CLEVELAND: Good things come to those who wait might really be true.
It was dead on Saturday night at Progressive Field, with the Indians on the receiving end of eight walks in their 8-7 win over the Twins.
They weren’t widely spaced walks, or walks with two out and nobody on base. They were walks that hurt, game-changing walks.
And at the other end of the spectrum of old English adages, nothing good came to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, as he waited for the walks to cease. And he waited a long time.
Starter P.J. Walters was the biggest offender, and he didn’t wait long to demonstrate his total disregard for the strike zone. In the first inning, Walters walked five, hit a batter and gave up just one hit but was charged with six runs.
Not all of them scored while he was on the mound. Walters left with two out, the bases loaded and four runs home. Anthony Swarzak took over and gave up a bloop single to Michael Bourn that scored the final two runs of the inning.
Of the five batters who walked, four scored, and the walk to Drew Stubbs drove in a run. Mike Aviles, who was hit by a pitch, also scored without having to put bat on ball.
Walters might not have kept his team in the game, but he got his work in. Despite pitching two-thirds of an inning, he threw 46 pitches, only 18 for strikes. Swarzak needed six more pitches to finish the inning for a total of 52. And there were eight innings still to play.
Minnesota walks slowed to a crawl after Walters left, but in the sixth, Ryan Pressly walked leadoff batter Jason Giambi, who later scored on Bourn’s single.
Corey Kluber didn’t have his best stuff, but one thing he didn’t do was shy away from throwing strikes. Kluber worked 5⅔ innings, giving up three runs and eight hits, but he walked only one, and that batter didn’t score. Of his 100 pitches, 63 were strikes.
Granted, Kluber didn’t put the Tribe in an advantageous position early, when he gave up a two-run homer to Joe Mauer two batters into the game.
But Kluber watched his teammates pile up runs in the first and made sure not to waste them. He gave up a leadoff homer to Oswaldo Arcia in the fourth for his only other misstep.
The Tribe offense produced 12 hits, three by Jason Kipnis, who doubled home two runs in the first, singled in the second and tripled in the fourth. Bourn had three hits and three RBI. Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana each had two hits, and Stubbs drove in two runs.
After Kluber left, plenty of innings remained for the bullpen to show what it could do. Unfortunately for the Tribe, some of what the relievers showed wasn’t pretty.
Nick Hagadone was charged with a run let in by Cody Allen in the seventh, and Bryan Shaw gave up the first of two home runs by Chris Parmalee, this one leading off the eighth. On the other hand, when Shaw left with two on and one out the same inning, Rich Hill struck out Mauer and Ryan Doumit.
Vinnie Pestano kept the excitement going by giving up two runs in the ninth, including a two-out solo homer by Parmalee.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.