Kipnis' Three-Run Blast the Difference as Indians Top Twins 5-3; Three Takeaways
CLEVELAND - Jason Kipnis had already hit two balls hard by the time he came to the plate in the 6th, but this time he got just enough, as his three-run homer just cleared the wall in right for a three-run homer to lead the Indians to a 5-3 win over the Twins Thursday afternoon.
The three-run shot was the 13th homer of the season for the second basemen, who would give this team a huge lift in the playoffs if he could get hot.
Mike Clevinger did enough for his 10th win of the season, going 6.2 with no earned runs, four hits and nine K's in the win.
Brad Hand allowed a homer in the 9th, but was good enough to earn the save for the Indians, who push their mark to 76-57 on the season.
The Rays are in town starting Friday night, but for now here are three takeaways from the Thursday afternoon win.
1. Kip in the Clutch
Indians 2B Jason Kipnis came up big when the team needed it, belting a three-run blast with two outs and the game tied at two in the sixth inning.
It was a shot that just got over the wall in right, but it was good enough to give the Indians a 5-2 lead at the time in the eventual 5-3 win.
For Kipnis it was his 13th homer, and he also had a couple other hard hit balls in the win, including a double in the third inning to lead off the frame, through he was stranded at third.
Kipnis is hitting .229 on the season, but having his pop at the bottom of the lineup in the postseason would be a huge lift to this team.
2. Good Day for Clevinger
Mike Clevinger earned his 10th win of the season on Thursday, going 6.2 innings, allowing four hits, two runs (neither of which were earned), a walk and nine K's in the victory.
He threw 114 pitches in the win, 70 for strikes, and kept Twins batters guessing all day long. He drops his ERA to 3.17 with the win, and his only mistake was a two-run homer by Ehire Adrianza in the 5th that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead at the time.
He also took a nasty shot off his leg/thigh when a pitch came up the middle, and while he was in pain for awhile, he gutted it out and stayed in the game in a good effort.
3. Bounce Back for Allen
Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen got a mixed reaction when he came into the game with one out in the 8th inning, as fans were thinking back to his free fall on Wednesday in which he allowed two runs to allow the Twins to go on to a 4-3 win.
This time though he was much better, as he got the two outs he needed in the winning effort for the Tribe. He did give up a 3-2 walk to Logan Forsythe, but then got a fly out, and then Forsythe was picked off first base, with Allen making the tag to end the inning.
Terry Francona has said over and that the team needs Cody Allen to be good in the postseason for the team to be successful.
While it was just two outs in the win on Thursday, it was a positive step for Allen in what's been a tough season.