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Indians beat the Twins 5-1, clinch wildcard berth

Tribe wins 10th straight as Jimenez twirls gem against Twins

Indians beat the Twins 5-1, clinch wildcard berth
September 30, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS – Six years ago, Cleveland received the taste of a bittersweet October. The 2007 Cleveland Indians made their way to the postseason, advancing to the American League Championship Series where they fell to the Boston Red Sox in seven games. Now, Cleveland can simply savor the taste of champagne.

The Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-1 in the final game of the 2013 regular season on Sunday afternoon. Their 92nd win was on the loom but more importantly, the title of the number one American League Wild Card slot was up for grabs. Ubaldo Jimenez grasped the opportunity.

Jimenez (13-9, 3.30) squared off against Twins’ lefty Scott Diamond (6-13, 5.43), but Jimenez’s outing held more at stake.

The Indians scored first and immediately as centerfielder Michael Bourn singled and scored on first baseman Nick Swisher’s 22nd home run of the year.

The two-run lead was all Jimenez needed as he dominated the Twins through 6.2 innings of scoreless work. Meanwhile, the Indians tacked on two more in the sixth. Designated hitter Carlos Santana reached base on an error by the shortstop and right fielder Ryan Raburn followed with a single to right. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt that resulted in another throwing error, which allowed Santana to score from second. With one out, catcher Yan Gomes added one more with a sacrifice fly to score Raburn, giving Cleveland the 4-0 lead.

Reliever Michael Tonkin replaced Diamond to start the seventh, and Santana invested in an insurance run. After second baseman Jason Kipnis drew a walk, Santana followed with a double deep to right for the 5-0 advantage.

Jimenez remained in the game into the seventh inning, where he surrendered a trio of singles that led to one Twins run. That ended the outing for Jimenez, sealing his final line at 6.2 innings, yielding the one run on five hits and one walk as he struck out 13, which tied his career-high strikeouts in a game.

Jimenez was replaced with lefty Marc Rzepczynski, who completed his job without contest. Cue Justin Masterson, who entered the game with two out in the seventh.

Masterson plunked the first batter he faced, but settled in to retire the remainder of opposing batters without blemish. With two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Masterson received some help from Kipnis, who made a diving stop and toss to Masterson covering first to end the game and push the Indians to the 2013 first overall American League Wild Card spot.

Sunday’s win finalizes Cleveland’s 2013 regular season record at 92-70, but at least one game remains. The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays entered Sunday’s games locked one game behind the Indians for the second Wild Card slot. Both teams won on Sunday, which results in a one-game tiebreaker to be played in Arlington, Texas on Monday night. The winner of that game will head north to Cleveland, where the Indians will host the 2013 American League Wild Card Game.

Cleveland spent Sunday afternoon celebrating via champagne showers in the visitors’  locker room at Target Field before boarding a flight back to Cleveland. They’ll have two days off before Wednesday’s sold out game as they’ll await the outcome of the Texas-Tampa Bay tiebreaker.

Rookie Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12) has been announced as the Indians’  starter on Wednesday. The hard-throwing right-hander spent part of the season in double-A Akron before receiving a promotion to triple-A Columbus in early May. Salazar received the call-up to Cleveland in July, making his major league debut on July 11, in which he received the 4-2 win, tossing six innings of one-run, two-hit ball.

Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.

User Comments

September 30, 2013 - 7:48 AM EDT
brantley,kipnis, swisher, santana, gomes, Cabrera, Ramirez,
stubbs, bourn

*project speed A*

brantley,kipnis, swisher, santana, gomes, Cabrera, Aviles,
stubbs, bourn

*project speed B*

goon squad
Yan gomes**, Mike aviles, jason giambi, Ryan Raburn, Jose Ramirez*

gomes s basically starting catcher, santana basically our DH Ramirez is a great pinch runner and now a spark plug off bench, play off roster i hope has him. Also, Lindor should get called up for his glove incase of a situation where the tribe could use a better glove late in game. **DEFENSIVE SUB**
September 30, 2013 - 7:39 AM EDT
soooooo pumped i love this team! Francona was right Masterson is a weapon!So usually teams roll with 3 pitchers... Ubaldo, Kazmir, Masterson, Salazar (still have kluber if need b) i would have salazar start have Masterson ready or kluber if they need a long reliever.I like salazar starting beside the one homer he usually induces, hopefully a solo blast accompanied by 10+ k so if he pitches 6.2 innings of 1 run ball, and tribe can put up 4 runs of support i think the bullpen can keep it locked down for the tribe to win 4-1

C- Gomes
1B- Swisher
2B- Kipnis
SS- Cabrera
3B- Chisenhall/aviles
RF-Stubbs/Raburn(raburn can start use stubbs as pinch runner, but i like defense and speed stubbs can bring all game so i am comfortable with him starting)
Pinch Hitters Raburn, Aviles,Giambi



scrabble,allen, shaw, smith (masterson)

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