Kelly Shoppach tags out Joe Crede.
No real news may be good news regarding Victor Martinez. The Indians issued a brief statement this morning that the All-Star catcher "is day to day with a mild left hamstring strain," and "no roster move involving Victor is being considered at this time." Martinez left Cleveland's 10-8 opening-day win in the second inning Monday. He was hurt trying to advance to second base on a pitch in the dirt.
Kelly Shoppach replaced Martinez and was part of the heroics in the win over the Chicago White Sox. Shoppach entered after Martinez singled home Travis Hafner to give Cleveland a 7-2 lead. Chicago rallied to tie, but Shoppach kept them from moving ahead with a nice defensive play in the top of the eighth inning before singling to open Cleveland's decisive three-run rally in the bottom half.
With the bases loaded, shortstop Jhonny Peralta fielded a slow bouncer and threw home to Shoppach, who would have preferred to just step on the plate for the force out. But Peralta's throw was high and wide. Shoppach had to jump for the throw, then sweep a tag on sliding Joe Crede.
The White Sox argued that Crede was safe.
"The umpire was in the right spot, in good position, and he called him out," Shoppach said. "I might have got him with the laces of my glove on his sleeve, I don't know. The only thing I know is he was out."
The Indians got a bigger break a moment later when old friend Jim Thome, whose pair of two-run homers had helped the White Sox get back into the game, hit a broken-bat grounder to Asdrubal Cabrera. The second baseman flipped to Peralta for one out and as the shortstop tried to throw to first to get the slow-running Thome, baserunner Orlando Cabrera went out of the baseline to disrupt the double play. The umpire ruled interference, called an automatic double play and Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen raced back onto the field to argue in vain yet again.
"We caught a break there, but it was the right call," said Shoppach, who then strode to the plate and singled. Peralta followed with a single and reliever Octavio Dotel wisely walked Franklin Gutierrez, who went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer in his first opener in Cleveland.
Dotel came back to get two quick outs before Casey Blake lined a three-run double off the wall in left, just missing a grand slam. That made it 10-7.
Joe Borowski came on and got a typical Joe Borowski save, yielding a homer to Jermaine Dye to make it a 10-8 before getting three outs.
The happiness in the clubhouse was tempered over concern for Martinez.
"It feels great to contribute, but not in this way,"Shoppach said. "I'm confident in my abilities, I was prepared when I came into the game because that's what I do ... but I hope Victor's OK."
Victor Martinez rolls in pain as he is tagged out by Chicago's Juan Uribe. Martinez strained his left hamstring trying to advance to second base on a pitch in the dirt during Cleveland's seven-run second inning Monday.