Reaction: Roller coaster game ends in Cleveland Indians loss

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Key Moments from Saturday

The battle between Corey Kluber and David Price, the Opening Day aces for each club, was as billed, but the Tigers’ bullpen bested the Cleveland Indians’ on Saturday en route to Detroit’s 9-6 win.  The four-hour-and-16-minute affair had multiple lead changes, including a three-run sixth which put the Tribe up 3-2 and a two-run eighth which knotted the game at five.  Ultimately, the Indians were done in by a four-run Detroit ninth, sending the crowd of 23,161 home unhappy. 

Positives

Corey Kluber was solid, despite letting up a home run to leadoff hitter Anthony Gose to start the game. In his 6.1 innings of work, Kluber struck out 10 while walking just one.

Jerry Sands was the offensive all-star, delivering twice in his Indians debut. Sands had two, two-run doubles.  The first plated two and gave the Tribe a 3-2 lead in the sixth, and his second rallied the ball club to a 5-5 tie in the eighth.  Sands had an incredible spring, and many thought deserved to make the final 25-man roster to begin the year.  With a continuation of his spring, this former top Dodger prospect may be finally realizing his potential.

Jason Kipnis again demonstrated that his injury woes may be behind him, as he had another multi-hit game, going 2-5 with one RBI.

-Attendance for the game was significantly higher than last year’s second home game. Saturday’s attendance of 23,161 was up from last year’s second home game in which just 14, 153 were present.  Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, as Cleveland was 15th out of 15 American League teams in attendance in 2014.

Negatives

-Saturday was a bad day for the bullpen. Marc Rzepczynski did not record an out in the sixth, but gave up two earned runs while allowing a walk and a hit.  Bryan Shaw, credited with a blown save, allowed a run in 0.1 innings.  Cody Allen took the loss, allowing four earned runs via three Detroit hits and three walks.

Yan Gomes was forced to exit the game in the ninth. With the bases loaded, Yan took a throw from Carlos Santana and completed the force play at the plate, but in the process of stretching for the ball, Rajai Davis slid into Gomes’ leg.  Gomes was in immediate pain and needed to be helped off the field.  Per the Indians, the catcher suffered a right knee sprain and is scheduled for an MRI.

Moving Forward

Jerry Sands‘s start may have also began the unraveling of Ryan Raburn’s tenure as an Indian, for as hot as Sands has been, Raburn has been that cold. Raburn and Sands both fit the same mold (right handed, fourth outfielders), and Raburn, due in part to injury, batted just .200 last season and is off to a 0-5 start this season.

Raburn batted .205 in 16 Spring games in stark contrast to Sands .304 average in 22 games.

Yan Gomes is scheduled for an MRI on his injured knee on Sunday morning.

-In other injury news, Michael Brantley missed his third game in the last four due to a sore back. Whether he plays Sunday could be very telling as to whether or not a DL-stint will be necessary.

T.J. House is scheduled for his first start on Sunday. House will be countered by Kyle Lobstein.

Next: Friday 5: (Too Early to Make) Cleveland Indians Observations

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