Player of the Game
Justin Masterson was back to his old ways tonight, although he was still a little wild. The Indians ace went 6.2 innings and allowed just a single run. He did walk four batters, but only allowed five hits and struck out seven, limiting the Angels opportunities. The win was his team high 14th of the season and the Player of the Game award was his 12th.
Seeing a batter called for interference on a stolen base is a rare thing, but seeing the same batter called for it in two straight games is really something special. Last night Josh Hamilton struck out and the base runner was forced to go back to first when he made contact with Yan Gomes on his backswing. Today, he upped his charge and Erick Aybar was called out stealing when he struck out again with a runner going. This time, Hamilton stepped out of the batters box and onto home plate, forcing the home plate umpire to call for the double play.
Nick Swisher is finally starting to heat up and not a moment too soon. He has hit two home runs in the current series against the Angels and three in his past five games. Tonight's bomb came at the expense of starting pitcher Jerome Williams in the third inning and gave the Indians a two run lead.
We commented on Michael Bourn's failures in last night's game, but he did hit safely and score in the 14th inning. He carried that momentum into tonight's game where he started off reaching base safely in his first three at bats. After tripling his second time up, he scored on the Swisher home run. He did, however continue his strike out streak, raising it to eight games.
Mike Aviles and Dane De La Rosa combined to give the Indians a very important insurance run in the ninth inning. Aviles started the inning off with a single, then went to second on a wild pitch by De La Rosa. He was advanced to third on a ground out before scoring on another wild pitch. This run gave the Indians a 3-1 lead.
Scoreboard Watch: Oakland took another hard loss to the Mariners tonight, completing Seattle's three game sweep of the current Wild Card leaders. Baltimore was finally able to beat Tampa Bay, avoiding a sweep. The results of those two games allowed the Indians to move to within two games of a Wild Card spot and two wins above the Orioles. The Tigers handled the Twins to tie their series at 1-1. Tomorrow, the Indians are off as the Tigers will finish their series with Minnesota.
Justin Masterson got into a little bit of trouble in his final inning when he allowed the first two batters to reach base. After a strike out and a sacrifice bunt, the Angels had runners on second and third with their best hitters coming to the plate. Somehow, the recently dependable Rich Hill was able to force a ground ball that Lonnie Chisenhall fielded brilliantly to end the inning, leaving the Indians with the lead.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1