Posts By Bob Toth
The bats were alive in Minnesota for the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night as they gave starter Josh Tomlin some room to work with and he returned the favor with a quality start in an 11-4 victory.
The early run support for Tomlin may have been just what the right-hander needed to relax on the mound. He had had a rough go in his first two outings, but he looked much more like the quality back end of the rotation arm that he was for the club last season.
The Indians were the recipient of a first inning gift from the Twins and built off of the extra out quickly and never looked back.
With a 1-0 victory on Monday night over the Bowling Green Hot Rods from Classic Park in Eastlake, the Lake County Captains pushed their season record back over the .500 mark at 6-5 and pulled within a game of first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
The current season-high three-game winning streak for the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians has seen some interesting extremes. After winning a 5-2 decision in Lansing on Friday, the club put up 17 runs in a 17-5 victory in the series finale on Saturday before an off day on Sunday. Back home in northeast Ohio for their second homestand of the season, it was a Logan Ice RBI-single through the right side of the infield in the sixth inning that broke the scoreless tie and proved to be the difference in the ball game.
The Captains will not be home for long, as they will hit the road following Wednesday’s third game with the Hot Rods. From there, Lake County will stop for four games at West Michigan and three with Great Lakes before coming back home to wrap up April with four at Classic Park with the Whitecaps.
In other news and notes from the Captains’ log:
It may have come with some nail biting in the ninth inning, but the Cleveland Indians are back in the win column again as they defeated the Minnesota Twins on Monday night, 3-1.
Danny Salazar gave the Indians the start that they needed to open their road trip. The strong outing from Cleveland’s number three starter was supported by a good day at the plate from Michael Brantley and some edge-of-your-seat pitching in the ninth from closer Cody Allen to bring home the Indians’ sixth win of the 2017 season.
After a 2-4 homestand, it may just be time for the Cleveland Indians to hit the road and put their disappointing series against Chicago and Detroit behind them. They will start a four-game series in Minnesota with the Twins on Monday night to begin a seven-game roadtrip.
The Indians (5-7) will return to Target Field for the first of ten games there this season. A scuffling offense and a starting rotation unable to get the job done consistently have gotten the Tribe off to a poor record after a hot start in Texas, where they swept the first three games of the season before going just 2-6 since against Arizona, Chicago, and Detroit. The team has shown an ability to get runners on base with ease, but when it comes to the big hit, the Indians have been slow in the clutch department, hitting into too many double plays and failing to drive in runs in general.
The Columbus Clippers ended a three-game losing streak on Sunday with their best complete team outing of the season in an 8-0 victory over the Louisville Bats.
Mike Clevinger is keeping himself primed and ready in the Columbus rotation with back-to-back wins to start his season. His last pushed the team back over the .500 mark and ended Columbus’ longest losing skid of the young season. The Clippers (6-5) have won all three of his starts this season, but when anyone else has taken the mound, they are just 3-5.
The early season schedule has not provided a lot of variety for the Clippers, who have played the Louisville Bats eight times and the Indianapolis Indians three times. The first seven games of the season came on the road before hosting for the first time this season, but they will be back on the road for another week, heading to Lehigh Valley for three beginning Tuesday night and to Buffalo on Friday night for a three-game weekend set before returning home for the final six games of the month.
In other Clippers news and notes:
There was nothing sweet about home this week and even an influx of Easter candy could not sweeten the Indians chances against the Tigers on Sunday as Detroit took the early season series in Cleveland with a 4-1 victory in the finale.
After erupting for a season-high 13 runs against Justin Verlander and the Tigers bullpen on Saturday evening, the Indians offense returned to its more frustrating ways and could not find home plate. While they put up eight hits on the day and had two more batters reach via walk, the club was just 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base. Three separate times they turned opportunities with men on base into double plays, further limiting the team’s ability to do damage to the runs column.
Left-hander Matt Boyd made his first career start and second appearance against the Tribe in the Sunday holiday game. He allowed plenty of ground traffic, yet kept pitching his way out of trouble.
Big things can come in smaller packages and Indians second baseman Jose Ramirez delivered repeatedly in the clutch for Cleveland on Saturday afternoon as the Tribe routed Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers by a 13-6 final.
It was the long-awaited return of offense to Progressive Field as the Indians rolled out a season-high 13 runs while riding four home runs balls against the Detroit pitching staff to even the series at one game apiece. Cleveland used 19 hits to put up multi-run innings in five different frames on the spring afternoon, doing the bulk of the damage against the Tigers ace Verlander.
Weather played some havoc in the opening week of the season, forcing an early doubleheader. They won the first game of the double dip on April 9 and won the next day in the opener against the Trenton Thunder, but have struggled to find the win column since, dropping the final two against Trenton before hitting the road for three in Altoona. The first road trip of the season has started off on the wrong foot, as the club has lost one-run decisions in each of the first two games of the three-game set with the Curve.
The RubberDucks will finish their stay in Altoona on Saturday before taking Sunday off. They will play three in Reading against the Fightin Phils before coming home to host Altoona for three next Friday and Binghamton for three more before closing out April on the road.