Indians rally late, defeat Orioles 4-3 on a big comeback win
Kazmir takes a no-hitter through six innings O's, Tribe pick up 40th victory
Hall of Famer Ty Cobb once said, “Speed is a great asset.”
For the Indians on Wednesday, speed proved to be a huge asset when it would matter the most. Down 3-2 in the ninth inning, the Tribe rallied back to steal a win from the Orioles with a 4-3 victory in Baltimore.
While the offense would score late, the game essentially belonged to left-hander Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.83 ERA). The 29-year-old southpaw gave up just one unearned run on the night, tossing a no-hitter through six shutout innings.
Cleveland (40-37) also picks up a game on the first place Detroit Tigers as the Wahoo’s sit just 2 1/2 games back of their Central Division rivals.
This came after both teams were held without a hit through the first three innings of the ballgame.
Belting his eleventh long ball of the season, Kipnis is hitting .405 in the month of June with three homers and 19 RBI.
Kazmir was perfect through 4 1/3 innings before allowing the first Baltimore hitter to reach base in the fifth on a four pitch walk to catcher Matt Wieters.
The southpaw would still fare better on this night, as he would take a no-hitter to the start of the seventh inning. Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado had other plans, ending Kazmir’s quest for a no-no with a double down the left field line to lead off the inning.
An error by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera proved costly two batters later, as Kazmir tried to pickoff Machado on second only to have the ball hit off Cabrera’s glove and go into center field.
Machado would score the Orioles first run off the game on a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis to move Baltimore within one run.
Indians manager Terry Francona lifted Kazmir from the ballgame after throwing just 78 pitches through seven innings in what was later due to the lefty battling back spasms. Sidearm specialist Joe Smith came on in relief but to no avail, allowing the O’s to tie the game first on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Nick Markakis before Machado would strike again.
The 20-year-old third baseman laced a single to left field to give the Orioles the 3-2 lead, ending the night 2-for-4 and raising his batting average to .319 on the season.
Despite giving up the late lead, the night itself belongrd to the Tribe. Cleveland rallied to score two in the ninth off Orioles closer Jim Johnson (2-6, 4.03 ERA). The Baltimore closer walked Michael Brantley on four pitches before designated hitter Jason Giambi hit a clutch double off the wall to put runners on second and third with nobody out.
The double was Giambi’s 400th of his 19 year career, now hitting an even .200 (19-for-95) where 11 of his 19 hits have gone for extra bases.
Closer Vinnie Pestano pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to notch his fifth save, striking out Davis and shortstop J.J. Hardy to give Cleveland their 40th win of the season.
Pestano has taken the closer role by storm, picking up his fourth save over the last 12 days. He is also just one save shy of the team lead in saves currently held by Chris Perez with six saves on the year.
In his last two starts, Kazmir is now 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA walking one and striking out 11. Both starts also came withYan Gomes behind the plate, as the left-hander improves to 3-1 with a 3.07 ERA in seven starts when the Brazilian native catches.
The Tribe will now look to take the series finale against the O’s in the rubber match on Thursday. Right-handerCorey Kluber (6-4, 3.68 ERA) will get the start versus Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.75 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. Kluber is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA over his last three starts.
Notes: Closer Chris Perez is expected to be activated off the disabled list before Thursday’s game. No official word on a counter roster move in order for Perez to be added to the 25-man roster.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.
If not for one really bad inning by Masterson we'd be up 3-0 on Baltimore and going for a sweep on the road tonight.
Good to see Asdrubal back in there. And Vinnie is back up to 92 mph and striking people out. He looks fully recovered, finally. And now Rage is ready to go, although he might need a couple of appearances to get completely up to speed.
We just need a few more bats to get going, Kipnis can't do it all.