2019: Enjoy Him
Trevor Bauer looked like the pitcher of old as he whiffed 12 Kansas City batters over six and two-thirds innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win in the rubber match with the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.
Bauer’s mixed numbers this season looked to be in the rearview Wednesday as the Indians claimed another series win, continuing an impressive month of June. The team moved back to a season-high eight games over the .500 mark at 44-36 with a win in the club’s final home game before the All-Star break and improved to 16-7 in the month with an encouraging +41 run differential (126 runs scored versus 85 runs allowed).
Brad Hand has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, but Tuesday night was not his night. The Indians’ potential All-Star closer blew his first save in 23 chances, allowing five runs on five straight hits to start the ninth inning, capped by a Hunter Dozier grand slam, as the Kansas City Royals stunned Cleveland, 8-6.
Hand entered with a 1.05 ERA on the year in 35 games with just four runs allowed, but that ERA more than doubled to 2.36 in his worst outing of the season. Called upon for the fifth time in the last six days, Hand entered to protect a three-run lead in a 6-3 contest, but his first pitch to Martin Maldonado was sent to left for a leadoff double. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to center after fouling off several pitches. Nicky Lopez reached on an infield single to first that scored Maldonado to make it 6-4. Alex Gordon loaded the bases with a single to center and on the next pitch, Dozier unloaded them with a 406-foot blast to the bleachers to stun the hometown crowd.
Jason Kipnis capped a three-hit day at the plate with the deciding blow in the bottom of the tenth to send a tired Cleveland crowd to a 3-2 walk-off fireworks display against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
After losing a one-run lead in the top of the eighth, the Indians needed bonus baseball to find a fourth straight win in a game already delayed more than two hours by rains in the middle innings. They pulled out the victory in another dramatic Progressive Field moment, walking off for the fifth time this year on Kipnis’ sixth long ball of the season.
The status of Mike Clevinger’s left ankle sprain must be good, as the Indians optioned starter Aaron Civale back to Triple-A Columbus on Monday morning. In a corresponding roster move, reliever Jon Edwards was recalled from the International League club.
Clevinger injured his left ankle in his first start off of the injured list last Monday in Texas against the Rangers. He remained in the game and lasted four and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. He was placed on the IL on June 21, but the move was made retroactive to June 18. If all continues to go well, he could be activated later in the week to start for Cleveland against the Baltimore Orioles in what would be his fourth start of the season.
Zach Plesac was good again for the Tribe and his offense provided him with a five-run second inning as the Indians cruised to a Sunday sweep of the Detroit Tigers in an 8-3 victory from downtown Cleveland.
Plesac continued an impressive start to his Major League career by handling the Tigers with ease after a slightly shaky opening to the day. He outdueled Daniel Norris, who faced all nine Indians hitters in the second in what proved to be the difference in the ball game.
Aaron Civale’s Major League debut could not have gone much better for Cleveland on Saturday afternoon as the 24-year-old allowed just two hits and three walks over six shutout innings and four relievers handled the rest of the work in a 2-0 shutout for the Indians over the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians lineup backed their rookie starter with a couple of early runs of support, but struggled to get much else going against Spencer Turnbull, who pitched well overall in a five-and-fly despite being around the strike zone quite a bit. He kept the Tigers in the game and his bullpen fired three perfect innings of relief after he left, but Civale and the Tribe relief corps were able to protect the two-run lead to take home a second straight victory over Detroit.
The Indians resolved some of the lack of playing time in the outfield on Saturday as the team designated Leonys Martin for assignment.
The initial basis for the roster move for the Indians was to create room on both the 25- and 40-man rosters for another starting pitcher with Mike Clevinger missing his turn in the rotation with a sprained left ankle. Aaron Civale, a 24-year right-hander pitching for Triple-A Columbus, was tabbed for the start but needed to be added to the roster. The Indians had to make the tough decision to remove yet another player from the mix in the clubhouse and this time it was the veteran Martin.
Cleveland rallied back from an early 5-2 deficit with a two-run eighth, and Brad Hand got some big help in the ninth from outfielder Tyler Naquin to protect a 7-6 win for the Indians over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
The Indians opened their six-game homestand, their last of the first half, with another big win as the offense picked up for a rocky pitching performance from starter Trevor Bauer, who had a tough matchup against Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd. After coughing up an early lead, Bauer was done before five was complete, but the Indians bullpen covered for him with four perfect innings of relief before a brief scare for their closer in the ninth.
Mike Minor’s strong start to the 2019 season continued on Thursday as he limited the Indians to just three hits over eight one-run innings to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over Cleveland from Globe Life Park.
The Rangers (40-35), looking to avoid a series loss to the Indians (39-35), got a couple of early runs and got two more late on solo homers off of AJ Cole to split their four-game set against Cleveland. The win moved the club back in front of the Indians, who were unable to take advantage of a low scoring contest from Arlington. Despite taking the L, Cleveland still returns home with positive overall numbers from a 5-2 road trip through Detroit and Texas.
The Indians used a five-run first to set the stage on Wednesday night and Jason Kipnis hit a pair of home runs as Cleveland routed the host Texas Rangers in a 10-4 final.
The Tribe offense was alive and well as a hot June continued for the club, which now sits with the best record in the American League in the month at 11-5. The Indians (39-34) used five multi-hit games and 12 hits in total to put up a second straight double digit scoring effort to clinch at least a series split with the Rangers (39-35) while moving a half-game in front of them in the overall American League standings.
Zach Plesac took a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed just two knocks on the night, while his teammates backed his strong start with four home runs in a 10-3 victory over the Texas Rangers from Globe Life Park on Tuesday.
The Tribe’s rookie right-hander pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his big league career and bounced back well after a rough start against the Cincinnati Reds his last time out. He gave up just a run on two hits and departed in the eighth, while the bullpen handled the rest in a big offense performance from the Indians that included a rare feat not accomplished by the club in nearly 15 years. The ten-run outburst by the offense came on a night where both Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana were held hitless.
Mike Clevinger was back on the mound for the Indians on Monday for the first time since April 7, but he was unable to replicate his numbers from his first two starts to the season as he allowed three hits, three walks, and five runs over just four and two-thirds innings as the Texas Rangers defeated Cleveland by a 7-2 final.
Lance Lynn proved to be tough competition for the Indians in the series opener from Arlington, Texas, where the Rangers looked to hold off the hard-charging Indians for the second American League Wild Card spot. Lynn gave his club yet another quality start and his offense was able to provide him with a steady stream of two-out run support in a Texas-sized victory over the Tribe.