After 70 games of the 2012 MLB season, Indians fans had visions of a September playoff race and the hope that this would be some kind of magical season. It's now 71 games later and the Indians are in last place. By virtue of losing three out of four to the cellar-dwelling Minnesota Twins, the Indians are now tied for last place and tied for the worst record in the American League. The Indians fell 7-2 to the Minnesota Twins before boarding a plane and heading down to Texas to open up a series against the Rangers.
For five innings, the game was a complete pitcher's duel between Justin Masterson and Samuel Deduno. It was a very unlikely scenario, as Masterson came in with an ERA well above six on the road and Deduno has been a statistical anomaly, with a K/BB ratio of nearly 1:1, but a very respectable 3.66 ERA. Masterson has struggled against the Twins throughout his career and the Indians touched up Deduno for four runs in four innings in his last start against them.
Yet, as the final out of the fifth was recorded, only one run had been scored. The Twins drew first blood on a sacrifice fly from Justin Morneau after back-to-back singles from Alexi Casilla and Joe Mauer. To that point, the Indians had not recorded a single hit against Deduno. The Indians did draw a couple of walks, but that was it.
Somehow, in the sixth inning, both teams decided to start hitting. Shin-Soo Choo drew a one-out walk and went to third on Michael Brantley's single, the first hit of the game for the Tribe. Carlos Santana followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at one. The tie was short-lived as the Twins answered by plating two in their half of the sixth. Pedro Florimon tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a Ben Revere single. Later in the inning, Revere scored on a Justin Morneau two-out single. The Twins led 3-1 after six.
The Indians answered in the seventh when Lonnie Chisenhall, in his first game back, launched a towering home run to the seats in right to make it a 3-2 ballgame. That, unforunately, was all the offense that the Indians could muster, and the Twins put the game away after the seventh inning stretch. Following a one out single, Florimon doubled to left center to plate a run and then scored a batter later after a wild pitch. Masterson issued a walk to Casilla and then exited the ballgame. Masterson pitched into the seventh, but still managed to give up six runs on seven hits. The final run charged to Masterson scored when reliever Scott Maine gave up a RBI single to Joe Mauer.
The Twins would add one more in the eighth off Frank Herrmann on a Ryan Doumit solo home run to cap the scoring. The Indians lost 7-2. With the loss, the Indians and Twins are now tied at the bottom of the AL Central Division at 59-82. Justin Masterson lost for the 13th time this season, while Samuel Deduno continues to baffle everyone in the baseball world with yet another quality start and his sixth win in nine decisions.
Stat of the Night: The Indians were held to two runs or less for the 48th time this season. In those games, they are 6-43.
Player of the Game: Lonnie Chisenhall. He went yard in his return.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers with Ubaldo Jimenez against Matt Harrison at 8:05 p.m.