Amidst a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins, the Cleveland Indians had to relieve their starting pitcher Danny Salazar early in the game. After four innings on Friday, Salazar told manager Terry Francona that he was having some discomfort in his right forearm. Joseph Colon came in as relief for Salazar in the 5th inning, and although only pitching one inning, walked away with the win. Closer Cody Allen came in to earn save number 27 on the year.
The big bat of the night belonged to Mike Napoli, as he crushed his 32nd home run of the season. Napoli was dialed in on a curveball from Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey. The monster swing sent the ball 463ft into the upper deck of Target Field, the longest home run by an Indians pitcher in 2016. That home run was all the Tribe needed, to walk away as winners.
Friday night’s win, along with the Detroit Tigers winning, keeps the Indians at a six game lead over the Central Division. The Magic number, number of games to clinch the division title, shrinks to 17 games. Kansas City, who suffered a loss, drops to 10 games behind Cleveland, Chicago at 14, and Minnesota at 30. Minnesota has already been officially eliminated from any playoff berth.
Saturdays game begins at 7:10pm. Yes, you read that correctly, the game starts at 6:10pm for those in the central time zone. Mike Clevenger (2-2) will be the starting pitcher for the Indians, as he replaces the struggling Josh Tomlin. Hector Santiago (11-8) will take the hill for Minnesota.