Joe Borowski blew a save, but the Indians came back to win 4-3 in 12 innings.
You might notice that Kelly Shoppach is giving the first pound to Rafael Betancourt here, instead of Victor. Well, Kelly didn’t start the game. Victor, in fact, had the big hit of the night, a three run homer in the first inning of Mariners’ fireballer Felix Hernandez. But Martinez left the game in the eighth inning after fouling a ball of his knee. Early word on Victor is that he will be able to pitch one of the two games that are part of Wednesday’s double dip.
The Indians took the opportunity to rest a few players, or tried to before the game went to 12 innings. Getting the day off were Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Franklin Gutierrez. Sizemore and Cabrera would eventually enter the game as pinch hitters. Asdrubal in fact scored the winning run, when he walked to start the 12th, took second and third on a wild pick off throw, and came around to score on a Kenny Lofton sac fly. Lofton showed his usual veteran savy, as he had intended to bunt Cabrera over to second when he stepped into the batter’s box, and instead took advantage of the throwing error by lifting a ball to the outfield. Nice adjustment Kenny.
Of course it has to be pointed out that none of this would have been necessary if Borowski hadn’t given up a homer to Adrian Beltre in the ninth to tie the game. I know, it happens every once in a while so I will give Joe the pass today. Better that it happened now than in the playoffs. Tom Mastny got the win, working out of a bases loaded situation in the 11th. Rafael Betancourt got his third save of the year, pitching a perfect 12th.
The win keeps the Indians percentage points ahead of the Red Sox, and 2 games up on the Angels who lost last night. The Yankess also lost, which makes it especially difficult for them to catch Boston. They are all but locks for the wild card at this point. The Tribe win knocked the Mariners out of contention all together. Detroit is 4.5 games back of New York with only 5 games to go. They can’t lose another game or they are eliminated.
Wednesday’s double header features Carmona in the afternoon game (the Home game for the Indians) and Jeremy Sowers in the nightcap. These games are important in the race for home field advantage. Go Tribe!