Player of the Game
Zach McAllister was his dominant old self again tonight, throwing six innings, keeping the Twins to just a single earned run. McAllister struck out six, and had that swing and miss pitch when he needed it most, striking out the last two batters he faced with a runner on third. Overall, he struck out batters for four of his final five outs, showing that he made the necessary changes as he faced the lineup for the third time. His final POG score was 5.64, just beating out Ryan Raburn who had a home run, two RBI and two runs scored on the night. It is McAllister's first Player of the Game award since May and his second on the year.
The Indians scraped up some base runners and took advantage of some breaks that finally went their way to score three runs early in the game. In both the third and fourth innings, the Indians used a walk, hit and error score single runs. In the next inning they did things a little more conventionally with a double, sacrifice bunt and fielder's choice to add another.
Josh Willingham got the scoring started today with a solo home run, knocking in the 23rd consecutive run scored by the Twins via the home run. This is especially remarkable as the Twins have hit just 114 home runs this season, less than one a game. This streak ended in the sixth inning when a Michael Bourn error allowed an unearned run to score.
While the success of Ryan Raburn (reached base three times, 2 runs, 2 RBI tonight) and Yan Gomes (2-3 with a run scored) is something to be happy about, but it hides an underlying problem that has hurt the Indians more than the two utility men have helped. If Drew Stubbs, Lonnie Chisenhall and Mark Reynolds in particular had played the way they were expected to out of Spring Training, these two would have barely seen any playing time this year and the Indians would almost certainly have had a few more wins.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 - Minnesota Twins 2