Written by Chris Slade
Tonight's game got started at 7:05 ET which for some reason took me by surprise as I forgot that Cleveland is in the Eastern time zone. Indians ace Corey Kluber was in control from the start and shut down the Orioles for the first seven innings. Wei-Yin Chen was on his game too and matched Kluber pitch for pitch through the first four innings before allowing a solo home run to Zach Walters in the 5th. The Orioles tied it up in the 8th when J.J. Hardy singled in a run with two outs. The game remained tied until the 11th inning when Mike Aviles hit a walkoff home run off Brian Matusz to win it for the Indians.
Wei-Yin Chen needed to be at his best tonight to give the Orioles a chance to win against Kluber and he did just that. He attacked hitters all night, pounding the lower half of the strike zone with his fastball for first pitch strikes. His command was excellent and he had a little extra heat on the fastball tonight with i touching 93-94 MPH at times and sitting 91-92 MPH. His slider was also at its best tonight as he picked up several swing and misses on the pitch and finished with six K's on the night. His lone mistake was to Zach Walters who jumped on the first pitch fastball for a solo home run. Chen would pick up a no decision but this was one of his finest outings all season as the Indians rarely threatened to score all night.
Final Line: 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 6 K, No Decision
Andrew Miller and his windmill motion worked a dominant 8th in which he retired the side. He picked up the first out of the 9th before giving way to Darren O'Day.
What do you think O'Day did? He put up 0's of course. He worked 1.1 scoreless with two strikeouts before Brian Matusz took over with two outs in the 10th to face Lonnie Chisenhall.
Matusz retired Chisenhall and stayed on to pitch the 11th. Leadoff batter Mike Aviles led off the inning with a solo shot to end it.
Not much in the way of hitting to discuss tonight. The Orioles were held to just five hits by Corey Kluber.
The best night on offense definitely belonged to J.J. Hardy. He picked up the lone extra base hit, a ground rule double off Kluber in the 4th, walked in the 6th, and drove in the lone run of the game with a single in the 8th.
Chris Davis had a dreadful night at the plate, ringing up the old golden sombrero with four strikeouts.
Defensive Highlights/ Lowlights
Nelson Cruz got the rare start in left field and made the most of it with a sensational leaping catch at the wall to rob Carlos Santana (not the guitarist) of an extra base hit.
Adam Jones also made an excellent catch on the run in extras on a sinking line drive from Tyler Holt in the 10th.
Key Moments In The Game
The Orioles were unable to take advantage of a bases loaded situation against Kluber with one out in the 2nd.
They were able to string together three consecutive hits with two outs in the 8th to tie up the game.
The two solo home runs from the Indians offense proved to be the difference tonight.
Other Notes/ Musings
Corey Kluber has now allowed just one earned run over his last 39 innings so it's understandable that the bats had a tough time supporting Chen tonight.
Speaking of low ERA's, Darren O'Day now has a sub-1.00 ERA on the season.
The umpire forgot the count with two strikes in the 7th when Wei-Yin Chen struck out Tyler Holt swinging. Chen walked off the mound as the ump finally realized that was the third strike. That shouldn't happen but "they're human."
Ubaldo Jimenez will return to his former team in Cleveland tomorrow afternoon.
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