Indians down Mets 9-4 for fourth straight win
Kluber impresses in return from disabled list while Swisher, Cabrera supply offense
Cleveland, OH -- Cleveland struck for five runs in the first inning, establishing a lead they would maintain for the entire game, as the Indians beat the New York Mets 9-4 Saturday night.
The Tribe has now won four in a row for the first time since winning eight straight from July 24 to Aug. 1. Cleveland began the day just two games back of Tampa Bay for the second American League Wild Card. After losing five of six games on a road trip to Atlanta and Detroit, the Indians have gotten hot at the right time.
"This is such a great opportunity for us, and we're starting to get to the middle of September," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "Every time we win, we're getting closer to where we want to be. It's a great chance for this team to shine and I think they're enjoying that.
"There's something to be said for just playing through ups and downs," said Francona. "That's really what the season is. And now you get toward the last month, because we've endured a lot, every game, every inning is so meaningful."
The Indians beat up on Mets starter Jonathon Niese (6-7, 3.86) in the first, picking up five runs on six hits and an error. After Michael Bourn hit a leadoff single and stole second, Swisher doubled to plate the game's first run. Jason Kipnis put down a sacrifice bunt, but was safe on a throwing error, putting runners and first and third. Carlos Santana singled to score Swisher and another single by Yan Gomes loaded the bases, still with no outs. After a fly out, Ryan Raburn doubled to deep right-center, clearing the bases and putting the Tribe up 5-0.
Swisher jacked a solo homer to left in the second, his second extra-base hit and RBI of the night. The homer was Swisher's 17th of the season and he now has six RBIs in his last two games.
"This is the push," Swisher said. "It's been a while since this team's been in this opportunity. This is where it really counts."
After the long ball, Niese settled in and held the Indians scoreless over the next four innings. He allowed six runs (five earned) over six innings of work. He surrendered nine hits and two walks while striking out five.
After New York clawed back to bring the score to 6-4, the Indians struck the final blow in the seventh inning. WithScott Atchison on in relief, Kipnis reached on a fielder's choice. After Atchison got the second out of the inning, Kipnis stole second and third before Gomes worked a walk to prolong the inning. Cabrera followed with a three-run home run, his 10th of the season, putting the Tribe back on top big, 9-4.
"Swish looks like he's starting to swing it and Cabby had a big, big hit," Francona said. "That would be so good to get both those guys hot right about the right time."
Corey Kluber (8-5, 3.54) was efficient over five innings in his first start since returning from the disabled list (sprained middle finger). He allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five.
Pestano came on and allowed a double and single, with three runs scoring on the two hits. He failed to retire a batter in his first appearance since being demoted to AAA Columbus at the end of July. Nick Hagadone, the fourth Indians pitcher in the sixth, struck out Matt den Dekker to end the inning.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.
Call me crazy, but Carrasco seems like a great candidate to replace Perez as our closer in 2014 if they dump Perez' salary, which they should.
Didn't like Pestano's body language out there, he just looks lost.