Player of the Game
Jason Kipnis had another great game tonight as he continues to lead the Indians offense with Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds slumping. Kipnis singled in his first at bat, then hit a solo home run and a double, leaving him just a triple short of the cycle. His seventh Player of the Game now leads the Indians in 2013.
Ubaldo Jimenez is back on his A game after deciding he doesn't like to face the Tigers in his last time out. Jimenez has only had two bad games since April 21st this year and both have come against Detroit with Justin Verlander pitching for the other side. Tonight he was only able to go five innings, but allowed just a single run on a solo home run. His early departure had more to do with his three walks than from being hit around as he gave up just three singles besides the home run.
With a lack of save opportunities, Terry Francona is playing every lead like it is a close game and it works. The Indians have lost just a single game this season where they were losing after six innings and the last two games have been no different. Bryan Shaw, Nick Hagadone, Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano combined to close out the game tonight, stranding two of Jimenez's runners in the sixth inning and keeping the game scoreless from then on.
Bad news for the Tigers is good news for the Tribe as Jose Valverde blew another save, giving the Royals the series win. The Indians were able to get a series win in Texas (a miracle in itself), but remain 4.5 games behind Detroit in the AL Central race. The series wins ends the Indians large losing streak and gives them their first series win since sweeping Cincinnati at the end of May.
Today will go down as Michael Bourn's first bad baserunning game as an Indian. In the first inning, he lead off with a single, but was thrown out trying to go from second to home on a single to left field. The ball didn't go deep into the outfield and it was an easy throw for David Murphy to catch him out at home. Later in the game, a dropped line drive by Rangers' short stop Jurickson Profar lead to a double play that saw both Bourn and Drew Stubbs out for not advancing. Profar initially threw to third where Adrian Beltre held the ball for a few seconds, giving Bourn enough time to advance if he had left as soon as the umpire made the call. He stayed at first too long, however, and was forced out easily.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 - Texas Rangers 2