The Indians hit their targets repeatedly at Target Field on Tuesday night as five home runs provided plenty of support for starter Danny Salazar in an 8-1 Home Run Derby rout of the Minnesota Twins.
In arguably its biggest road trip and most important series to date this season, Cleveland continued its dominance off of the shores of the Mississippi River as the Tribe bats were alive and well, guiding the Indians to a fifth straight victory in game number six of an eleven-game road trip. The demoralizing way in which they defeated the Twins in the series opener involved an effective balance of power hitting and power pitching as the Indians extended their lead in the American League Central Division to six games over the second place Twins.
The Indians have made Target Field their home away from home in 2017, as the club is now a perfect 8-0 in Minnesota this season.
Inclement weather intervened on the final game of the series between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox on August 2, which may have been a blessing for both clubs after a grueling emotional roller coaster ride of a game the night before that saw bad outings by Chris Sale and Carlos Carrasco followed by some poor pitching performances by some of the biggest names in each team’s respective bullpen. That cancellation led to a quick reunion, as the Tribe and Sox will rematch for a one-night showing at Fenway Park on Monday.
The Indians (63-52) have not let the disadvantages of playing on the road be an issue for the club this season. With a 32-25 record away from Progressive Field, the Tribe is one of just seven teams in the Majors with a winning road record, and their mark is the third-best in the American League, trailing Houston (39-20) and Minnesota (32-24). Road wins have been a common theme for the division leaders this season – all six clubs leading playoff chases possess winning records and the other road warriors, the Minnesota Twins, find themselves just four and a half games off of the mark in the AL Central.
It was not Kluber’s best start of the season, but he did what an ace was supposed to do, keeping his club in the game long enough to find a way to win.
For 26 outs, the Cleveland Indians had just four hits to show against the Colorado Rockies and looked to be in severe jeopardy of wasting nine fantastic innings of one-run baseball by Corey Kluber. That 27th and final out would never come, as the Indians rallied for four runs, including a game-tying two-out bloop single by Austin Jackson and the game-winning three-run home run from Yan Gomes as Cleveland stunned Colorado and All-Star closer Greg Holland with the improbable comeback and a walk-off victory.
Trailing all night after a first inning, second pitch home run from center fielder Charlie Blackmon off of Kluber to start the game, the Indians headed to the ninth in an offensive funk after missing on the handful of opportunities that they had over the course of the evening. The odds looked stacked against them as the flat offense had to face Holland, who entered with a tiny 1.96 ERA on the season and plenty of previous experience against the Indians to call upon from his days as a Kansas City Royal.
Trevor Bauer made another big start for the Cleveland Indians on Friday night as he gave the club seven innings of one-run baseball in defeating the New York Yankees, 7-2.
The Indians may have solved the home woes that had plagued them this season. Playing in front of consistently larger crowds than earlier points in the season, the Indians have gone a perfect 9-0 since the All-Star break at Progressive Field and are now 30-24 on the shores of Lake Erie.
It is amazing just how much things can change in a week. After opening the second half of the season with a bad west coast trip against two of the worst teams in baseball, the Indians returned to Cleveland with a 1-5 record after the All-Star break and questions swirled about what was wrong with the Tribe.
A 7-0 homestand quieted those concerns quickly as the Indians got back into the win column and finally played well and consistently at Progressive Field.
Austin Jackson had a season-high three hits and matched his season-best with three RBI in leading the Cleveland Indians past the Baltimore Orioles, 6-3, to take the four-game series from Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday night.
It was a shaky start initially from the Indians Mike Clevinger, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game in his first start since a rain-shortened outing in Minnesota last weekend. He survived a rough first two innings to give Cleveland five innings on the night and the bullpen did the rest as the Indians won for the seventh time in their last eight contests.
Only a brief rain delay could slow down the Cleveland Indians on Monday night and that was just temporary as the Tribe bats bashed Baltimore for 12 runs on 17 hits and Corey Kluber completed a three-hit gem in a 12-0 drubbing at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Rarely does a complete game three-hitter get lost in the shuffle, but that was nearly the case for Kluber on Monday as he faced just three batters over the minimum with nearly no-hit stuff, allowing just three two-out hits on a night that was delayed 29 minutes by rain at the outset. His 12th career complete game and fifth shutout gave him two this season, tying him for the Major League high. He did so with a diet of filth and plenty of run support as the Indians (37-31) extended their winning streak to a season-high six games and moved the team’s record to a new high-water mark on the year.
After a solid 9-3 win earlier in the afternoon, the Cleveland Indians completed the Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins, 6-2, using four long balls to get the job done.
The win for the Tribe (35-31) moved them into sole possession of first place after tying the Twins (34-32) earlier in the day. The Indians continued their strong play at Target Field this season, improving to 5-0 there this year with seven straight wins dating back to last season, the club’s longest winning streak in Minneapolis since concluding an eight-game streak there in 1969. Home has not been a sweet home for the Twins this season, as they are just 14-23 at their unfriendly confines.
A better weekend from the Cleveland Indians against the Chicago White Sox kept them above the .500 mark and still within striking distance of the first place Minnesota Twins. Their next opponent, however, is one of the best in the National League and unfamiliar opposition if ever there was such a thing.
The Indians (31-29) will host the Los Angeles Dodgers (39-25) this week for just the second time in the regular season. The series will be the fourth between the two clubs; the Indians have won four of the previous matchups while the Dodgers have claimed five. The two teams last met in 2014 in Los Angeles, where the Indians won two of the three matchups. They previously played in LA in 2008, and the first regular season series between the two clubs occurred in 2003, when the Indians were swept on their home field by the visiting club.
These games, of course, do not include the Indians’ win in the 1920 World Series against the then-Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games in the best-of-nine championship bout.
A rain delay of nearly two hours could not slow down the bats of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday as they scored four runs before rain and lightning hit and added four more when play resumed to defeat the Kansas City Royals by an 8-0 final from Kauffman Stadium.
After dropping each of the first two games of their series against the Royals, the Indians were able to get the bats going and received a united effort from the bullpen after weather knocked out the day’s starter, Trevor Bauer, after just an inning and two-thirds on the mound.
Carlos Carrasco gave the Indians a quality outing and three solo homers provided some run support as the Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics, 5-3, on Memorial Day.
The Indians’ number two starter, making his second start since a left pectoral injury sidelined him for a few days, looked much more himself on the mound in limiting the A’s to just two late runs in his outing. His teammates were able to get to second-year starter Daniel Mengden, who was making his first start of the season while replacing the injured Kendall Graveman in the rotation.