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Indians survive another shaky Perez outing, win 6-5

Indians survive another shaky Perez outing, win 6-5
September 27, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After Chris Perez suffered a second implosion in as many outings, Joe Smith struck out Oswaldo Arcia to end Minnesota's ninth inning rally as the Cleveland Indians beat the Twins 6-5 Thursday night.

With the win, the Indians maintain their position in the American League wild-card race. Texas stayed within a game of Cleveland after a walkoff home run by Jurickson Profar.

Perez came on in the ninth to get some work with a 6-1 lead, but made mop-up duty into a save situation.

After Eduardo Escobar blooped a single to left and advanced to second on indifference, Alex Presley tripled to deep center, drawing the score to 6-2. After a ground out to third scored another run, Ryan Doumit reached on another single. After Perez recorded another out, he surrendered a two-run homer to Josmil Pinto, bringing the Twins within one run. Joe Smith, working around a single and a walk, came on to save the game.

Minnesota starter Andrew Albers (2-5, 4.05) last won against Cleveland on August 12 when he pitched a two-hit shutout, but he has struggled since. He kept the Tribe bats in check through the first three innings, but struggled after the first time through the lineup.

Ryan Raburn opened the fourth inning with a single and advanced to second on a balk. Asdrubal Cabrera then put down a sacrifice bunt but an error allowed Raburn to score and Cabrera to reach first safely. Yan Gomes put the Indians up 3-0 with a towering, two-run homer to left.

Albers exited the game after loading the bases in the top of the sixth, but was charged with another run after Michael Brantley hit an opposite-field single to left. In all, Albers allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks.

The Indians picked up a another run in the seventh when Carlos Santana drove home Jason Kipnis on a double to deep right. Brantley added another RBI single in the eighth to put the Indians up 6-1.

Brantley had three hits and two RBIs from the leadoff spot. He is just the fifth player since 2000 with four straight games with three hits and an RBI.

Bryan Shaw (7-3, 3.24) picked up the victory in relief of Zach McAllister, recording five outs over the fifth and sixth innings. Shaw is 5-0 in 13 September appearances and hasn't allowed a run in 15.1 innings.

McAllister left the game with a shutout intact despite working with runners on in every inning. After a walk and a single with one out in the fifth, Shaw came on and induced an inning-ending double play.

McAllister gave up six hits and two walks while striking out three. He made just 68 pitches, his second fewest this season.

The teams will play the second game on Friday night at 8:10 p.m. The Indians will start right-hander Corey Kluber(10-5, 3.61) against lefty Pedro Hernandez (3-2, 6.05). Kluber has won a career-best four straight decisions.

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.

User Comments

Rich Smith
September 27, 2013 - 10:51 PM EDT
Easiest solution is to just use Masterson as closer through rest of year. It may be where he can be a 70s type closer, pitching 2-3 innings for the save.
September 27, 2013 - 4:37 PM EDT
The problem, as I see it, is that Francona didn't make the switch when it was needed. Francona should have considered making a serious change after Perez blew the lead and the game in a pivotal Detroit series last month. His reluctance to prepare then, when Perez first started showing signs of breakdown, is going to cost the Tribe now. It's gut check time in the BP.. Hopefully someone can step up and take the reigns.
September 27, 2013 - 4:09 PM EDT
Francona seems to be keeping the starting pitchers on a short leash and not using September call ups recently. I think Shaw has been excellent, but used in last three or four games. It will be interesting to see who comes out of the pen tonight. I do not think we can count on Los Angeles or Toronto helping us. Hopefully Callaway and Francona can get Perez's head screwed on right because I do not think we'll go far with only Shaw, Allen, Smith, Rz, and Albers. Francona does not seem to trust the rest of the bullpen guys. How often would he use Masterson?
September 27, 2013 - 1:09 PM EDT
Yeah Perez seems lost right now...almost Jose Mesa 1997 lost.

The one thing I liked about Perez as a closer was he did seem to good at forgetting a bad outing and not dwelling on it. Didn't seem to let anything get to him...

But this year...whole different story. Quite Twitter..which I mean I can understand, but was out of character for Perez. And now just seems to look so dejected on the mound. He doesn't look like he's having fun out there...and that is not good.
September 27, 2013 - 12:58 PM EDT
I think Masterson is a possibility going forward, that way our later inning guys could stay where they are. I don't see Allen this year because of his youth, it will be Shaw or Smith before him IMO.

Perez has pitched his last game ever here. I imagine he's in a very fragile mental state right now, I feel for him but....we just can't trust him out there at this point.
September 27, 2013 - 9:36 AM EDT
Perez is done pitching for Cleveland and should be benched the rest of the season. He is no longer dependable and the guys have worked too hard for him to continue to pitch, which I hope Francona realizes. We have 19 pitches minus Perez.
September 27, 2013 - 9:34 AM EDT
To me, the choice is Cody Allen. He has been rock solid this year, posting a sub-2.50 ERA, striking out over 11 batters per 9 innings,

Shaw-Smith-Allen in the 7-8-9 gives me a lot of confidence. Perez and Pestano can't be on postseason roster if we get there.
September 27, 2013 - 8:55 AM EDT
Agreed. The fact is that the Indians came out on the winning side of both Perez implosions the last three days. That rarely happens. Imagine had they lose one (or both) or had this happened in a crucial playoff game? They have to be proactive here and I believe they will. There is no clear cut solution, so the possibilities are endless. Will be interesting to see what Francona comes up with.
September 27, 2013 - 8:52 AM EDT
At this stage, i believe that Francona should not continue risking with Christ Perez. this may have cost two tough losses. Fortunately, the team has managed to recover from these difficult situations.

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