Indians Run Wild in Second Straight Offensive Explosion; Indians 13, Angels 3
Bob Toth | On 12, Aug 2016
The Angels had no answer for the Indians running game, as their perfect 8-for-8 effort on the base paths helped manufacture plenty of runs for Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco in a 13-3 demolition of Los Angeles on Friday night.
The scene in the top of the first inning was eerily similar on Friday for the Indians, who fell behind quickly on a solo home run. On Thursday, it was a Mike Trout shot, while on Friday, Kole Calhoun delivered a one-out blast to right-center off of Carrasco to give the Angels the early lead. Unlike the first game of the series, the Angels were not done, as Trout doubled and scored on a single to left by Albert Pujols. A double one out later from Geovany Soto would put two in scoring position before Carrasco struck out Jefry Marte looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
The Indians manufactured a run in the first to get their scoring going. Rajai Davis drew eleven pitches before walking to start the home half. He picked off second and third base on consecutive pitches and scored on a single to left by Kipnis off of the left-hander Tyler Skaggs to make it a 2-1 game. Brandon Guyer tied it to start the second, homering to right-center.
The Angels reclaimed the lead in the third after another extra base hit from Calhoun, who opened the inning with a double to center. He moved to third on a wild pitch by Carrasco and scored on a slow roller by Pujols to third to make it a 3-2 game. The Indians would be held scoreless in the third by Skaggs, the last inning on the night that they would fail to put up at least one run.
In the bottom of the fourth, run manufacturing was back in business at Progressive Field as Jose Ramirez singled, stole second before a Guyer foul out, stole third, and scored on a single to center by Abraham Almonte to tie the game at three.
The Indians used a big fifth inning to put the game out of reach. Davis singled and stole his third base of the night before Kipnis doubled him home with a shot over the left fielder’s head. Kipnis sprinted home on a single to right by Francisco Lindor to make it 5-3. Mike Napoli singled to left and Lindor alertly moved to third on a bad throw by Shane Robinson. After a force out at second that failed to get Lindor in from third, Ramirez picked off second base before Guyer drove both in with a big two-run single to make it a 7-3 contest.
Deolis Guerra replaced Skaggs on the mound and got two quick outs before walking Davis. Before the Indians center fielder had a chance to add to his theft total for the night, Kipnis singled him to third and he scored on a single from Lindor as Kipnis replaced Davis 90 feet from home. With Napoli at the plate, Lindor stole second and the throw bounced into the outfield, allowing Kipnis to score the second run of the inning on the error before Napoli struck out.
Ramirez homered to lead off the bottom of the seventh against reliever Jose Valdez. Against former Indians minor leaguer J.C. Ramirez in the eighth, Kipnis doubled and Lindor reached on a single. After a lineout by Lonnie Chisenhall, Ramirez doubled in Kipnis and Guyer singled home both runners to make it 13-3.
The Indians (65-48) improved to 17 games above the .500 mark and have started out their homestand with a healthy +20 in the run differential department, outscoring the Angels (49-66) 27-7 in the first two games of four from Progressive Field. Those Angels have now lost eight straight, their longest losing skid since 1999.
CARRASCO GIVES A QUALITY EFFORT
Carrasco (8-6, 3.21 ERA) ended a personal three-game losing streak with a quality effort to back all of the run support that he was provided by the offense on the night. He went seven innings, allowed three runs on eight hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out eight. He exited with 98 pitches thrown, including 65 for strikes.
It was his second straight start of seven innings and three earned runs allowed. He has struck out 17 batters over his last 14 innings.
SKAGGS CAN’T SLOW THE RUNNING GAME
Skaggs (1-1, 4.37) took his first loss of the season as the Indians managed to exploit the left-hander’s inability to control the running game against them. Coupled with the slower throwing Soto behind the plate, eight bases were stolen on the night, giving the Indians frequent opportunities with runners in scoring position.
Skaggs lasted five innings, giving up seven runs on ten hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He threw 70 of 96 pitches for strikes.
