Perez Escapes Disaster, Tribe Wins 5-4

By:  Stephen Parsons

chrisperezThe Indians demolished the Astros last night 19-6, but it only counts as one win.  It would take a complete team effort to win the most important game of the season thus far.  It would take the 2-time all star closer Chris Perez to dig deep and seal the deal for the Indians.

The series finale would feature two starting pitchers who are no a shell of what they once were. Ubaldo Jimenez and Erik Bedard each have had previous success.  Lately not so much, as Jimenez hasn’t won a game since August of 2012.

In the first inning, Jimenez allowed a 2-run home run to Fernando Martinez before getting an out.  It seemed that Ubaldo was picking up where he left off last Tuesday against the Red Sox.  Jimenez would settle down and eventually retire 14 Astros in a row.

Bedard would not last long in this one.  In the 2nd inning he would allow a solo home run over the left field wall to catcher Yan Gomes.

In the Top of the 3rd inning, Ryan Raburn would drive in Carlos Santana with a single, making the score 2-2.

Erik Bedard would pitch 4 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, walking 2 but struck out 8 Indians hitters, including Drew Stubbs.

Brett Oberholtzer would relieve Bedard in the 5th.  He would allow 2 solo home runs to Cleveland.  First, in the Top of the 5th to Carlos Santana over the left field wall.  Second, to Drew Stubbs in the Top of the 6th over the right field wall.

In the Top of the 6th, the Astros would get to Ubaldo Jimenez.  Jose Altuve hit a RBI triple, scoring Marwin Gonzalez.  Jimenez was then relieved by left hander Nick Hagadone.  Chris Carter hit a fly ball to right field, scoring Altuve on the sac fly, making the score 4-4.

In the Top of the 7th, who better than Mark Reynolds, hit a solo home run to center field putting the Tribe on top again 5-4.

Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano pitched the 7th and 8th inning getting hit around but allowing no runs, earning holds.

In the Bottom of the 9th, it was Chris Perez’s opportunity to earn just his 2nd save of the season.

Rick Ankiel hit a lead off double.  Matt Dominguez was hit by a pitch, then Marwin Gonzalez moved both runners over with a sacrafice bunt.  Jose Altuve was intentionally walked to load the bases with only 1 out.

Chris Carter would then strike out on a slider down and away.  Then with 2 outs and the game on the line, Jason Castro hit a line drive to Mark Reynolds, who scooped it up throwing him out to Carlos Santana for the put out and the win.  5-4 Ball Game!

Cody Allen was the winner improving to 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.  Hector Ambriz took the loss falling to 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA.  Chris Perez earned his 2nd save of the season.

Time of the game was 3 hours and 19 minutes.  Game attendance was 22,005.

It should be noted that Indians pitcher Brett Myers was placed on the 15-day disabled list who had been bothered with tendinitis in his right forearm.  Corey Kluber will step into the rotation in his absense.  Long reliever Fernando Nieve has been called up from Triple-A Columbus.

My Thoughts:

Absolutely most important game of the season thus far.  After dropping Friday night’s game, you could not afford to lose this series to the Astros who are not a good team.

Say what you will but Chris Perez got the job done, when it did not look like he would be able to.  Remember, Perez has not had a save since the season opener against Toronto.  Rust may have been a factor.  It was great to see on  a day where he only had a one run lead, and could not consistently command his slider, he was able to battle through and get the save.

Mark Reynolds has hit 7 home runs so far this season with 18 runs batted in.  Last season in the month of April, he had 0 home runs with onlhy 3 runs batted in.

Coming Up Next:

It’s AL Central rapid fire, as the Indians will play their next 7 games against the White Sox and Royals.

Tomorrow night in Chicago, Justin Masterson who is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA.  He will face off against Dylan Axelrod who is 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA.

First pitch will be at 8:10 PM ET at US Cellular Field.

This has been the Parsons Report.

Categories: American League Happenings

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