Kazmir dominates in 2-0 Tribe win in series finale
Indians complete another team shutout behind Kazmir
MIAMI – The Cleveland Indians took the finale of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins with a 2-0 victory and solid start from Scott Kazmir on Sunday.
Kazmir (7-4, 3.89) crafted six scoreless innings, despite a strong counter start from Miami right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19).
Cleveland scored first as they plated one run in the second inning. With one out, catcher Yan Gomes legged out a single on a close play and advanced to third on a double by first baseman Mark Reynolds. Cue third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, who lined a single just over the second baseman to score Gomes and give Cleveland the 1-0 lead.
Kazmir stumped the Marlins offense through six and was replaced with pinch-hitter Jason Giambi in the seventh inning to seal Kazmir’s final line at six innings, yielding no runs on two hits, a pair of walks and seven strikeouts.
Reliever Bryan Shaw entered the game to pitch the seventh for the Indians. Though he allowed a pair of singles, Shaw worked his way out of trouble by striking out the side.
Eovaldi departed the game to start the eighth as he was replaced with reliever Chad Qualls. Shortstop Mike Aviles greeted Qualls with a lead-off double and advanced to second as second baseman Jason Kipnis laid down a sacrifice bunt. With two out, left fielder Michael Brantley prevailed with a single up the middle to score Aviles, giving the Indians the 2-0 advantage.
That was all the Cleveland bullpen needed to preserve the lead. Joe Smith held down the eighth inning for the Indians as he walked one and struck out two before giving way to closer Chris Perez for the ninth. Perez made things easy this time around as he retired the side in order for his 17th save of the season and the Indians’ 2-0 win.
Gomes led the offense with three hits on the day, followed by Reynolds who hit 2-for-4. The top half of the Marlins’ order did all of the work for Miami, though none of their four hits led to any rallies. Brantley’s eighth inning hit earned him one more RBI, giving him a total of 53 on the year. Brantley ranks second on the team for RBIs behind Kipnis, who has 68.
Sunday’s win advanced the Indians to 62-49 overall as they won their third-straight series. Next, the Indians begin a pivotal home stretch starting with the Central Division first-place Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are presently 64-45 overall with a three-game lead over the second-place Indians.
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.