A two-run home run from Oakland’s Matt Chapman broke open a 4-3 game in the top of the ninth and Cleveland’s last ditch efforts fell short in the home half as the Athletics defeated the Indians by a 6-4 count on Monday night from Progressive Field.
Those pesky Athletics were back to their funny business in the series opener from downtown Cleveland on Monday. After winning with late rallies last weekend while hosting the Indians in Oakland, the Athletics got a big hit late in the game to provide closer Blake Treinen with just enough insurance to save the win.
The Indians had put up big run production and well-pitched games during the first three games of their series with the Baltimore Orioles, but they had not done so in the same contest.
That changed on Sunday, as Cleveland claimed a much needed series win with ten runs of support and a dynamite complete game effort on the mound from starting pitcher Shane Bieber in a 10-0 shutout.
The second-year right-hander went the distance for the first time in his Major League career in a dominant five-hit pitching performance. He allowed just five singles on the day and only one runner to reach scoring position while striking out a career-high 15 batters in the first game of his career against Baltimore.
Previous results do not always predict future outcomes and that was the case on Saturday as Adam Plutko and the Cleveland Indians bullpen combined on a one-hit beauty over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-1, from Progressive Field.
The Indians have been looking for some answers in their starting rotation after losses of both Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber have left the team a bit thin at the MLB level. While Jefry Rodriguez seems to have replaced Clevinger, Kluber’s spot was unsuccessfully held down in a pair of short starts by Cody Anderson, who was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus earlier in the week.
Plutko was recalled by the Indians prior to the game from Columbus, where he made a pair of conflicting appearances for the Clippers while looking to return from a right forearm strain suffered in the spring that had kept him on the shelf to open the year.
In an ugly back-and-forth game, the Indians and Orioles put up a football-esque score as the host Clevelanders outlasted Baltimore with a five-run seventh to win a 14-7 final on Thursday night.
In the series opener of a four-game set from downtown Cleveland, the Indians and Orioles exchanged leads frequently throughout the night before the Indians used a big rally after the stretch to take a commanding lead. Neither starting pitcher threw particularly well, with the Indians’ Trevor Bauer surviving just five innings while giving up seven runs and striking out an uncharacteristic three, while the Orioles’ Dan Straily made it one out into the four inning while giving up four runs of his own in a no-decision.
There was no last inning celebration this time at Oakland Coliseum, as the Cleveland Indians used a three-run home run from Roberto Perez in the sixth inning to break up a tied ball game and held on for a 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
After a pair of walk-off wins in their final at bats on Friday and Saturday in the first two games of the series, the A’s ran out of time and ran out of innings on Sunday, as the Indians finally survived the late inning heroics of the host club. Jefry Rodriguez was good again on the mound, filling in one of the holes in the starting rotation, and the bullpen worked three scoreless frames to give their young right-hander his first win of the season.
It would appear as though schedule makers have never dealt with inconvenient flight schedules. After a rain-delayed getaway day start on Thursday against Chicago, the Cleveland Indians hopped a late plane to Oakland to start a three-game trip to the Bay Area against the A’s this weekend.
Oakland (17-22) is coming off of back-to-back interleague series with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, with the latter series starting a six-game homestand against state of Ohio. The matchcup with the Pirates over the weekend closed their road trip with a series loss, as they rolled the host club 14-1 on Friday before falling 6-4 and 5-3. Two shutouts highlighted their three games against the Reds, as they enjoyed a 2-0 no-hitter on Tuesday and a 5-4 win on Wednesday before Cincinnati fired a 3-0 shutout to avoid the sweep on Thursday.
The Cleveland Indians will host the Chicago White Sox for the second time this season in a four-game series this week, ending nearly three weeks of activity strictly against nondivisional opponents.
The Indians (18-14) had a chance to really ruin the Mariners’ weekend, but they were shelled in a 10-0 two-hit shutout on Sunday to miss an opportunity to sweep the six-game season series from Seattle. In a bizarre statistical anomaly, the Indians were outscored by the Mariners, 21-18, in those six games this season, but posted a 5-1 record. The Indians will look to leave town at the end of the week with a winning homestand, something that the team can do if it can draw at least a series split with the White Sox this week. Cleveland trails Minnesota by two games in the American League Central at the start of the day Monday.
