Cabrera's walk off homer sends Tribe back into first place with 3-2 win BY TIMOTHY W. SHIRER SPORTS EDITOR
Tuesday Night the Indians needed a win. They needed to put two wins together. A night after a slugfest with the Cincinnati Reds in which the Indians came out on top the two were at it again, but this game was very different. But the result was the same, an Indians victory 3-2 on a walk off home run by Asdrubal Cabrera in the tenth inning.
The Reds got on the board in the first inning off Tribe starter Josh Tomlin. Zack Cozart led off the game with a double to left field. With the second batter of the game Cris Heisey at the plate, Tomlin threw a wild pitch and Cozart went to third on the pitch. Heisey then singled in the infield and Cozart came home giving the Reds the early 1-0. The run was the only one that Tomlin gave up on the night in six and two thirds innings of work.
Problem for Tomlin was that his teammates couldn't get any runs across the plate until the fourth inning. The fourth inning began with a double by Carlos Santana. Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake then got Michael Brantley to ground out to second base and Santana moved to third base. Casey Kotchman then came up and singled to center field and Santana came home with the tying run.
The game remained tied until the top of the tenth inning. Joe Smith started the inning in relief of Chris Perez, who pitched a scoreless ninth. Pinch hitter Willie Harris doubled start the inning. Cozart then bunted, and on a smart play by Smith, he threw to Hannahan at third base to retire Harris for the first out of the inning, Cozart was safe at first. Heisey then came up and hit a ground ball to Hannahan at third base, Hannahan was able to field the ball even though Heisey's broken bat went right through Hannahan's legs. Hannahan threw to second base and Cozart was retired for the second out. Indians manager Manny Acta then removed Smith from the game and replaced him with Nick Hagadone. Hagdone has struggled lately and Tuesday Night was no different. Hagadone's first pitch was to Joey Votto and it was in the dirt for a wild pitch and Heisey moved to second base. Votto then singled and moved Heisey to third. Then disaster struck Hagadone who has had little success doing anything right on the mound lately. Former Indian and current Indians killer Brandon Phillips came to the plate. But it was not Phillips who killed the Indians this time it was the current Indian Hagadone. On a 1-2 pitch to Phillips, Hagadone threw the ball in the dirt and Santana was not able to corral it and Heisey scored from third giving the Reds the 2-1 lead. Two pitches later Phillips flew out to Shin-Soo Choo in right field to end the inning with the Tribe down one run heading to the bottom of the tenth.
Reds manager Dusty Baker made the obvious move to start the tenth inning he brought in flame thrower Aroldis Chapman. Chapman got Lonnie Chisenhall to fly out to right field for the first out of the inning. Choo then came up and singled on a line drive to right field. Then something that doesn't happen to the flame throwing Chapman that often happened. Asdrubal Cabrera caught up with his pitch. By the time the pitch landed Cabrera had hit hit over the right field fence, giving the Indians the 3-2 win and Chapman the loss.
The Indians had seven walk off homers in 2011, this was their first of 2012.
Chapman fell to 4-3 with the loss with an ERA of 1.57. Hagadone was credited with the win because somebody had to be. With the win the struggling Hagadone improves to 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA.
With the win the Indians improve to 35-32 and move into sole posession of first place in the A.L. Central Division as the Chicago White Sox lost to the lowely Chicago Cubs on Tuesday Night 2-1. The Indians are a half game ahead of the White Sox and two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians and Reds will wrap up their three games series on Wednesday Night at 7:05 p.m at Progressive Field. Justin Masterson will take the mound for the Indians. Masterson is 3-6 with a 4.38 ERA. The Reds will send Bronson Arroyo to the hill. Arroyo is 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA..