The Indians wasted no time today, scoring three runs in the first inning. Consecutive doubles by Hafner and Martinez plated all 3 runs. The bats were active all day long, (15 hits) but getting the runners home proved to be a bit troublesome until the ninth. Peralta’s two out double gave the Tribe a nice insurance run, and then Lofton came through with another two out hit scoring another pair. Final score- Indians 6, Minnesota 2.
When the Tribe wasn’t getting doubles (5 of them today), they were striking out. Indian hitters whiffed 11 times today, including several times with runners in scoring position. In the ninth Martinez and Garko both fanned with Cabrera at second and Hafner at first. In the fourth Cabrera struck out with men at second and third, and Victor struck out in the same inning with the bases full. Even in the first, there were no outs with runners at first and second when Peralta and Gutierrez fanned. Fortunately for the Tribe none of those runs came back to haunt them.
Fausto returned to form today, going 7.1 innings, giving up only 2 runs and striking out 4. Rafael Perez finished the game, without surrendering a run. No Twin had an extra base hit today, and it seemed as if all the hits Fausto surrendered were infield singles. It was certainly an effective game, and Carmona earned his 15th win for the season. As Fausto approaches 200 innings I wonder if Wedge might not consider giving him an extra day between starts, especially in light of the lead Cleveland has in the division.
The Tigers play this evening in Chicago, and they now have the added pressure of knowing the Tribe has won. A loss pushes them 8 games behind the Indians, though I have to imagine they are now more concerned about the wild card than the division. At 3.5 games back they still have a shot at catching the Yankees. I’d have to say it wouldn’t upset me if they took over that slot. With as bad as we have played against the Yanks this year, do you want New York in the playoffs? Yeah, me neither.