2017: Game Recaps
The Cleveland Indians offense was once again nowhere to be found and the Minnesota Twins ran to an easy 4-1 victory on Saturday afternoon from Progressive Field.
The game came down to another bout of wildness from second-year starter Mike Clevinger, making his second start of the season in place of the injured Corey Kluber, who remained sidelined on the 10-day disabled list with back issues. Making the start against another second year right-hander in Minnesota’s Jose Berrios, Clevinger’s walk issues came back to haunt him in the fourth inning and he finally paid dearly for the control problems.
For baseball fans who like offense, Friday night’s game at Progressive Field between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins was not for you. For those fans who like the old fashion pitchers’ duel, you may have enjoyed the event, unless you are a Cleveland fan, as a first inning solo home run proved to be too much to overcome for the slumping Indians offense as Ervin Santana and the Twins shut out the Tribe, 1-0, on a combined three-hitter.
Josh Tomlin (2-4, 5.87 ERA) looked sharp again on the mound for the Indians on Friday, but was the tough luck loser as one pitch to Miguel Sano just three batters into the game would turn out to be the difference. Santana (6-1, 1.50) worked around traffic on the bases throughout the night, but kept a goose egg in the most important column on the scoreboard for him – Indians runs.
The Indians (18-16) have now dropped six of their last ten and once again failed to open a home series with a win. They have done so just once this season, when they won the home opener against the Chicago White Sox before losing the next two in the series. The Twins (18-14) sit atop the AL Central all by their lonesome with a full game lead over the Indians. They have won ten of their last 14 and have homered in 13 straight during that stretch.
Starting pitchers from Cleveland and Toronto were each knocked out in the third inning but the Blue Jays pecked away gradually against the Indians bullpen, delivering the final blow with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a bases loaded single to right to walk off with an 8-7 victory to claim the win and the series on Wednesday night from Rogers Centre.
The disappointing results for the Indians sent them home to Cleveland with an 18-15 record on the season. Their weather-shortened ten-game road trip through Detroit, Kansas City, and Toronto ended with a 4-5 record as a newly revived offense could not outslug the Jays.
After evening the score at 7-7 in the bottom of the fourth, the early offensive outbursts from both clubs came to a halt until the ninth as the Indians brought on Cody Allen to try to send the game to extra innings. Instead, it was another shaky outing from the Tribe closer in May and this time, he could not survive the high wire act as the Jays pulled out the win.
Carlos Carrasco gave the Indians seven scoreless innings and his offense awoke from its road trip slumber with six big runs as Cleveland defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-0, in a four-hit shutout on Tuesday night.
The Indians improved to 18-14 with the win. They have a Major League best record of 16-3 when scoring three runs or more and topped the threshold for the first time in the month of May. The last time the offense exceeded three runs was on April 30 against Seattle, the final game of their last homestand before hitting the road for a three-city, ten-game trip.
Cleveland’s offensive woes on its three-city road trip continued in its last stop before returning home as Toronto put up four early runs off of Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman and the Blue Jays bullpen made it stand in a 4-2 victory over the Indians on Monday night.
The game marked the return of Edwin Encarnacion to his home of eight years and the Indians slugger received several appreciative ovations from the Rogers Centre crowd during the ball game. While he had a big game in his old digs, the rest of his teammates could not get the big hits to put runs on the board against Stroman, who kept the ball down and got three big double plays to aid his cause on the mound.
Mike Clevinger capitalized on an opportunity to help out the Indians on Sunday, firing five and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball and the Cleveland bullpen did the rest to pick up a sluggish offense in a combined 1-0 one-hit victory.
The Indians came away with a series win to even up their record during their current road trip at 3-3 and to improve their season record to 17-13. They sit atop the American League Central alone at the 30-game mark and now lead the last place Royals (10-20) by seven games.
The two teams wore throwback jerseys honoring Negro League teams from their respective cities, with the Royals representing the Monarchs and the Indians representing the Buckeyes. The uniforms worn in the game were scheduled to be auctioned off to help raise funds for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, a privately funded non-profit museum in Kansas City “dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American Baseball”.
Cleveland used three runs in the final two frames to come from behind and defeat the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 final.
Josh Tomlin made his best start of the season and allowed just one run to the Royals, but heading into the late innings, it looked possible that the slumbering Indians lineup was not going to be able to defeat left-hander Jason Vargas, who has been pitching at an incredibly high level to start the season, and the Kansas City bullpen. The comeback victory for the Tribe (16-13) served as an important reminder of why games aren’t over until the 27th out, give or take some extenuating circumstances.
Three runs in the middle innings chased Danny Salazar early and the Cleveland offense was held in check by Jason Hammel and the Kansas City bullpen as the Royals defeated the Indians 3-1 in the series opener from Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.
Pitch count problems for the Indians right-hander Salazar led to an early exit and his offense could not pick him up, despite scoring the first run of the night in the fourth inning. Hammel, who had not earned a win in nine attempts against Cleveland in his career, held the club to just three hits in a quality start to earn his first win as a member of the Royals.
Mother Nature prevailed again as the Cleveland Indians suffered their second rain out of the season on Thursday when the fourth and final game of their series in Detroit with the Tigers was washed away.
Rain was in the forecast all day long in Detroit, leading to the early cancellation of the scheduled 1:10 PM ET game. No makeup date has been announced for the game.
Cleveland coupled a three-run fourth inning with six innings from a sick Carlos Carrasco and strong, if not a little shaky at the end, bullpen work as the Indians held off the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, on Wednesday night.
The Indians were staring down another left-hander starter in Matt Boyd, who had already defeated the Tribe back in April at Progressive Field. While Boyd was good, so too was the ill Carrasco, who had dealt with a sickness and an accompanying fever throughout the day but was able to give the Indians six innings of two-run baseball. A big inning from the Cleveland bats in the fourth would provide all of the scoring on the night for the club and Carrasco, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen would make it stand when the final out was retired.
In what had the potential to be an exciting rematch of former Cy Young pitchers, the game was decided early as the Tigers scored in each of the first three innings against the Tribe ace, while the Indians could do little to put up runs against Verlander after pummeling him for nine runs on eleven hits over four innings when they last saw him in April.
Trevor Bauer’s struggles with the Tigers continued as five early runs paced Detroit to a 7-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night from Comerica Park.
The Indians right-hander came in with a 4-4 mark against Detroit in his career, which looked much less a concern until looking further at his 7.24 ERA and 1.81 WHIP against the Tigers over his four seasons against them heading into the night. Detroit got to him for six runs on eight hits over five innings in April and wasted little time jumping out in front of him again on Monday.