You just don’t see games like that every night.
Down 9-2 after three and a half innings, the Cleveland Indians rattled off 13 unanswered runs to complete an improbable come-from-behind victory over the Texas Rangers and their beleaguered bullpen on Monday in a 15-9 win.
Carlos Carrasco was tagged early and often by the Rangers bats, because of course, everything is bigger in Texas. But their bullpen implosions are also apparently bigger than most as Cole Hamels could not protect his giant lead in his first start off of the disabled list and the Indians chipped away with runs in five of their final six innings to get a desperately needed win that also kept alive the club’s nearly two-year long stretch without a losing streak longer than three games. The last such streak occurred from July 23-28, 2015.
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.
It is the middle of June, so it seems just about time for the Cleveland Indians to go on a nice little winning streak. While the franchise-record 14-gamer set last season may be a lofty goal, the nice run by the Indians could not have come at a better time as they have now won five straight and have guaranteed no worse than a split of their roadtrip.
The Indians (36-31) have reached the high point of their performance this season, putting up a winning streak that matches their longest of the season. It was well timed, as their four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend allowed them to move from two games in back in the American League Central to two games up, taking sole ownership of the top spot in the division for the first time since May 10.
While things have not gone as planned for the Cleveland Indians this season, the opposite might be said for the American League Central’s top club, the Minnesota Twins (34-29). The Twin Cities representative remains atop the division, holding a two-game lead over the Indians despite being outscored by their opposition this season. Injuries have knocked out several veteran pitchers from the starting rotation, and yet with a patchwork staff, the Twins have continued to chug along. They have held at least a share of the number one spot in the Central since the second week of May.
The Indians (32-31) will need to take advantage of the series’ location this weekend as the two teams meet for a four-game series, with Saturday serving as a doubleheader day for the two clubs to make up a previous rainout. The Twins have not had a ton of success against the Indians, as they have dropped four of the six games played between the two clubs this season. The Indians will need to take advantage of the Twins’ struggles at Target Field this season, as Minnesota is just 14-20 at home, compared to 20-9 on the road.
Left-hander David Holmberg made his longest start of the season and earned his first win in two years as he allowed a pair of runs on three hits over five innings. Four early runs and 14 hits on the night against Indians pitching gave him all of the support that he would need.
Cleveland squandered an early lead and the Kansas City offense piled on with two big innings as the Indians fell to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 12-5.
What started out as a favorable showing for the Tribe turned disastrous in the latter innings after the team got out to an early three-run lead against Jason Hammel (2-6), who had struggled all season against any team not named the Cleveland Indians. Carlos Carrasco held that lead for the Indians until the fifth, when things took a bad turn and the Royals never looked back.
Corey Kluber threw six innings of two-hit, shutout baseball and the Cleveland offense capitalized on sloppy defensive work by Oakland on Thursday as the Indians routed the A’s, 8-0.
The Indians ace returned from a lengthy stint on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain, but one would have never guessed it with the way that he handed the Oakland lineup as he struck out ten A’s hitters of the 18 that he retired in a start monitored on a pitch count after a short five-inning rehab start in Akron last Friday.
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.
The Indians and starter Mike Clevinger squandered an early four-run lead as the Kansas City Royals scored six unanswered runs to knock off Cleveland, 6-4, in the series opener on Friday night.
What looked like a safe lead against the Major’s lowest scoring team turned into a mess for the Tribe in game four of their season series with the Royals as KC cleared the wall twice in the middle innings and got a big two-run double in the eighth to claim a victory at Progressive Field as the Indians’ home woes continued.
Cleveland had an apparent victory snatched away by a replay review in the ninth, creating an opportunity for Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart to drive in two runs with two outs off of Cody Allen and Reds closer Raisel Iglesias stranded the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the frame as the visitors held on for a 4-3 win over the Indians on Wednesday night.
The Indians took a 3-2 lead into the ninth, courtesy of a good pitching performance from Trevor Bauer and the bullpen three RBI from Carlos Santana, but Allen once again made another May save opportunity an adventure on the mound.
After each club earned a win in Cincinnati to open their interleague home-and-home series (or maybe, a road-and-road series for the pessimist in the crowd), the Reds and the Indians will wrap up the four-game series with two games from Progressive Field on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
The Reds (21-24) won Monday’s series opener from Great American Ball Park with solo runs in the first two innings before a three-run seventh, aided by a throwing error by pitcher Josh Tomlin and a two-run single surrendered by Dan Otero with two outs to open up the game.
The Cleveland bats, led by a pair of homers and four hits in total from Jason Kipnis, backed a quality start from Trevor Bauer as the Indians again avoided a four-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over the Minnesota Twins in the series finale from Progressive Field on Sunday afternoon.
Dealing with a tough left-hander on the mound in Hector Santiago, the Indians ignored their up-and-down season against southpaws in chasing the veteran starter from the mound early with a nice and needed display of offense with a shuffled lineup.
The Indians gave Bauer early support with a first inning run. Hitting leadoff for the first time this season and facing a pitcher who he owned a .346 average against with a homer and four RBI, the left-handed hitting second baseman Kipnis sent his first homer of the season into the seats in right to put the Indians on the board.