Through the top of the third, things looked good for the Indians. Unfortunately, baseball games are nine innings and the final six didn't go so well as the Indians blew their early 4-0 lead and fell to the Minnesota Twins 8-7 on the first NFL Sunday. On the bright side, fans were too busy watching the Browns lose in sort of walk-off fashion to see the outcome of the Indians game, but it was definitely another tough day on the road for the Tribe.
It started out much better than it finished as the Indians built a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the third. Carlos Santana led off the second with a bomb to right center field to open up the scoring. After Russ Canzler flew out, Brent Lillibridge doubled, Jason Donald walked, and Lou Marson walked to load the bases. Lillibridge would score on a Shin-Soo Choo sacrifice fly and Jason Donald would scamper home on a wild pitch to put the Tribe ahead 3-0. They added another run in the fourth on a Lillibridge sacrifice fly, scoring Michael Brantley who had walked to lead off the inning.
The Twins answered in the bottom of the third with a three-spot of their own. Jamey Carroll singled up the middle with one out and scored on Joe Mauer's third triple of the season. Justin Morneau followed with a two-run homer to right to cut the Indians lead to the slimmest of margins at 4-3. In the fourth, the Twins tied the game with the help of a Jason Kipnis error, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and a single to shallow right from Pedro Florimon. The Twins then took the lead when Florimon stole second and came around on Ben Revere's RBI single. Corey Kluber recorded one more out and then exited the game, giving up five runs, four earned, on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work.
The Indians didn't trail for long. In the fifth inning, the Tribe answered right away, getting a RBI double from Carlos Santana and a RBI single from Russ Canzler to jump right back on top 6-5. The Santana double scored Brantley and the Canzler single knocked in Santana.
In a back and forth game, the Indians held the lead until the bottom of the seventh when Chris Parmelee singled home Jamey Carroll and Joe Mauer with a two-out, two-run single off of Tony Sipp. The Twins led 7-6 when Jason Donald tripled home Lillibridge in the eighth to the game.
Justin Morneau put an end to the seesaw battle with a walk-off home run off of Vinnie Pestano with two outs in the ninth.
With the loss, the Indians fell to 59-81, just one game above the Twins for last place with the series finale coming on Monday night. Vinnie Pestano took the loss, falling to 3-2. Brian Duensing was the winner in relief, improving to 4-10.
Stat of the Night: The Indians are now 6-19 on Sundays this season. Just getting the city used to seeing a loss on Sundays, I guess.
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana had a home run, a double, and added a single for a three-hit game.
Tomorrow's Game: Justin Masterson will square off against Scott Diamond in the series finale on Monday night.