A season-high six-run fifth inning for Cleveland broke a 2-2 tie and gave Corey Kluber the run support that he needed on Saturday afternoon as the Indians defeated the Atlanta Braves by an 8-4 final in game one of the day’s doubleheader.
It was a rare sight to see at Progressive Field, as the Braves made just their second regular season trip to Cleveland. The two clubs, who have met twice in the World Series (1948, 1995), last played in Atlanta in 2016 and have not played a series in Ohio since 2007.
Kluber faced off with Atlanta’s ace, Julio Teheran, in the series opener on Saturday after Friday’s contest was postponed by rain. A pair of late runs off of Kluber spoiled his quality start bid, while Teheran was knocked out before the close of the fifth inning when the Indians used a massive two-out rally to take the lead for good.
Even the addition of yearly interleague play has not substantially increased the number of trips taken to Cleveland by the Atlanta Braves, which visit the north coast this weekend for an abbreviated three-day trip.
The Indians (11-7) return home after salvaging a road trip that had taken a rough turn when the team was swept last weekend in Kansas City by the Royals. Instead of crumbling, the team responded by taking all three from the scorching hot Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park during the week. The sweep was the team’s second of the season, following a four-game defeat of the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the month. The 5-4 mark on the road trip moved the club to even at 6-6 away from home this season. During the Indians’ brief upcoming homestand, they will look to improve upon a 5-1 record at Progressive Field so far in April.
For the most part, the Cleveland Indians have survived Cactus League play with a minimal number of injuries. But there have been a few that have changed manager Terry Francona‘s roster construction for next Thursday when the team opens play in Minnesota against the Twins.
The most notable of the bunch was the biggest loss as the Indians settled in to Goodyear, Arizona, for their month and a half stay in the desert in mid-February. The moderate right calf injury suffered by three-time All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor before arriving to camp left many wondering if the 25-year-old would be ready within the seven- to nine-week time table expected for his injury. While there were plenty on the social media landscape calling for Lindor to take it slowly and ease into the season, the young superstar returned to action in minor league camp but has yet to play in an official Cactus League game for Cleveland.
Major League Baseball is just over three weeks away from the start of the 2019 season. All 30 teams will take the field on March 28 this year, the game’s earliest start ever (excluding international openers). Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 22 days
After a little bit of speculation, Jason Kipnis and his number 22 will return to second base for the Cleveland Indians in 2019.
Another inconsistent year at the plate from Kipnis in 2018 put his positional placement on the field in limbo for the coming year, but manager Terry Francona cleared up any uncertainty early in spring camp by naming his eight-year veteran the starting second baseman for the Tribe. While the 31-year-old contributed some nice numbers overall in some categories (28 doubles, 18 homers, and 75 RBI in 147 games while cutting back on his strikeout rate), he did not get on base at the pace that some would have hoped. He hit just .230 with a .315 on-base percentage, digging a big hole to climb out of after starting out the season with a rough first couple of months at the plate. Inconsistencies hitting near the top of the lineup (.181 average out of the two-hole) led to him being dropped further in the lineup. He had some better success hitting sixth, seventh, and eighth, and he provided good contributions when hitting with men on (.270) and with men in scoring position (.292), but his overall numbers hardly seemed to fit well with his $13.7 million paycheck.
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.