Cleveland – 4
Minnesota – 2
Short and Sweet:
The Indians, as they have many times this season, jumped out of the gate in the first inning after Jose Ramirez doubled. Edwin Encarnacion then singled to center to plate Ramirez and give the Tribe a 1-0 lead off Twins starter Adalberto Mejia. Cleveland loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning off Mejia and he subsequently hit Yan Gomes with the pitch to make it 2-0.
The Indians added on in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs and runners on first and third base when Jay Bruce hit what initially appeared to be a routine grounder to the Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar. Instead of an inning ending play, the throw to first was low and dropped and Bruce was ruled safe to allow Austin Jackson to score to push the lead to 3-0.
For the third inning in a row, the Indians scored another run in the sixth inning when Gomes blasted a home run to left-center field off Twins reliever Michael Tonkin to give the Tribe a 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Tribe starter Danny Salazar looked electric on the mound during his 4.2 innings and 69 pitches. Salazar was nearly unhittable and gave up just one hit and walking one while striking out nine hitters. He looked like the dominating pitcher he can be at times and makes an interesting case to be included on the playoffs roster for the Tribe.
The bullpen held the Twins scoreless for 3.2 innings after Salazar was lifted. Closer Cody Allen came in for a non-save situation in the ninth inning and gave up a two-run home run with one out to make it 4-2 when Jorge Polanco to also plate Brian Dozier who had singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Allen.
Tribe Top Three:
Salazar – 76 percent of the Twitter vote
Salazar was on fire tonight and the Twins hitters could do little. Only five out of the 14 outs recorded while Salazar was on the mound were not strikeouts.
Edwin Encarnacion – 11 percent of the Twitter vote
Steady Eddie was 2-for-2 tonight with two walks, a run scored and an RBI
Mike Clevinger – 8 percent of Twitter vote
Clevinger seems to have adjusted to his new role coming out of the bullpen as the playoffs approach. He pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball and gave up just one hit and got credit for the win.
Carlos Santana – 5 percent of the Twitter vote
Santana was 3-for-4 and again played his good defense at first base.
Tribe Time Tomorrow:
Carlos Carrasco (17-6, 3.43 ERA) will take the hill at 12:10 p.m. on Friday to conclude the three-game series with the Twins. Minnesota will counter with Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.36 ERA) in a game that has big consequences for both teams as the Tribe continues to battle Houston to secure home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. Meanwhile, the Twins are fighting to secure the second wild card spot.