The Cleveland Indians will welcome the Minnesota Twins to town for the first time this season as the two teams play three games this weekend from Progressive Field.
The Indians (36-31) will finally get an extended homestand after spending much of the last two weeks playing on the road (minus a silly two-game home series with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the month). The Tribe is coming off of a 4-3 roadtrip through Detroit and Chicago, winning their series with the Tigers before splitting with the White Sox. After a record-setting May offensively, the bats have cooled down quite a bit in June, as the team has scored the fourth-fewest runs in the American League (43) in their 12 games this month.
James Shields got back into the win column for the first time since Opening Day, limiting the Indians to just one run in seven innings of work as the Chicago White Sox handed Cleveland a 5-1 loss on Tuesday.
Shields had been on the losing end of seven straight decisions and had gone 13 games since his only win of the season to date. He had the Indians putting the ball in the air all night long, but unlike the results of his last two starts (when he allowed six home runs), Shields was able to keep the ball in the yard, collecting a personal-best 16 outs on fly outs over the course of his night. The 36-year-old right-hander would get all of the support that he needed within the first five pitches of the game from Indians rookie righty Adam Plutko, who looked to win a fourth straight start in his second season in the big leagues.
The Cleveland Indians make their second trip to Chicago this season, but just their first to the south side of town as they face the host White Sox.
The Indians (34-29) took two of three in their series over the weekend with the Detroit Tigers, with the first two games decided on late inning home runs before the Tribe bats came alive big in support of Corey Kluber to take the rubber match. The Indians and White Sox met for the first time at the end of May and Cleveland took all three home contests, outscoring the visiting club, 25-10. The Tribe has won two of its last three series in June, but are just 4-4 for the month so far.
Adam Plutko became the second Columbus Clippers hurler in as many weeks to be named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week.
Plutko made his first start back with Columbus on Saturday night after being optioned from Cleveland on May 29, not as a result of his performance for the Indians necessarily but more due to the club not needing a fifth starter until June 12. He would make sure that he stayed a visible and viable option in the Tribe’s future plans by taking a perfect game into the ninth inning in Syracuse against the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Chiefs, before completing the no-hitter after a one-out walk.
The Cleveland Indians’ no-hitter drought hit 37 years in the middle of May on the anniversary of Len Barker’s perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays. That has not been the case for their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, which suffered for just over a week between hurling its second no-hitter of the season.
Adam Plutko, making his first start for Columbus after a two-start promotion to Cleveland at the end of May, became the second Clippers pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the span of nine days on Saturday night when he blanked the Syracuse Chiefs on their home field in a 6-0 final.
With six games to go in May, the Indians were 9-13, suffering from on-going issues from their bullpen despite being the top scoring club in all of baseball at the time. Dealing with a tough stretch of the schedule, the team gave away several potential wins and struggled to show consistent playoff-caliber play.
As the calendar flipped to June, the Indians were 15-13. The offense was still producing. The starting pitching was still excelling overall, with some occasional bumps to be expected. The bullpen was still bad. That has not changed.
The Cleveland Indians made a roster move ahead of their game with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, purchasing the contract of Jeff Beliveau from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers for the second time this season.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians optioned Monday’s starter Adam Plutko to Columbus.
The Indians rallied back in a wild five-run fifth inning and never looked back on Monday afternoon as Cleveland held off the Chicago White Sox, 9-6, in a special Memorial Day afternoon start.
Adam Plutko returned to the mound for his third start of the month and his second since stifling the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, when he did not give up a hit until the seventh inning. In his second battle of the year with a team from Chicago, the effort would be extremely different than his six-plus innings of shutout baseball last week, but the end result would be the same for him and the Tribe.
The Cleveland Indians will look to ride the momentum of an incredible and improbable win on Sunday afternoon as they host the Chicago White Sox for the first series between the two division rivals this season.
The Indians (26-25) had chances in all four games against the Houston Astros over the weekend, but continued glaring deficiencies on the team’s roster caused issues for Cleveland. Still, the team was able to win the final two games of the series to earn a split with the reigning World Champs in a series that for many innings resembled a playoff preview. With the wins, the Indians improved to 11-13 in the month, but have won no more than two games in a row. They last won three straight from April 21-23 in Baltimore against the Orioles.
Adam Plutko has been granted a big opportunity that few people may have thought existed as recently as February.
The Cleveland Indians were thought to have a deep and talented rotation, with seven starters having a firm hold as big league caliber or better talents. The part about talented still hold very true for Tribe’s staff of starters. However, depth has become an issue of late.
Cleveland still has two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber heading what is still one of the game’s best rotations. Right behind him is 2017 Cy Young candidate Carlos Carrasco, an emerging All-Star candidate in Trevor Bauer, and improving Mike Clevinger. That foursome has pretty much been as advertised during the season’s first two months. What has plagued the Indians, in regards to the starting five, has been trying to find consistent and quality results out of a fifth starter. That is where many would never have expected the team to have an issue.
Adam Plutko held the Chicago Cubs hitless through the first six innings of his second career start and an RBI-single from Michael Brantley provided the game’s only run in a 1-0 shutout by the Cleveland Indians from Wrigley Field on Wednesday night.
The respective top scoring teams in each league during the month of May played their final game of the season against one another on Wednesday, but the two high-scoring offenses combined for just one run in a well-pitched ball game between Plutko and Cubs veteran Jon Lester.
The Cleveland Indians will return to Wrigley Field for the first time since Game 5 of the 2016 World Series this week as the Tribe takes on the Chicago Cubs in a brief two-game set to conclude a three-city, eight-game road trip. Be prepared for plenty of mentions during the series of the Indians’ 3-2 loss at “The Friendly Confines”, when the Tribe left the tying run in scoring position in two of the final three innings of the fateful contest.
The Indians (22-23) are coming off of a pair of road series losses to the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, starting off their road trip on a tough 2-4 note. They were 12-8 at the time of their previous visit with the Cubs at the end of April, showing that things have not necessarily gone very well for the Tribe in that span. For a team with playoff aspirations and nearly everyone’s pick to win the AL Central, the Indians have won just one of their last six series and have looked like a team in need of some major moves before the deadline. Despite a losing record for the year and a 9-14 mark on the road, the Indians are still a game up on the Minnesota Twins in the division at the start of the day.