It took the Indians nine innings to score those first two runs. They came on a homer in the ninth inning off of Luis Ayala, who was going for one of those uncommon feats wherein a relief pitcher closes the game out by pitching the final two innings. In the end, it didn’t happen, so Jim Johnson came out and promptly gave up a double, which became a third run.
This all came after Zach Britton pitched a solid six innings and got three runs of support, with the fourth run being tacked on in the eighth by Wilson Betemit (who blasted a homer into the right field stands). Britton only gave up four hits total and walked two batters, striking out five. He actually looked pretty darn good today, which is certainly exciting given that we haven’t had him around for most of the year. It’s reassuring knowing that we have pitchers in reserve, at least.
Of course, the problem today was that we couldn’t exactly subdue the opponents in the final inning of the game after pretty much smothering them for the first eight. Credit to the Indians for not knowing when they’re beaten, because that’s a mentality that I think all sports teams should have, but the Orioles bullpen really made it possible for them. Jim Johnson ended up with save number 30, sure, but he allowed a run and ended up walking a batter before finally getting things done. It was more stressful than it needed to be.
Oh, but Jim Johnson is leading the AL in saves, so there’s that, at least.
Tomorrow night we play Cleveland again, somewhat oddly ending a series on a Monday night, before we get to return home. We don’t have an off-day until August 2nd. That’s actually a longer time than it seems because we’re playing every night. Eh, we’ll manage now that we’ve remembered how to win again. It’s such a relief knowing that this team hasn’t completely forgotten everything.