BY JUSTIN LADA
INDIANS BEAT WRITER
About 24 hours ago, the White Sox shellacked the Indians, hoping to stay alive in the AL Central race. Flash forward, the White Sox were eliminated when the Tigers won last night at Kansas City.
They didn’t find a whole lot of comfort in the Indians. They gave the Sox hope but reminded them that they were going to be watching the playoffs from their couches too later this week.
Shin Soo Choo broke up a no hitter in the fourth inning with a long, long, solo home run, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead.
But it was Jason Donald who was the hero. That sentence might have looked ugly in April, and it still looks ugly now, but it reminded the White Sox that they can go golfing on Thursday too, just like the Indians. Only this hit gave the Indians a 4-3 12 inning win.
Chris Perez, who once again spouted off before the game on Manny Acta’s firing, didn’t exactly inspire in what was potentially his last outing as an Indian.
Tied at 1-1 in the 9th, Perez allowed a two run homer to Dayan Viciedo that scored former Indian, Jose Lopez, giving the Sox a 3-1 lead and what looked for be a loss for Perez in what might have been his last as an Indian.
Then, another possible Indian in his last hurrah and a former knight in shining armor, Travis Hafner, a man people in Cleveland once believed was the only person who could take Chuck Norris, hit a two run blast to tie things up in the ninth inning.
While Indians interim manager Sandy Alomar says Hafner will play in the season’s final game on Wednesday, it very well could have been Hafner’s last at bat as an Indian, at least sending him out reminding people of the impact he has had here.
Speaking of good exits, Justin Masterson was able to end his disastrous season on a high note. While his regression was overshadowed by the miserable season by Ubaldo Jimenez, at least Masterson’s six innings allowing one run on four hits and striking out five, was a good way to exit, even if he didn’t get the win.
Chris Seddon also got his first win as an Indian, pitching a perfect 12th inning.
Sandy Alomar, auditioning for the real job next year, sent Lonnie Chisenhall up to pinch hit in the 12th, and he doubled and wound up scoring on Donald’s game winning hit.
With the win, the Indians clinched fourth place, keeping their streak of not finishing in last place to 21 years straight, last coming in 1991.
At 7:05 on Wednesday the Indians will host what looks like it might be “die hard night”, in the words of Harry Doyle, as tonight’s attendance was announced at a generous 10,000. David Huff (3-0) and Gavin Floyd (11-11) will be on the hill at Progressive Field.