The Indians were six outs from an impressive 4-3 road trip. Up 3-0 going into the eighth inning, Josh Tomlin remained in the game with the Joe Smith warming behind him. Tomlin had gone through the Texas middle of the order in the seventh, and had come through unscathed, so Manny Acta tried to get another inning out of him. But the way Tomlin was pitching, it would have tough to pull him after the seventh. Before the eighth, Tomlin had given up three hits all night, and this was in Texas against one of the most productive lineups in the game.
After Tomlin allowed the first two runners to reach, Acta pulled him, bringing in Joe Smith to quell the rally. A Yorvit Torrealba swinging bunt loaded the bases, and Endy Chvez's single cut the lead to 3-2. But in my mind the key play of the game with the walk to Ian Kinsler, which re-loaded the bases, and set the stage for Texas to make an already big inning even bigger.
Michael Brantley was behind most of the Tribe offense. He tripled home the second run of the game in the fifth inning, and homered in the eighth to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
It's tough to be positive after blowing two games in a series like this, but I'll try. The Indians went 3-4 in probably their toughest road trip of the season, though the played their best stretch of baseball since the All-Star Break. They come back to Cleveland four games out, and with 12 games left against Detroit. They're still in it, and have an opportunity make up ground quickly this week.
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