We have a more detailed column on this coming later today, but the Cleveland Indians have turned up the heat on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Cleveland is now just two games behind Detroit after their thumping of Texas on Monday night, and are actually even with the Tigers in the win column. The Indians bottomed out at six games under .500 three different times this season, and have clawed their way back up to two games above .500. They’re 14-6 since the A’s swept them at Progressive Field on May 18th, and that includes an embarrassing stretch where they lost five out six. That series in Cleveland with the Tigers two weeks from now is looking bigger and bigger.
Game of the Night: Blue Jays 5, Twins 4. You know, maybe this *is* a season of destiny for Toronto. The Jays led this one 4-2 going into the top of the ninth, and Casey Janssen had a rare rough outing. He got Oswaldo Arcia to pop up for out number one, but then allowed a single to new Twin Kendrys Morales. Trevor Plouffe grounded into a fielder’s choice for out number two, but then Kurt Suzuki doubled in pinch runner Eduardo Nunez to make it 4-3. Eduardo Escobar then followed up with a double of his own to tie the game. Janssen struck out Danny Santana to end the inning, and Toronto had a chance to walk it off. Dioner Navarro led the inning off with a walk, and after Anthony Gose struck out trying to bunt pinch runner Erik Kratz over, Jose Reyes singled to move the winning run into scoring position. Kevin Pillar then followed up with a walk off single to give Toronto the win.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Bud Norris pitched the Orioles to a 4-0 win over the Red Sox, allowing three hits over eight shutout innings, walking three and striking out six. Garrett Richards helped the Angels beat the Athletics 4-1, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, punching out four without a walk. In Pittsburgh’s 6-2 win over the Cubs, Charlie Morotn allowed one run on six hits in seven innings, striking out seven without a walk. In Atlanta’s 3-1 win over Colorado, Gavin Floyd gave up one run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out four. David Price earned another hard luck loss in Tampa Bay’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Seattle, giving up three runs on seven hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out ten.
Hitting Lines of the Night: In Cleveland’s 17-7 win over Texas, Lonnie Chisenhall had the one of the best offensive games of the year, going 5/5 with a double, three homers, and nine RBI. Michael Brantley chipped in by going 3/3 with a homer, five runs, and two walks, while Jason Kipnis helped out by going 3/5 with three runs, four RBI, and a stolen base. In the Dodgers’ 6-2 win over Cincinnati, Scott Van Slyke went 3/3 with two homers, three runs, four RBI, and two walks. In the loss, Starlin Castro went 3/4 with a double, a homer, and two RBI. Ian Desmond pushed the Nationals to a 9-2 win over the Giants, going 3/5 with a double, a triple, and five RBI.
Other Games: The White Sox beat the Tigers 6-5. The Astros edged the Diamondbacks 4-3. The Yankees and Royals got rained out.
Today’s Games: Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals take on the Rays. A.J. Burnett and the Phillies host the Padres and Ian Kennedy. Travis Wood and the Cubs take on Francisco Liriano and the Pirates. Josh Beckett and Mike Leake will duel in Cincinnati. Justin Verlander starts for the Tigers against the White Sox. Corey Kluber starts for the Indians against Jason Vargas and the Royals. Mike Minor gets the start for the Braves in Colorado. Drew Pomeranz takes the hill for the A’s in Anaheim. Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners host the Yankees. Doug Fister and Madison Bumgarner will square off in San Francisco.
National TV: Dodgers-Reds (7 PM, MLB Network), Red Sox-Orioles (7 PM, MLB Network)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.