from Plesac with results more reminiscent of a rookie than a veteran. And actually, some of the rookies have looked pretty good lately, you know, guy?
Those five runs would be the only runs allowed by Cleveland today. Trevor Stephan, Nick Sandlin, Bryan Shaw. James Karinchak, and Emmanuel Clase each contributed to five shutout innings of baseball, in order.
Meanwhile, Myles Straw picked up two hits, Ernie Clement and José Ramírez both doubled, and the only starter to not reach base — Andres Gimenez — drove in a run via a sacrifice fly.
It is often emphasized that baseball is a team sport, but there are not many games in which it really takes effort from every player to squeeze it out a win. Cleveland faced such a challenge today and they came out on top, even though it required some unlikely heroics.
If the team continues to have fun, more good things will happen.
- José Ramírez stole second and third base in the seventh inning after Zimmer’s home run. He didn’t score, but scrutiny of the SB column matters very much to some.
- Bryan Shaw earned his fifth win on the season for his efforts in the seventh. Don’t you mock the arbitrary nature by which wins are awarded — I heard him shout some encouraging stuff from the bench.
- After smacking a slider to the opposite field for a bloop RBI single, Austin Hedges flexed and mock-punched his biceps while staring down the home dugout. Gotta celebrate the wins — especially the silly ones. A little veteran leadership on display, perhaps.
- I am especially pleased with today’s win because it all happened after the team looked ready to implode. Instead, they banded together and chipped away until a human lightning rod blasted a two-run shot.
With his home run this afternoon, Owen Miller has now hit safely in four of his last five games.
Cleveland faces Cincinnati at 6:10 p.m. ET tomorrow night.