Solo homers won’t hurt too bad, unless you give up four of them in the same game. But despite a Home Run Derby performance from Seattle against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Santana provided a big drive of his own in the bottom of the eighth, as his two-run shot gave the Indians a 5-4 win over the Mariners on Saturday afternoon.
For the fifth time on the season, the Indians (18-13) found a way to outlast the Mariners (18-17) on the diamond. Seattle is now losers of six straight games and has lost five games to Cleveland by a grand total of seven runs this year. The Mariners fell to 0-12 on the season against teams with winning records, while the Indians moved to 9-4 at Progressive Field in 2019.
Tyler Naquin delivered off of the bench, driving in Leonys Martin with the winning run on an RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Indians a walk-off 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners from downtown Cleveland on Friday night.
On a night dominated by strong pitching, it was the pitcher’s cardinal sin that started the Tribe’s rally in the home half of the ninth in a 1-1 tie. Francisco Lindor stepped in for his fifth at bat of the night against former Indians reliever Anthony Swarzak. Lindor saw four straight pitches and drew the leadoff walk. While Lindor was erased on a fielder’s choice, the runner that replaced him at first, Martin, was able to make it the rest of the way around the bases. Jose Ramirez struck out for the second out, but Carlos Santana was walked on four straight off the plate. Naquin pinch-hit for Jordan Luplow, using the bat of catcher Kevin Plawecki, and drove the first pitch that he saw on the night through the right side of the infield to drive home Martin from second ahead of the throw from Jay Bruce in right to give the Indians a celebration in the infield.
The win moved the Indians to 17-13 on the season and 8-4 at home with the team’s second walk-off of the year (Friday, April 5, against Toronto). Cleveland is now 8-3 on the season in series openers. The Mariners dropped their fifth straight game and are now 0-4 against the Indians this season, guaranteeing a season series loss to the Tribe. Seattle is 0-11 on the year against clubs with winning records.
Early season pressures are beginning to mount for the Indians as they come home to Cleveland to host the Seattle Mariners in the final three meetings between the two clubs this season.
Things are only getting harder for the Indians (16-13), which will need to figure out how to function without two talented starting pitchers missing from the rotation. The Indians return to Progressive Field for a seven-game homestand after splitting their last road trip with three wins and three losses. Cleveland has split its last three series and has not won a series outright since sweeping their three-game set in Seattle in the middle of April. The offensive woes of the club have not improved as the month of April progressed, and after a game in May, the club still ranks last in the league in hits, batting average, slugging, OPS, doubles, and triples, and is the second-worst team in runs scored, on-base percentage, and homers.
All things considered, the opening month of the season could have gone much worse for the Cleveland Indians.
With a lineup a shell of last year’s version and without All-Star Francisco Lindor‘s presence in the lineup for nearly three weeks, the Indians managed to put together a winning month. A 16-12 record is hardly something to brag about, especially for a team expected by most to run away with an American League Central Division constructed primarily with orange barrels and yellow caution tape, but for just the third time in the Terry Francona tenure in Cleveland, the Indians left the first month of the season with more Ws than Ls.
It didn’t come pretty. The +4 run differential was just one such stat to indicate the current state of affairs in Cleveland.
Corey Kluber exited the game between the Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins on Wednesday night after being struck in the right forearm on a line drive off of the bat of Brian Anderson in the fifth inning. Initially diagnosed a contusion, x-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture of the right ulna.
Down 3-1 at the time, the Tribe would fall in a 4-2 final from Marlins Park to split the two-game set with Miami.
It is another devastating blow to an Indians roster built around its strong starting pitching. Already without number four starter Mike Clevinger for several months with a sprained back, the team will now have to look for answers after losing its ace to yet another fluke line drive off of a starting pitcher. Carlos Carrasco has been a magnet for baseballs over the last several seasons, and last year, Trevor Bauer’s season was interrupted after he was struck by a line drive in Chicago against the White Sox’s Jose Abreu.