A seventh inning rally by the Indians knotted the game at two, but Brian Dozier homered off of Cody Allen to lead off the eighth and the Twins added another homer in the ninth as Minnesota claimed a 4-2 win in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon.
An impressive quality start from Corey Kluber was hurt by first inning defensive woes. Allen, making his first appearance since a paternity list trip and working on the day of his jersey giveaway at Progressive Field, gave up the go-ahead shot to Dozier just after the Indians had rallied and got a little luck on their side to push across the tying run in the seventh.
The Indians made an early lead stand up as Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland bullpen allowed just two runs and the lineup provided RBI hits from Roberto Perez, Erik Gonzalez, and Francisco Lindor in a 4-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Carrasco had to work around some trouble in innings two through five, but by the time the White Sox touched up the scoreboard in the sixth, the Indians already had a 3-0 lead.
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.
Mike Clevinger carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and combined with two Cleveland relievers on a three-hit shutout of a Houston team with the best record in the Majors as the Indians blanked the Astros, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon.
Like the previous four games in the season series between Cleveland and Houston, the fifth of six matchups in the regular season between the two clubs was a hotly contested game that came down to just a few runs. While the Astros have been one of the top teams in baseball since the season began, the Indians have had their number despite their own inconsistencies this year, dealing the club two of its three series losses this season. Saturday’s victory by Cleveland guaranteed it a winning record against the young and fiery Houston club, one that seems to be on the fast track to the postseason already.
What was projected to be an intriguing pitching matchup between Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer turned into a battle of offenses as the Indians held off a late Rays charge in an 8-7 win on Monday night.
The victory moved the Indians to the 20-win mark on the year as they became just the fourth American League team to reach the level. With the first place Minnesota Twins idle on Monday, the Indians pulled within a half game of the top spot in the AL Central while the Rays dropped to 19-22 on the season. It was the first time that Cleveland has won a home series opener since its very first series of the season against the Chicago White Sox.
The game was marred by early pitching problems for both starters and an early exit for the Tribe right-hander Carrasco, who left early with discomfort in his right pectoral muscle in another hit to an Indians roster heavily afflicted by injuries through the first month and a half of the season.
Starting pitchers from Cleveland and Toronto were each knocked out in the third inning but the Blue Jays pecked away gradually against the Indians bullpen, delivering the final blow with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a bases loaded single to right to walk off with an 8-7 victory to claim the win and the series on Wednesday night from Rogers Centre.
The disappointing results for the Indians sent them home to Cleveland with an 18-15 record on the season. Their weather-shortened ten-game road trip through Detroit, Kansas City, and Toronto ended with a 4-5 record as a newly revived offense could not outslug the Jays.
After evening the score at 7-7 in the bottom of the fourth, the early offensive outbursts from both clubs came to a halt until the ninth as the Indians brought on Cody Allen to try to send the game to extra innings. Instead, it was another shaky outing from the Tribe closer in May and this time, he could not survive the high wire act as the Jays pulled out the win.
Cleveland used three runs in the final two frames to come from behind and defeat the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 final.
Josh Tomlin made his best start of the season and allowed just one run to the Royals, but heading into the late innings, it looked possible that the slumbering Indians lineup was not going to be able to defeat left-hander Jason Vargas, who has been pitching at an incredibly high level to start the season, and the Kansas City bullpen. The comeback victory for the Tribe (16-13) served as an important reminder of why games aren’t over until the 27th out, give or take some extenuating circumstances.
Cleveland reliever Cody Allen has not received the credit due to him for his strong work in the closer’s role for the Indians over the last several seasons. He finally got some recognition this week when he was named the American League’s Reliever of the Month for his performance in the month of April to open the 2017 schedule.
Allen anchored one of the best bullpens in baseball through the first month of the season. His work in the ninth inning helped the Indians to be the only Major League team to convert every save opportunity in the month.
With a little bit of rain interference, Cleveland’s chances of avoiding its first losing series in two weeks was spoiled as rain parked itself over the Great Lakes region for much of the day on Thursday. It made for a good reason to relocate as the Indians packed up and headed to Missouri to take on a scuffling Kansas City Royals squad in three games this weekend.
The Indians (15-12) enter the weekend leading the American League Central Division once again, tied with the 15-12 Chicago White Sox. The crowding at the top of the division is evident as just one game separates the Tribe from fourth place Detroit (14-13) after the club dropped two of three to start their three-city road trip to kick off May.
Cleveland coupled a three-run fourth inning with six innings from a sick Carlos Carrasco and strong, if not a little shaky at the end, bullpen work as the Indians held off the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, on Wednesday night.
The Indians were staring down another left-hander starter in Matt Boyd, who had already defeated the Tribe back in April at Progressive Field. While Boyd was good, so too was the ill Carrasco, who had dealt with a sickness and an accompanying fever throughout the day but was able to give the Indians six innings of two-run baseball. A big inning from the Cleveland bats in the fourth would provide all of the scoring on the night for the club and Carrasco, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen would make it stand when the final out was retired.
An explosive first inning for both clubs provided all of the runs on the afternoon as the Cleveland Indians held off the Seattle Mariners, 4-3, on Saturday.
A game that looked like it had all the potential to be a high scoring slugfest completely changed course after the first and turned into more of a mound battle between Cleveland starter Danny Salazar and Seattle right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Salazar would get the better of the veteran M’s pitcher, who was making just his second career start against the Indians.
No Indians lead felt safe on Wednesday night, but the Houston Astros ran out of innings to catch up as Cleveland claimed a 7-6 win from Progressive Field.
The Indians (11-9) got on top in the first inning and never surrendered the advantage, but they needed several additional scoring outbursts throughout the night to fend off the Astros (14-7), who kept it within striking distance while giving their potent offense a chance to get the last big hit that it would need.
For the Indians’ sake, that final knock on the door never came.