Cleveland’s defense was able to overcome Pittsburgh’s continued shakiness on offense.
Carlos Santana drove in three early runs with a two run homer in the first and an RBI double in the third. Brad Lincoln was unscathed beyond that in six innings. The Pirates scored twice in the bottom of the first thanks to three hits and two Cleveland errors. Tribe starter Justin Masterson settled in after that, allowing just two more hits and no more runs over the next five innings. He struck out seven all told in his six innings.
But the Indians bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Rafael Perez relieved Masterson to start the seventh. He allowed a single and then committed an error to put two men on. Following a successful sacrifice from Andy LaRoche, Perez uncorked a wild pitch allowing Jason Jaramillo to score the tying run.
The Indians nearly retook the lead immediately. Brendan Donnelley gave up a single and a double to put runners on second and third with none out in the 8th. But he got the next three hitters with no damage done.
Jensen Lewis wasn’t as fortunate for Cleveland. He gave up a walk to Andrew McCutchen and a single to Garrett Jones. Lastings Milledge dropped a sac bunt and Tony Sipp was summoned. He gave up a sac fly to Pedro Alvarez to push the Pirates in front. After a walk to Jason Jaramillo, Bobby Crosby singled home another run.
Octavio Dotel finished the game with a perfect ninth. Donnelley got the win. Lewis was hung out to dry for the loss. Lincoln went six and gave up 8 hits and three runs. He struck out two.
Crosby had three hits and Garrett Jones extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Jones is hitting over .400 during the streak.
Two straight wins!
If I were to pick a favorite team based strictly on odd intangibles, it’d be the Tribe. Jensen Lewis and I attended the same high school (several years apart) and Justin Masterson attended the high school my kids will go to in a few years.
This was Masterson’s first career appearance against Pittsburgh.
Crosby’s last three hit game was 5/7/09. His dad, Ed Crosby, had four games in his career in which he collected three hits.
Pirates last won two straight 5/31/10 to 6/1/10 against the Cubs.
Pittsburgh failed to homer in the series.