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Indians win sixth straight, team defeats White Sox 7-4

Ryan Raburn pinch hit two-run single sends Tribe to another victory

Indians win sixth straight, team defeats White Sox 7-4
July 31, 2013
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CLEVELAND—City of lights, city of magic.

Progressive Field once again played host to more late inning heroics Tuesday night, as the Indians came from behind to defeat the Chicago White Sox 7-4, sending the team to their sixth straight win.

Trailing the last place ChiSox 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Tribe manager Terry Francona saught help from his bench for the second straight night. This time it wasn't Jason Giambi that came through in the clutch, but rather the guy hitting for him.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn delivered what essentially became a game winning two-run single off Chicago reliever Matt Lindstrom which gave the Wahoo's a late one run lead they would not squander.

“I thought tonight was a good team win,” Francona said. “It’s a night where Chris [Antonetti] deserves part of the win. Putting together a roster where we have a guy like Raburn and you can pinch hit and it doesn’t matter if they bring in a right-hander…or a guy like [Drew] Stubbs that can sit for eight innings and come in and steal a base.”

The win puts Cleveland (58-48) a season-high 10 games above the .500 mark for the first time since June 4, 2011, staying just 2 1/2 games in back of the Detroit Tigers for first place in the A.L. Central.

“I just was trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Raburn said. He left one up for me that I could do something with and I ended up getting a base hit.”

The clutch knock gives Raburn a .462 batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position on the season. Starting for the Tigers just one year ago, the Clevleand outfielder is now hitting .320 with two homers and seven RBI over his last 10 games.

“It’s one of those things where I couldn’t do anything right last year and it seems like right now nothing is going wrong,” Raburn said. “I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

It was the Cleveland bench came through in a pinch for the second straight ballgame, as Raburn, Giambi, Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles have combined for 31 homers, 38 doubles and 112 RBI in 687 at-bats on the season.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bench this productive,” Raburn said. “It’s great to see guys come up and step up and contribute.”

“That’s a nice way to play,” Francona said. “Our bench is very productive in a number of ways and really works well together. Each guy compliments each other so well.”

Chicago jumped on Tribe starter Scott Kazmir (6-4, 4.11 ERA) from the very first inning, scoring two runs on a double by Adam Dunn to gain a 2-0 lead early.

The hit snapped a streak of 16 consecutive games in which Cleveland scored first in a ballgame.

The White Sox added another run in the second on a RBI single by catcher Josh Phegley, and for awhile it looked as though that was all the Pale Hose needed.

Due to continued trade speculation, Chicago scratched Jake Peavy from Tuesday’s game and started Brazilian native Andre Rienzo, who made his Major League debut. The rookie looked good early on, limiting the Indians offense to just two hits through the first four innings.

“I caught him in the World Baseball Classic so we kind of know each other pretty well,” Gomes said. “It’s an exciting thing for our country.”

Gomes also a native of Brazil had another great game, going 2-for-3 with a clutch two-run double to put the game away in the eighth after Raburn gave the team the lead.

“He’s learning quickly how to run the game,” Francona said of Gomes. “He helps us offensively and he’s done a good job behind the plate. It’s a nice complement when you can have a guy who’s not your everyday catcher and nothing gets interrupted. He can catch anybody.”

The Brazilian catcher is now hitting .291 with nine doubles, two triples, seven homers and 26 RBI in 44 games this season. Kazmir remains 4-1 in 13 starts with Gomes behind the plate.

Offensively, the Tribe finally got to Rienzo in the fifth as the team loaded up the bases with one out. Gomes drew a four pitch walk to put Cleveland on the board, before center fielder Michael Bourn flashed his speed.

Bourn hit a weak grounder to first and beat Rienzo to first base before the White Sox starter fell to the ground covering first which allowed two runs to score.

Chicago came right back in the top of the sixth as Dayan Viciedo put the ChiSox up 4-3 with a RBI single off reliever Matt Albers.

Albers gave the team a scoreless 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, surrendering just one hit.

Kazmir went a strong five innings giving up four runs on nine hits walking none and striking out three. Rienzo fared better, but was also granted a no decision going seven innings and allowing three unearned runs on five hits.

“He’s a high energy guy but he kept it together,” Gomes said of Rienzo. “I’m proud of him and his future.”

Closer Chris Perez notched his 15th save with a scoreless ninth, as the Tribe is now 20-12 in games decided by the seventh inning or later.

“That’s what good ball clubs do, find ways to win,” Raburn said. “They were beating us up the whole game, but we kept battling and were able to pull it out. In the end, that’s all that matters.”

Notes: Prior to Tuesday’s game, Cleveland acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Single-A second baseman Juan Herrera.

The 27-year-old southpaw owns a career 9-17 record with a 4.20 ERA in 177 games. Rzepczynski was 0-0 with the Cardinals with a 7.84 ERA in 11 games this season. Sources confirmed late Tuesday that Vinnie Pestano (1-2, 4.05 ERA) will be moved to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Rzepczynski on the 25-man roster.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

User Comments

Rick
July 31, 2013 - 2:33 PM EDT
I agree with you likewise Tony. That is the best to hope for this year most likely.