RUN FOR IT, RUN
The Indians matched their team record of eight stolen bases, last done on August 27, 1917, against the Washington Senators at League Park. The Tribe would lose that game, 11-9. Braggo Roth picked off four of the eight bases, with Joe Harris stealing two and Tris Speaker and Bill Wambsganss each picking off one against Eddie Ainsmith. The Senators also picked off five bases of their own that day against Cleveland’s Steve O’Neill.
On Friday, it was Davis and Ramirez who led the way with three picks each, while Lindor and Kipnis each had one. All four were heavily involved in the scoring, as Ramirez touched home four times, Davis and Kipnis did similar three times, while Lindor did so twice.
Davis leads the club and the American League with 31 thefts. Ramirez has 17, with Lindor up to 15 and Kipnis coming in with eleven.
GUYER’S CAREER DAY
The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays to provide the club with some strong right-handed hitting against southpaws, but on Friday, it did not matter what arm the pitcher was throwing with, Guyer was going to do some damage.
Guyer matched his career high of five RBI, previously achieved once on May 15 of this season against Oakland, with his 3-for-4 day at the plate. He scored once, walked another time, and was only retired on a foul out deep into the left field corner.
GETTING RISPY WITH IT
The stolen bases provided plenty of chances for the Indians with runners in scoring position throughout the night. When those at bats came, Cleveland cashed in, going 9-for-16 with runners on second or third base. Kipnis was 2-for-2 and Lindor was 3-3 to lead the way, followed by a 2-for-3 effort from Guyer.
KIPNIS’ BIG DAY
Kipnis was involved in the action all evening long. He was 4-for-5 at the plate, scored three times, drove in two, and had a pair of doubles to go with two singles.
The strong offensive showing pushed his season batting average up to .291, giving the club five regulars and three qualified hitters who are batting .290 or higher for the season.
STREAKS EXTENDED AGAIN
Lindor, Napoli, and Ramirez all added to their active hitting streaks on Friday.
Lindor was 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored in addition to his stolen base. His RBI-single in the fifth pushed his streak to eight straight. He added two more singles before his night was done.
Napoli extended his streak right after Lindor, sending the Indians’ All-Star shortstop (playing DH on Friday) to third on his single to right. He was 1-for-4 on the day to push his streak to a dozen games.
Ramirez bumped his streak to 16 with a 3-for-5 day at the plate. He extended it with a single to right to start the fourth and added a homer in the seventh and an RBI-double in the eighth.
SANTANA SITS OUT
One night after taking a liner off of the right side of his face while sitting in the Indians dugout, Carlos Santana was held out of the Cleveland lineup, but things progressed well without him on the field. It was just the second time Santana has missed a game this season.
He was diagnosed with a contusion and said that he was not experiencing any concussion-like symptoms, as he was familiar with the ailment from his time as a catcher.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Indians catching prospect Francisco Mejia extended his own hitting streak to 49 straight games with a sixth inning single for the Lynchburg Hillcats in their 10-2 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash on Friday night. After flying out in the first and striking out in the third, Mejia singled to lead off the sixth inning, added a double the next inning to drive in a run, and grounded out to end the game in the bottom of the ninth.
It moved him into a tie for the fifth-longest streak in minor league history.
The Indians will look to secure a series win on Saturday night, as they host the Angels in the third of four games against the club this weekend.
Mike Clevinger (0-1, 6.97) will take the ball for the Indians and make his first career start against the team that drafted him in 2011 and traded him to Cleveland in 2014. He will have no easy matchup, as the Angels will send right-hander Matt Shoemaker (6-12, 4.07) to the mound. Do not look at the lopsided win-loss record for proof of what Shoemaker is capable of – in three career starts against the Indians, he is 1-0 and has struck out 31 batters in 22 innings, including ten in the first two starts and eleven in his start in Anaheim against the Indians earlier this year. He has not allowed a run to the Indians over his last two starts and the last four of his first outing, a span of 18 innings.
First pitch on Saturday night is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET. The game will be shown on FS1 and will be followed by the second batch of the annual Rock ‘n Blast Fireworks display.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images