Tribe Weathers Rain to One-Hit Angels; Indians 5, Angels 1
Bob Toth | On 14, Aug 2016
It seems to be a theme in Cleveland sports that a former player for the city comes back and enacts his revenge after departing. On Saturday, Mike Clevinger got to do that exact same thing to the Los Angeles Angels, the team that drafted him in 2011 and dealt him to the Indians in 2014, as the rookie right-hander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and earned his first win as he and four relievers combined on a one-hitter to defeat the Halos, 5-1.
It was a story that could not have been scripted much better for Clevinger, who has had a fairy tale season in 2016. He earned his first Major League win with his best start to date, limiting the Angels to one hit over five and two-thirds innings while enduring a strike zone that appeared to pinch him all night long.
His Tribe teammates supported him well, giving him an early three-run cushion to work with against a starter who had dominated the Indians in each of his first three career starts against them.
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker put the first two Cleveland hitters down quickly before four straight hits gave the Indians the lead. Francisco Lindor extended his hitting streak with an infield single and moved to second as Mike Napoli did the same with a shot to left. Jose Ramirez made it three straight extended streaks with a double to right, scoring Lindor to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Lonnie Chisenhall pushed the lead to three with a single to center to score both Napoli and Ramirez while giving Clevinger some wiggle room on the mound.
The Angels scored in the second after Andrelton Simmons and Jefry Marte each walked on 3-2 pitches. Jett Bandy moved both runners up on a deep fly to Tyler Naquin in center before Johnny Giavotella grounded to third, scoring Simmons to make it a 3-1 game.
Chris Gimenez started the bottom half with a double to left. He came around to score as Michael Martinez dropped down a bunt and reached safely on the throwing error by Yunel Escobar, who hit him in the back with his throw.
Clevinger was dealing, despite several 3-2 walks. Mike Trout led off the fourth with a walk in that situation, but was stranded in scoring position after stealing second with one out. After Clevinger retired eight straight after the walk, Trout walked again with two down in the sixth and moved to third on the first hit of the night for the Angels as Simmons singled deep in the hole at short. Clevinger left and turned the game over to the bullpen as Dan Otero protected the three-run lead by getting Marte to line out to left.
Cleveland had chances in the third and fifth to push that lead further after leadoff hits to start each inning, but was unable to get an extra run across. That story would change in the sixth, when Naquin doubled to right with two outs and scored the fifth run of the night on a single by Gimenez, who would be caught between first and second for the final out of the inning.
Shoemaker left after six and Mike Morin allowed only a two-out single to Kipnis in the seventh. Cleveland put two on in the eighth off of reliever Jose Alvarez, but the southpaw retired all three outs on strikeouts to keep it a four-run game.
Cody Allen came out for the ninth in a non-save situation, walking Simmons to start the inning before erasing him on a 5-4-3 double play. Bandy flew to center on the next pitch to end the ball game.
The Indians (66-48) have won three games in a row and have started their homestand exactly as needed while improving to 18 games above the .500 mark. Through the first three games of the series, they have outscored the Angels by 24 runs. Their lead in the AL Central remained at five games with Detroit’s win in Texas.
Los Angeles (49-67) failed again to reach the 50-win plateau while dropping their ninth straight game, their longest losing streak since dropping eleven straight in 1999.
CLEVINGER ENACTS REVENGE
Clevinger (1-1, 5.81 ERA) made his sixth career appearance and fifth start a memorable one to say the least, bringing a no-hitter deep into the middle of the game. He earned his first career win by defeating the team that drafted him and later traded him for reliever Vinnie Pestano in 2014.
Clevinger went five and two-thirds innings, allowing just one run on one hit. He walked four batters on some close pitches and struck out three on the night. He did not realize he was throwing a no-hitter until seeing the zero on the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
“That was fun,” shared Indians manager Terry Francona in his postgame press conference. “His stuff was pretty electric. He had some walks. There was some traffic, but he really competed.”
“It’s storybook-esque,” said Clevinger after the game. “It was everything and more that I could have imagined. It’s hard to describe right now.”
The rookie dealt with a callous on the middle finger of his pitching hand at times during his start.
MILLER FILTHY IN THE EIGHTH
Cleveland fans got a taste of why late inning lefty Andrew Miller was such an important and costly acquisition prior to the trade deadline.
He struck out former Indians minor leaguer Gregorio Petit looking on three pitches before walking Escobar on four straight. He came back to sit Kole Calhoun swinging on five pitches and whiffed Trout on three straight to end his outing.
SHOEMAKER STRUGGLED EARLY
Shoemaker (6-13, 4.22) entered with a streak of 18 consecutive innings without allowing a run to the Indians, but that came to an end immediately in the first inning. He had struck out 31 batters over the first three meetings with Cleveland in his career, but was held to just three on the night. He did not walk a batter, but he allowed 12 hits in six innings of work and was charged with five earned runs.
ALL YOUR STREAK BELONG TO US
Lindor, Napoli, and Ramirez all extended their hitting streaks and did so back-to-back-to-back in the first inning to set up the three-run inning.
Lindor had his second consecutive three-hit game, going 3-for-4 on the night. His first inning single extended his hitting streak to nine straight games. He is now 7-for-13 in the series with five runs scored and three RBI.
Napoli pushed his streak to 13 straight games with the first of his two singles on the night. He scored a run and is now 7-for-12 in the first three games of the series against the Angels.
Ramirez extended his streak to 17 with his double, his only hit on the night in four at bats. He also scored his seventh run of the series. He is 5-for-13 in the three games against Los Angeles and has pushed his batting average for the season to .312 behind another clutch two-out hit with runners in scoring position.
SANTANA SITS OUT AGAIN
ROBINSON LANDS ON DISABLED LIST
Angels outfielder Shane Robinson, who was in spring camp with the Indians, was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a strained right hip. To replace him on the roster, the Angels selected the contract of outfielder Nick Buss from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Indians catching prospect Francisco Mejia needed a little post-game luck on Saturday to see his hitting streak extended to 50 games. He was initially 0-for-4 with a walk on the night, but following the game, the official scorer overturned a call in the third inning that was initially ruled an error on the third baseman. Mejia hit a shot down the left field line that the Winston-Salem hot cornerman attempted to backhand. Instead of being a two-base error, it was changed to a double, moving his streak from 49 to 50.
RAIN RAIN GO AWAY
First pitch of Saturday’s game was delayed two hours and ten minutes by persistent rain showers in the Cleveland area.
With the series win already secured, the Indians will aim for the four-game sweep of the Angels on Sunday, looking to do so for the first time since 1999.
Trevor Bauer (8-5, 3.88) will take the mound for the Tribe against Jered Weaver (8-9, 5.19), who has made a career of excelling in Cleveland. Weaver is 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 12 career starts at Progressive Field, but was slammed for eight runs on nine hits in his most recent start last season. Bauer is 2-0 in his career against the Angels with a 2.38 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in three starts.
If unimpeded by the weather, first pitch will occur at 1:10 PM ET from Progressive Field.
Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images