I believe that we are enjoying a true resurgence. Not only on the field but also in the minor league production. Were drafting better, developing better, and hang with just about anyone when tapping the international market as well.

I'm ex-Cleveland living in AZ now. You bring up this topic among those wealthy enough to consider investing in a club like the Indians and you get a direct and dispassionate response, and it's not a pleasant one.

The response is best summed up thus; 'The Dolans have their current situation exactly backwards. The Indians should be playing in Columbus and the Clippers should be playing in Cleveland.

Why? Facts; money and demographics. Not only about there being more money south in the capital now, but the expectation that the trend will only intensify in the near and long term.

It's not so much about replicating those stellar sell out years when the Jacob bros spent LIKE THEY WERE A BIG MARKET CLUB. Nor whether we can see walk up spikes Tony mentions.

Its about a reasonable core customer - season ticket holders - and 8K is a bad joke. And unsustainable.

People in Cleveland need to get the message loud and clear. Support your major league baseball club our you may lose your option to have a walk up game to attend.

Tony
July 31, 2013 - 12:36 PM EDT
I wouldn't expect any late season sellouts if the Tribe continues to contend and make the playoffs. They will sell out postseason games, but that is a given. Maybe they sellout a key late season game. But just go back to 2005 and 2007 as models, years they were in contention until the end of the season and made it one year. They drew at most 24-30K a night in 2005 up until the final weekend which they sold out against the White Sox. 2007 they actually were already drawing 29-30K at this point. I see an attendance boost, but not one where they are near sellouts several times.
Matthew
July 31, 2013 - 12:00 PM EDT
I agree with you 100% Rick, there's no reason for the owners to continue spending considering the current attendance. However, I really think we're getting close to a tipping point of sorts on attendance. So many fans are waiting for the collapse. If the Tribe stays in this playoff hunt all the way to the end, I think we will see a lot of late-season sellouts and if we grab a playoff spot, those games will sell out in a heartbeat. I think the momentum will carry over to next season and we will see a mild resurgence in attendance where we will at least no longer be in the bottom 5. However, if the Tribe does have an August collapse, it could lead to an even bigger abandonment by the fans.
Rick
July 31, 2013 - 11:47 AM EDT
I think the Rezepczynski pick up was about right; a buy low on a former high ceiling guy who has struggled.

Given how exciting this season has been, with breakout performances like Kluber and Gomes and so much more, we need also to keep a few things in perspective.

I don't expect much off season spending. The reason is that this season was an exception because of the cable monies. We are enjoying the fruits of that as well as Tito's commitment.

That said, I don't expect the Dolans to seriously spend money again UNTIL the fan base likewise recommits. Nor do I blame them. After all they have already locked into salary obligations - irrespective of what is coming off the books, as Matthew observed. And while they are not going to be among the top five or even top ten in spending - They will be among the highest IN THEIR SMALL MARKET CLUB.

Look at all the excitement taking place - playoff contender - player development (mostly unexpected) everywhere - yet - last or next to last in attendance?

It's disappointing to us as fans, but it's perfectly reasonable that as owners they draw this line. They have built a great product and still people treat it like it's the plague.

Until that changes, don't expect much to change $$$$ wise from these owners.
Tony
July 31, 2013 - 9:41 AM EDT
Important to note that preseason prospect rankings mean very little at this point. Just because a guy was a Top 30 when the season began does not mean he is still in there. Lots of guys have jumped in and out of such listings. Herrera was I belied 93rd in my preseason ranking, but he has jumped considerably and would of probably been somewhere in the 35-45 range for me next year.
Matthew
July 31, 2013 - 9:15 AM EDT
It will be interesting to see how much, if any, additional $ the Tribe will have in the offseason. The players coming off the books (Jimenez, Marson, Myers, Smith, Albers, Reynolds, etc) and the increased salaries of Bourn, all the arb-eligible guys, etc., is just about a wash. Maybe an extra 3-5M. However, if they move Asdrubal ($10M) and/or Perez (final arb year, likely $10M) that will free up significant dollars to make offers to Kazmir, Raburn, etc., and looks into extensions with Brantley and Kip.

Jeanmar is a nice pitcher, and I hope he continues to do well, but his babip with Pittsburgh is .220, about 60 points below his career average. He's experiencing some very lucky innings, and should come back to earth soon.
camfrommaine23
July 31, 2013 - 7:31 AM EDT
I like this trade. It didnt cost danny salazar either, cough cough brian sabean cough cough. This could b a very important trade, and herrera wasnt a top 30 for tribe, and withour depth at middle infield, im not concerned . Vinnie was vinnie of old.

Id like to see tribe buy low on ian kennedy.

Also, i am wondering , if tribe has extra money this offseason
Who we target? I hope grady sizemore can get signed to milb contract, also do they solidfy rotation? Get another bat? Maybe both. I was never a fan of brett myers signing, i wonder what it would take to get jeanmar gomez back, i was against that from begining. He has pitched sooo good for pirates.
Also if danny salazar keeps it up, he could b in rotation,next year, i want raburn resigned as weml

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