On August 31, the Indians acquired one-time MVP third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays as Cleveland was wrapping up a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The next day, one of the key players displaced by the move, Jason Kipnis, pinch-hit in the ninth inning and in dramatic fashion hit a solo home run in his first at bat as a man being forced out of his regular job.
It marked one of several special moments for one of the longer tenured members of the Tribe and a player who at times has been referred to as a leader in the clubhouse and one of the beating hearts of the Indians. Rumored to be a candidate for relocation in the offseason when Cleveland could have gone with Jose Ramirez at second base and Yandy Diaz or Gio Urshela at third, Kipnis remained in town for his eighth season with the Tribe, to the chagrin of some and the delight of others.
The Cleveland Indians wrapped up a productive season against both Chicago teams with eight shutout innings on Wednesday in a 10-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Allowing just a pair of runs in the ninth inning, the Indians successfully stomped the White Sox in their home finale to finish the season with a 14-5 record against their young and rebuilding divisional rival. Six dominant shutout innings from Shane Bieber took the White Sox right out of the game, and four straight innings of scoring in the middle of the game from the Tribe offense buried Chicago in a hole it could not come out of.
The Cleveland Indians head back to the Windy City for the fourth time this season as they conclude their third road set in Chicago against the fourth place White Sox.
The Indians (87-68) have had a tough time in September, but they stepped up big against the Boston Red Sox over the weekend in a potential preview of the ALCS. The Indians needed extra inning heroics to win two out of three in the series, using eleventh inning hits by Michael Brantley and Greg Allen to claim victories. Cleveland has played well, as expected, against Chicago this season, taking 12 of the first 16 matchups while doubling up the Sox in the runs department, 86-43. The last time the clubs met a week ago, the Indians pulled out two more wins in the three games.
The 2018 season has not been kind to Jason Kipnis, as he has struggled in the field and at the plate, lost his starting second base job, and is quickly trying to acclimate himself again to the role of center fielder. But milestones have also filled his season and he added a most memorable one on Wednesday night, as in the bottom of the ninth inning his 1,000th career hit landed deep in the seats in right field for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Indians a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox from downtown Cleveland.
With the bases full of Indians and one out against reliever Ian Hamilton, Kipnis fell behind in the count 1-2, worked the count back to full, and on the payoff pitch, jumped on a changeup dead red and blasted it to right. He leaned back and enjoyed his shot before a well-deserved trot around the bases and a home plate mobbing, complete with several Gatorade baths for the displaced veteran Kipnis and Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio host, Andre Knott, during the channel’s postgame interview.
Eight strong innings from Corey Kluber and a three-run fifth powered the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
Pitcher wins have been devalued some in recent years, but that takes little away from Kluber’s effort on Tuesday, which secured him a career-best 19th victory on the year. He struck out eleven batters, his highest single-game K mark since April 9 (when he struck out 13 Tigers in his third start of the year). He ran into a brief bump in the road in the sixth inning, when the White Sox hit a pair of homers, but he otherwise contained the young and aggressive White Sox in his longest start since his August 4 shutout of the Los Angeles Angels.
The final homestand of the season continues for the Indians on Tuesday night as Cleveland hosts the Chicago White Sox in a three-game midweek set.
The Indians (83-66) continued their sleep walk through September, falling to 6-9 on the year after dropping two of three to Detroit over the weekend. While the team is winning at just a 40% clip in September, they still have managed to outscore the opposition by 12 runs. The Indians have lost or tied four of their five series in the month. They have defeated the White Sox ten times in 13 tries this season (outscoring them 73-34) with two series left in September.
For the third straight season, the Cleveland Indians are American League Central Division champions as they routed the Detroit Tigers by a 15-0 final from Progressive Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians became the second team to clinch a playoff berth and the first club to win its division as the Tribe secured a race that was thought to be well over in April when the team moved into sole possession of the AL Central on April 21. The game Saturday was well out of hand after one frame, as the Indians began their onslaught with their first of four multi-run innings on the day. It was more than enough support for Mike Clevinger, who allowed just one Tigers hit and three walks in six innings before exiting with a 15-run lead.
The Indians will try to wrap up the American League Central Division this week in Tampa as Cleveland concludes its seven-game road trip with three games against the Rays.
Cleveland (81-62) traded wins and losses with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend to start its seven-game road trip before the final homestand of their year. September has been a rough one for the Tribe, as Cleveland is just 4-5 through the first nine days of the month. The pitching has provided some of the issue, as opposing players are hitting .272 against them this month, the second-worst mark in the American League. They do, however, lead the Bigs with 107 strikeouts and the league in walks with 17 in 81 1/3 innings. The Indians come into the series with a magic number to clinch the Central at five.
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.
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.
Tampa Bay backed a quality outing from Blake Snell with four runs off of Shane Bieber in the sixth inning as the Rays knocked off the Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 final from Progressive Field on Saturday night.
The All-Star Snell overcame early run support for Bieber as he gave up two runs (one earned) and continued his dominant run on the mound on the way to his 17th win of the season. Bieber performed well through the first five innings, but the third time through the order would prove to be too problematic for the 23-year-old rookie righty.
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.