Rookie Shane Bieber made arguably the best start of his young career and a pair of solo home runs from his offense, including one from his battery mate, helped the Cleveland Indians secure their sixth straight winning season in a 2-0 shutout over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Bieber was locked in all game long, striking out a career-high eleven batters in six and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball. Blasts from Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion off of Rays starter Tyler Glasnow proved to be enough as the 6’8” right-hander was dealt another tough loss against the Indians this season.
Francisco Lindor paced Cleveland’s offense with a pair of homers and four RBI and Jason Kipnis tacked on three big runs late to support Indians starter Shane Bieber in a 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.
It was a back and forth game from the city of Toronto as the Indians kicked off a four-game set north of the border with the Blue Jays, which had taken two of three games from Cleveland earlier in the season. The Indians had an early lead and coughed it up in a four-run fourth inning, but came right back with a three-run response in the fifth before adding on runs in the sixth and ninth innings to secure their 80th win of the season against 60 losses.
The Indians are back on the road this weekend after a nine-game homestand as they head north of the border to Toronto to play four times with the Blue Jays.
The Indians (79-60) dropped their magic number to eight on Thursday when they completed a series win over the Kansas City Royals in a tight 3-1 victory from Progressive Field while the second place Minnesota Twins dropped their fifth straight in a 9-1 defeat against Houston. The pair of wins over the Royals brought the Tribe’s record during their nine-game homestand to 5-4, salvaging things some after dropping three in a row over the weekend.
With each start, Corey Kluber looks more and more ready for October baseball. The reigning Cy Young winner kept his name in that hat with a dominant six and two-thirds innings of two-hit baseball, striking out ten Royals in a 3-1 Indians win on Wednesday afternoon.
The Indians won back-to-back games for the first time in the month with a strong effort from their ace on getaway day. The right-hander made short work of the Royals through his 20 outs, and three men out of the bullpen combined to strike out six of the seven hitters that they faced in two and one-third perfect innings of relief.
Corey Kluber settled in for a dominant start, Edwin Encarnacion homered late, and Cleveland tacked on a couple of insurance runs off of the Tampa bullpen on Friday night as the Indians defeated the Rays in a 3-0 shutout.
It was a return to form for a fresh-faced Kluber, who blanked the Rays over seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out eight batters to move to 17-7 on the season while earning his first win after shaving his notable, sizable beard for the first time this year. He was gripped in a tight pitching battle with young right-hander Tyler Glasnow, making his sixth start for the Rays since coming over in the Chris Archer trade at the end of July, but it would be a solo shot from Encarnacion that broke the ice and tilted the scales just in favor of the Tribe, which completed its 14th shutout of the year.
Former Indians coach Kevin Cash has done some interesting things with the Tampa Bay Rays. Those Rays are on pace for their best win total in his four years as manager and will look to build towards that end result as the club returns to Cleveland for the first time since the middle of May of last season.
The Indians (76-57) edged out a series win over the Minnesota Twins to take the season series from the second place team of the American League Central during the week. It gave the Indians season series victories over the Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers, while having a sizable lead over the Kansas City Royals (8-4) prior to their visit at the beginning of next week as they go for the AL Central sweep.
Jason Kipnis hit a three-run home run in the sixth to break a 2-2 tie and the Cleveland Indians held on for a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon.
It was a needed and timely contribution from the Tribe’s scuffling second baseman in the sixth inning that turned the tides for good in Cleveland’s favor as the team overcame a 2-1 deficit in a four-run frame. The 13th homer of the season for the struggling middle infielder backed a quality effort from Mike Clevinger, who won his tenth game of the year after allowing just two unearned runs on the day.
It was another bad day for the Cleveland Indians bullpen on Wednesday, as they lost an All-Star reliever early in the afternoon before their all-time saves leader blew a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss at Progressive Field to the Minnesota Twins.
The Tribe won big last night as Cleveland used a big scoring outburst in the middle innings to oust the Minnesota Twins by an 8-1 final in the series opener from Progressive Field on Tuesday.
Carlos Carrasco handled the Twins with ease throughout the night as he cruised to his 16th win of the season, tying him for second in the American League. He blanked the Twins over seven and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and a pair of walks while striking out eleven and leaving with a comfortable lead just after throwing 100 pitches.
For the third time this month, the Indians and Twins will meet on the diamond as Minnesota makes its second trip of August to the city of Cleveland.
The Indians (74-56) will welcome a return home to Cleveland after a tough seven-game road trip over the last week. After splitting with the MLB-best Boston Red Sox to start the week, they dropped two of three to the Kansas City Royals, including a tough loss in the series opener when back-to-back ninth inning homers turned a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss in the matter of four pitches. The Tribe has recovered from a rough start to the season against the Twins to pull their season record against the second place club to 8-8. The Indians remain 16-8 in August with a +32 run differential for the month.
It’s a lot easier to hit a baseball when swinging the bat with two hands rather than with one. Just ask Edwin Encarnacion, who returned from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday night and proceeded to hit two home runs in his first three at bats, both sailing over Boston’s fabled and towering Green Monster.
Encarnacion suffered a bruised right hand on July 15 when he was struck by pitch against the Yankees. Between the All-Star break (immediately following that game) and with the injury deemed as minor, Encarnacion did not miss time with the hand issue. However, he was not pain-free and admitted to basically swinging the bat one-handed. Somehow, he hit three home runs that way and drove in 16 runs and his batting average even rose from .225 to .229 during his 18 starts as essentially the one-armed man.
An early Cleveland lead would not stand in the way for Boston on Wednesday, as the Red Sox would knock out Carlos Carrasco in the fourth and used three long balls to defeat the Indians by a 10-4 final to end their season-high tying three-game losing skid.
It was a rough night for the Indians starter Carrasco, who has been nearly unbeatable over the course of the last month and a half since rejoining the team after a stint on the disabled list. He would only last three and two-thirds innings on the night as he continued to struggle at Fenway Park in his career.