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.
The Cleveland offense could not figure out Tigers starter Daniel Norris on Friday night and a late rally off of the Detroit bullpen fell one run short as the Indians dropped a 7-6 decision in game one of a three-game weekend set.
Cleveland could not solve the left-handed Norris on the mound for six scoreless innings of work as each of the first eight men to the plate would be retired by the southpaw. Meanwhile, the Tigers were able to get an early run of support for him in the second inning off of Indians starter Trevor Bauer and would pile on in the middle innings.
After needing five pitchers (including utility man Michael Martinez) to finish the final seven and one-third innings of Thursday’s loss to the Chicago White Sox, the depleted Cleveland Indians bullpen will get a reinforcement in time for the weekend series with the Detroit Tigers. Reliever Nick Goody was recalled by the club on Friday from Triple-A Columbus and right-hander Shawn Armstrong was sent down to the Clippers after working a career-high two and one-third innings in the defeat.
The Cleveland Indians started the season with an impressive and dramatic three-game sweep in Texas. Since then, things have taken a turn for the worst as the club has dropped five of its last six and is struggling to score runs while limiting the damage.
They will look to turn around the early season woes and heat up the cold bats as they host the Detroit Tigers this weekend in a three-game set.
Michael Martinez pitched the ninth inning for the Tribe Thursday night. If that doesn’t answer the question of Did The Tribe Win Last Night well enough for you, the Chicago White Sox took the rubber match over the Cleveland Indians, 10-4.
With Chisenhall ready to go, the Indians made one of those tough decisions on Thursday afternoon as they optioned center fielder Tyler Naquin to Triple-A Columbus.
Baseball is a game of rhythms. In each season and each game there is an ebb and flow to its pace. A hitter adapts to a pitcher, a team adopts a new strategy, or a star player retires or moves on. All of these events produce change.
This year, the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats are all about change. In their third season as a Cleveland Indians affiliate, there are many new elements to the Hillcats, and not just the faces in the dugout. Over the winter, the playing surface was completely remade. The renovation was begun immediately after the 2016 season. The field was leveled, a state-of-the-art drainage system was installed, and new turf and a warning track were put into place.