Ubaldo Jimenez didn't strike out 10 batters Tuesday night for the first time in his last three starts. What he did do was throw six scoreless innings which carries a lot more weight in pitching circles than strikeouts. The Indians used Jimenez's six scoreless innings and a return to some grind-it-out offense to beat Baltimore 4-3 at Progressive Field to keep pace in the race for the American League's second wild card spot with 24 games left to play. What began so well almost ended badly in the ninth inning as closer Chris Perez gave up a three-run homer to Nate McLouth with no one out. Perez who earlier in the day was found guilty of drug abuse in Rocky River Municipal Court and put on a year's probation for the fourth degree misdemeanor rebounded to strikeout Brian Roberts and Manny Machado and retire MLB's top home run hitter Chris Davis on a ground out to second to give the Indians just their fourth win in the last 11 games. The Indians are trying to catch Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot. The victory moved them to three games off the pace but they trailed the Yankees and Orioles who were two games and 2 1/2 games back respectively. Following Monday's 7-2 loss to the Orioles the Indians held a players' only meeting. They'd lost seven of their last 10 games while scoring just 27 runs. Their last seven runs in that stretch had all come on home runs which seemed to indicate that each Indian had taken it upon himself to be the hero. After that game second baseman Jason Kipnis talked about the value of working the count and passing the torch to the hitter waiting on deck. It looked like somebody was listening. The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Kipnis and Carlos worked Chris Tillman (15-5 3.71) for walks to start the inning. Michael Brantley advanced them with a bunt and Asdrubal Cabrera's sacrifice fly made it 1-0. "That's the game we have to play" said Cabrera. "We have to get as many people on base as we can. It doesn't matter if it's a walk or a base hit." They tried a similar formula in the sixth and it led to a three-run inning and a 4-0 lead. Santana opened with a walk. Brantley doubled him to third and Cabrera hit his second straight sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Tillman intentionally walked Jason Kubel -- it was Kubel's third intentional walk since he joined the Tribe on Friday from Arizona -- and Yan Gomes followed with a two-run double off the left field wall. Matt Carson who pinch ran for Kubel scored all the way from first.
Indians hold on to beat Orioles, 4-3, behind six scoreless innings by Jimenez
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Sep 4