Bullpen's 12-inning effort a perfect remedy

Bullpen's 12-inning effort a perfect remedy

Bullpen's 12-inning effort a perfect remedy
CLEVELAND -- For anyone concerned with the Indians' ailing bullpen after last week's road trip, its performance Tuesday should have provided plenty of relief.

After a two-hour-plus rain delay knocked starter Justin Masterson out of the game after just two innings of work, the Cleveland bullpen stifled Detroit for 12 innings before the Tribe finally broke through with a game-winning run shortly before 2 a.m. ET.

Last week in Boston and Texas -- against two of the top three highest-scoring teams in the American League -- the Indians' bullpen surrendered three walk-off hits and suffered an eighth-inning implosion that cost the team Sunday's contest in Arlington.

Tuesday's dose of pitching served as the perfect remedy, and a 3-2 win in 14 innings was the result.

"That was remarkable, especially considering the way these guys had to battle in those seven games against the Red Sox and the Rangers," said Tribe manager Manny Acta. "It was unbelievable. ... For these guys to go through those guys for 12 innings, I can't say enough. It was fantastic."

The "Bullpen Mafia" combined to allow just six hits and struck out 11. The Indians' bullpen last hurled at least 12 scoreless innings in a game on Aug. 20, 1981. No AL team has blanked the opposition for that long in one contest since the Twins kept Cleveland off the board for 15 frames on Aug. 31, 1993.

Chad Durbin replaced Masterson following the lightning and heavy rain and hurled three scoreless frames. Rafael Perez worked his way out of his own jam in the sixth before Tony Sipp, Vinnie Pestano, Chris Perez and Joe Smith bridged the gap to long reliever Frank Herrmann, who entered in the 13th inning.

The last man standing in the Tribe 'pen, Herrmann earned the victory after tossing a pair of scoreless frames. He said the relievers fed off each other's success.

"'Don't be that guy' is the mindset. Don't give it up," said Herrmann, who said he drank "probably five Red Bulls" while waiting for his chance to toe the rubber. "You see everybody else do it, they set the tone.

"After a rough week for our bullpen, it's good to bounce back this way. They couldn't have scripted it better for us."