Cleveland shook off its Bay Area sweep on Monday night, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The first inning was explosive, as the Diamondbacks and the Indians combined to score 5 runs. What began as an offensive display quickly changed into fast paced pitcher's duel.
Ian Kennedy gave up a two-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera before retiring any Cleveland batters. After giving up two runs (one earned) in his last 14 innings, Kennedy was off to a bad start.
Things got sticky once again in the sixth, when Kennedy gave up two more runs, including Lonnie Chisenhall's first career RBI. Still, Kennedy would remain in the game, pitching eight strong innings, striking out eight Indians and keeping his team in the game.
Mitch Talbot got off to an even worse start, allowing three runs in the first inning. Talbot only pitched five innings, but was able to rein in the Arizona attack after his shaky beginning.
Joe Smith and Tony Sipp pitched two scoreless innings for the Tribe, and by the eighth inning it was looking bleak for the D-backs.
Wily Mo Pena pinch hit for Kennedy and hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to lead off the inning. Kelly Johnson stepped up to the plate against Vinnie Pestano and an epic battle ensued.
After failing to drop down a sacrifice bunt, Johnson fouled away several Pestano pitches before tearing into the 11th pitch of the at-bat, a rocket into right center that plated Pena and earned Johnson a game-tying triple.
The crowd of 25,726 went wild as Stephen Drew approached the plate, the leading run at third base and no outs in the inning. Patience was once again a virtue, as Drew quickly went down 0-2 before challenging Pestano, fouling off strikes and taking balls. Quickly, the count was full.
Drew couldn't deliver, and Pestano finally retired the D-backs shortstop on the tenth pitch -- a short popup to the outfield that wasn't far enough to create a sacrifice fly situation.
Justin Upton was intentionally walked, bringing up Chris Young with runners on first and third and one out. Pestano and the Tribe decided to slow down the pace of the game, with several pickoff attempts, mound meetings and an occasional refooting on the rubber. It visibly annoyed CY, who struck out swinging after what felt like 45 minutes.
After Rafael Perez replaced Pestano, Miguel Montero was struck out to end the threat.
The momentum was on Arizona's side, but Orlando Cabrera hit a two-out home run off of J.J. Putz to give Cleveland a 5-4 lead going into bottom of the ninth inning.
Ryan Roberts led off the bottom of the ninth with a single off of Indians closer Chris Perez. Willie Bloomquist laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved the tying run to second base with one out. After Xavier Nady flied out to right, Melvin Mora was Arizona's last chance.
Mora was unable to come up with the magic necessary, flying out to right field to end the game.
With the loss, Arizona drops to 43-37 on the season. With San Francisco out of action, the D-backs fall two games behind the pace in the NL West race.