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Stubbs helps Indians overcome miscues with 3-1 win

Tribe claims series win thanks to late-inning rally

Stubbs helps Indians overcome miscues with 3-1 win
August 25, 2013
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Cleveland, OH -- Drew Stubbs hit a two out, tie-breaking home run to center field in the eighth inning and Cleveland got away with some sloppy defense, as the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 to win the three-game weekend series.

"We were trying every way we could to give it away," Stubbs said. "We played a very sloppy game, but it says a lot about this team that we were able to hang in there and pull out the win. An ugly win is as good as a pretty win."

After a disputed swinging strike to begin his at-bat, Stubbs homered to straight-away center on a 0-1 pitch from Jared Burton (2-7, 3.16) to break a 1-1 tie. The homer was ninth for Stubbs on the season. Stubbs has been clutch with his long balls this season, as six of his nine home runs have come in the seventh inning or later.

 

Stubbs finished the day 1-for-1 with a homer and three walks.

 

With the win, the Indians stay six games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. After losses by Oakland and Tampa Bay, the Tribe is now just 1.5 games behind the second spot in the American League Wild Card.

 

Despite gaining ground in the wild card race, the Indians failed to look like a playoff team for most of the day. The team made four errors defensively and several other mistakes in the field and on the base paths. Despite the miscues, no unearned runs scored on the day.

 

"It wasn't pretty, but it's a heck of a lot better when you win," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We know we can't play like that, but we won and that's what we came to do.

 

"If you would've told me that after all is said and done we'd be up 3-1, I'd say go straight to the casino," said Francona.

 

The Indians took the lead in the bottom of the third off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey when, with runners on first and second, Jason Kipnis singled to left, scoring Michael Bourn from second. Kipnis' RBI was his 21st against the Twins this season, the most for any player against one team.

 

Pelfrey was ineffective for most of five innings, but the Indians couldn't make him pay. He allowed just two hits but walked a season-high six, working his way around damage while allowing just one earned run.

 

Cleveland scored its other runs in the eighth, taking the lead for good en route to a series win over Minnesota. After Stubbs homered to give the Indians the lead, the lineup kept working. Bourn followed the moonshot with a double to center and scored on a single by Nick Swisher, extending the Indians lead to 3-1.

 

The Indians continued to struggle with runners on base, stranding 12 base runners against Twins pitchers.

 

Scott Kazmir pitched around trouble throughout the game, thanks to a weak defensive performance behind him. With runners on first and third in the fifth, Minnesota executed a squeeze bunt, tying the game at one. Following a throwing error and a walk loaded the bases, Kazmir got Trevor Plouffe to line out to third to end the inning.

 

Overall, Kazmir scattered seven hits and a walk over six innings of work, striking out eight along the way. His quality start breaks a string of two starts in which he allowed five earned runs and failed to pitch past the fifth.

Cody Allen, Joe Smith, and Chris Perez pitched the final three innings for Cleveland. Smith (5-1, 2.49) allowed one hit and struck out one. Perez picked up his 21st save of the season.

Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English.  He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall.  Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.

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