An eight-game, three-city road trip included three one-hitters, two of them losses, a 14-inning defeat and a rare triple play. But as it concluded Wednesday high atop the Hollywood hills, the Cleveland Indians got back to being themselves.
For the second consecutive day, they were carried by some of the struggling and often overshadowed players in the lineup. Ryan Raburn hit a two-run home run, just his second of the season, and clutch singles by David Murphy and Mike Aviles in the eighth inning helped the Indians rally for a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
The Indians took the series 2-1 against the hottest team in the major leagues since June 13 and ended the unusual adventure with a 4-4 record.
The finish was not without drama, as closer Cody Allen faced six batters in the eighth and ninth innings before recording his eighth save. With runners on second and third and two out in the ninth, Allen induced Matt Kemp to fly out to the warning track in center field.
But the afternoon was mainly about the Indians who have never been to an All-Star Game and aren’t likely to go.
Right fielder Murphy broke out of a slump of more than two weeks Tuesday night with three hits. Pinch-hitting Wednesday against Dodgers’ right-hander Brian Wilson, Murphy stroked a RBI single to left center. After Lonnie Chisenhall was intentionally walked to load the bases, Mike Aviles hit a two-run single to right center.
“That’s the kind of team we have to be,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We have to have balance, we have to keep innings going. When we do, that gives us our best chance for success.”
Aviles said when he came up he was hoping just to add another run.
“I have nothing but faith in our bullpen,” Aviles said. “I knew if we got one run there we were going to be OK and it worked out well.”
Aviles agreed that the Indians won the way they need to.
“We have good depth, we’ve got to get it all going at the same time,” Aviles said. “Today was one of those days where Murphy came off the bench, Raburn hadn’t played in a little bit and myself, either, and we were able to help out. Knowing the starting lineup may be a little tired, it’s a long road trip ... It’s always good when you get other people contributing.”
Batting .204, Raburn said his home run felt “twice as good” because of the way his season has gone. Murphy, who hit for Raburn, boosted his average to .253.
Aviles knows what it can do for the Indians if Murphy and Raburn heat up.
“It’s huge because they’re both very, very good players,” Aviles said. “You know what Bobby (Raburn) is capable of doing, we saw it last year, and everybody knows what kind of hitter Murphy is. When those guys are hitting, we can be a really, really good team.”
By Marla Ridenour - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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