MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 7: Russ Canzler #4 of the Cleveland Indians congratulates Jason Kipnis #22 okn scoring against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning on September 7, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 7-6. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(please excuse the brevity and lateness of this recap - technical difficulties are limiting my Internet access)
This game wasn't pretty - what you'd expect for a game between the two worst teams in the American League. But the Indians ended up with a victory, their first in Minnesota since mid-May (when Derek Lowe was actually good).
September is a time for also-rans to give minor-leaguers a chance to play their way onto next year's club. But the opposite can also occur, as is the case with last night's starter Jeanmar Gomez. The Indians recalled Gomez in late August (before the rosters expanded) but only to serve as a longman thanks to a subpar stint in AAA. If Roberto Hernandez hadn't gone down with an ankle injury, Gomez may not have made a start in September.
Gomez was effective against Texas as a spot starter, but in this game, he looked very bad, allowing four earned runs in just three innings of work. After a flawless first inning, the Twins starting teeing off on him, and after getting out of the third, Manny Acta decided to pull him, as another inning could have taken the Indians completely out of the game. David Huff, who had spent the entire season in Columbus was called upon to soak up some innings, and surprisingly he did much more than that.
If Gomez's time in AAA could be described as subpar, Huff's full season in Columbus was worse; he allowed 156 hits in 138 innings, and it wasn't because of his hitter-friendly home park; he allowed 89 hits in 71.1 road innings. Given the rather large talent gap that now exists between AAA and the majors, you would have expected Huff to be hammered by the Twins, but the complete opposite happened; Huff pitched 3.1 perfect innings, and allowed the Indians to get back into the game.
Russ Canzler, who is going to get regular playing time in September, hit his first career home run as part of a three-hit, 3-RBI night. The home run occurred in the fourth, a two-run shot off Minnesota starter Liam Hendriks, and cut the Twins' lead in half. Canzler's bases-loaded dribbler drove home the game-tying run the next inning, and he was a big part of the Tribe's three-run seventh inning.
It's a good thing the Indians built up a three-run lead, for both Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez would allow a run in their innings. But after a leadoff double in the ninth, Perez retired the next three batters (though a run scored on out number two) to preserve the victory.