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Indians Indians Archive Game 77 Recap: Marson, Lopez Pace Indians Win
Written by Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore

2012 06 choo oriolesWho were those guys in the blue jerseys at Camden Yards on Saturday?

The Cleveland Indians rolled over Baltimore, 11-5, behind a season-high 19 hits (after getting 16 on Friday) from some unexpected faces. The win helps the Tribe pull within 2.5 games of the White Sox, who lost 4-0 to the Yankees earlier in the day, for first place in the American League Central Division.

How good were things for the Indians on Saturday? Reliever Tony Sipp, who entered the game with an ERA of 6.66, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The hit parade was led by familiar faces Shin-SooChoo, who was 4-for-5 with a home run (his eighth on the year), three RBI and four runs scored to raise his average to .291; as well as Asdrubal Cabrera, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI to move to .298 on the season.

But that was to be expected, as Choo (8-for-13 with two home runs, six RBI and seven runs scored in the series) and Cabrera are two of the team’s better hitters. What was totally unexpected was the performance of Jose Lopez and Lou Marson.

Lopez went 4-for-5 with three RBI while Marson had four hits – a double, triple and two singles, and drove in a run.

The Tribe could have scored even more as they stranded 16 runners and went 7-for-22 with runners in scoring position.

The Indians got on the board first with single runs in the first and second innings. They could have had more in the first inning, loading the bases with one out, but Shelley Duncan struck out and Casey Kotchman flied out to end the threat.

In the top of the third Jason Kipnis was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. Following the hit by pitch on Friday night that broke Lonnie Chisenhall’s arm, the plunking of Kipnis led Indians radio man Tom Hamilton to declare that an Oriole hitter must go down. (Hamilton was in a feisty mood during the game, at one point ripping on the Orioles’ orange uniforms. The heat must have been getting to him.)

The Indians put three runs on the board in the fourth inning, chasing left-handed starter Dana Eveland, thanks to a Cabrera single, a Kipnis ground out and an infield single by Lopez. The Orioles briefly got back into the game in the bottom of the inning on a three-run homer by Chris Davis, the only real bad pitch by starter Josh Tomlin, who went six innings, striking out four and allowing seven hits in picking up his fourth win of the season.

The Tribe bounced back in the top of the fifth with three runs, thanks to an RBI single by Choo, an RBI double by Cabrera and an RBI single by Lopez. The Indians added two more in the sixth and a run in the night to pull away for the win.

The offense was so dominant that Aaron Cunningham – the ninth hitter in the lineup – had six at bats during the game. Of course, Cunningham went 0-for-6 and is now three for his last 36 (.083) and his hitting .167 on the season. Probably not the kind of performance Cunningham wanted to put up with Travis Hafner due to come of the disabled list on Monday. Surely Cunningham’s time in Wahoo red, white and blue has to be coming to end, doesn’t it?

The win is the second for the Tribe against a left-handed starter in the series. And after struggling for most of the month of June to score runs, the Indians have scored 26 runs against the Orioles in the first three games of the series.

The Tribe looks to win the series on Sunday as Justin Masterson, 4-7 with a 4.09 ERA (but he’s posted an ERA of 2.06 in June) faces Brian Matusz, 5-9 with a 5.24 ERA (but a lefty!)

(Photo by The Associated Press)

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