Did the Tribe win last night? Of course they did.
The Cleveland Indians completed a perfect 11-0 road trip by winning a franchise-record 15th straight game with a lopsided 11-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox to sweep a second straight four-game series to accomplish a feat never done in their 117-year history.
Corey Kluber had the starting nod, giving the Indians a favorable edge to break a record barely a year old. Putting the odds even more in the favor of the visiting Cleveland club was the fact that Chicago’s probable left-hander, Carlos Rodon, was scratched mere minutes before first pitch, forcing the White Sox to turn to veteran Mike Pelfrey, who had already worked two and one-third innings in relief just two nights prior. Pelfrey’s recent use may have shown quickly on the mound as the Indians raced out to a quick first inning lead and never looked back.
Game one of Friday’s doubleheader between Cleveland and Detroit came down to an RBI-single in the top of the ninth and a nail-biter finish with the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame in a 3-2 Indians win.
The Tribe made sure game two was nowhere near as close. Two runs in the second, three in the fourth, and five more in the sixth paced starter Mike Clevinger and three arms from the bullpen to a 10-0 victory in the nightcap from Comerica Park as the Indians (78-56) swept their second consecutive doubleheader and increased their winning streak to nine straight games, matching a season-high (July 21-29).
It was another one of those games in which the final score did not accurately reflect much of the day’s events. Cleveland broke a 2-2 tie on a seventh inning double by rookie Bradley Zimmer and piled on seven more runs in the eighth as the Indians defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 10-4, on Wednesday night from Progressive Field.
With another win, the Indians (54-45) improved to 6-0 in their current seven-game homestand and are now a season-high nine games above the .500 mark. They have won nine straight games at home against the Angels and are one win short of sweeping each of the last three seasons’ contests in Cleveland. They maintained a game and a half lead on the victorious Kansas City Royals, who extended their own winning streak to eight straight.
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.
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.
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.
A left wrist injury has landed Cleveland Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer on the 7-day disabled list as the club made several roster moves on Sunday morning.
The Indians also designated utility man Michael Martinez for assignment in the roster shakeup. Cleveland brought up a pair of utility men from the minors as it recalled Erik Gonzalez from Columbus and purchased the contract of the Clippers’ Daniel Robertson to fill Martinez’s vacated spot on the 25- and 40-man rosters.
Guyer aggravated a lingering wrist issue with a swing on Friday and underwent an MRI on Sunday morning. He will see specialist Dr. Thomas Graham to review the results.
The Columbus Clippers have now lost five straight series, dating back to their three-game sweep of Indianapolis from April 10-12, and have fallen to 9-14 on the 2017 season.
Despite the rough opening month of the season, the Clippers are just three and a half games behind the Toledo Mud Hens in the International League West Division. The division has struggled as a whole, as only the Mud Hens are above the .500 mark to start the season. The Clippers are tied with the Louisville Bats and are a game and a half in front of the last place Indians, who are 7-15 to start the season.
The Columbus Clippers’ most recent road trip did not go as planned as the club dropped a pair of series in Lehigh Valley and Buffalo and is marred in a five-game losing streak. The skid is their second streak of three games lost or more already this season.
A rough and heavy road schedule to start the year has put the Clippers (7-10) in the loss column much more frequently than the win one. Already 17 games into the season, they have hosted just one four-game home series this season and they dropped that series in the middle of the month three games to one to Louisville. After going 5-2 in a seven-game trip to start the season, their most recent roadie was far less productive as the club won its opener against the IronPigs last Tuesday before dropping the next two in Lehigh Valley and all three in Buffalo as the Bisons outscored the Clippers by a 19-7 tally in the sweep.
The Columbus Clippers ended a three-game losing streak on Sunday with their best complete team outing of the season in an 8-0 victory over the Louisville Bats.
Mike Clevinger is keeping himself primed and ready in the Columbus rotation with back-to-back wins to start his season. His last pushed the team back over the .500 mark and ended Columbus’ longest losing skid of the young season. The Clippers (6-5) have won all three of his starts this season, but when anyone else has taken the mound, they are just 3-5.
The early season schedule has not provided a lot of variety for the Clippers, who have played the Louisville Bats eight times and the Indianapolis Indians three times. The first seven games of the season came on the road before hosting for the first time this season, but they will be back on the road for another week, heading to Lehigh Valley for three beginning Tuesday night and to Buffalo on Friday night for a three-game weekend set before returning home for the final six games of the month.
In other Clippers news and notes:
Columbus is going to be at the center of the excitement in the International League this season as the Triple-A Clippers return an experienced roster to the field before hosting both the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 11 and the Triple-A National Championship Game between the International League and the Pacific Coast League on September 18.
The Clippers raced to an 82-62 record in 2016, capturing the West Division with the third best record in the IL overall while earning a first round playoff series against the Gwinnett Braves. The series ended in a disappointing 3-1 series loss to the 65-78 Braves, spelling a quick postseason end for the young Columbus team.
With just a matter of days until the Cleveland Indians open up their American League pennant defense, the final roster decisions have been made as the team announced on Thursday that prospect Yandy Diaz and veteran utility man Michael Martinez will be on the club’s Opening Day roster to start the 2017 season. It follows Wednesday’s news that outfielder Abraham Almonte will open the year with the Tribe with right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall set to land on the 10-day disabled list while dealing with a sprained shoulder.