A two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth by Chicago rookie Matt Davidson off of Cleveland’s Bryan Shaw ended the Indians’ nine-game winning streak as the American League Central leaders fell to the White Sox, 3-1, on Sunday.
It was once again a tale of missed opportunities for the Indians, who saw their long stretch of victories come to a close at Guaranteed Rate Field in the finale of the three-game series with the Pale Hose. A well-pitched game on both sides came down to the final frame, when Cleveland’s persona non grata not named Kyrie Irving served up back-to-back hits in the ninth, with the latter giving the White Sox a much needed win during a tumultuous time of upheaval in the club’s clubhouse.
It is amazing just how much things can change in a week. After opening the second half of the season with a bad west coast trip against two of the worst teams in baseball, the Indians returned to Cleveland with a 1-5 record after the All-Star break and questions swirled about what was wrong with the Tribe.
A 7-0 homestand quieted those concerns quickly as the Indians got back into the win column and finally played well and consistently at Progressive Field.
It took nearly two months, but the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds finally completed their four-game season series on Monday night as the Tribe, backed by six quality innings from Josh Tomlin and a pair of homers from each side of the plate by Carlos Santana, defeated their in-state rivals with a 6-2 victory.
The Indians (52-45) moved to seven games over the .500 mark and held their ground in the American League Central, with both the second place and third place clubs making trades for pitching prior to the Indians’ one-game date with the Reds from Progressive Field.
The Cleveland Indians far more resembled the team that they have been expected to be, and not the team that they have been, over this past weekend in rolling over the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game home sweep at Progressive Field. In a third straight matchup against a last place team, the Indians finally came away victorious more often than not, taking all three from the struggling American League East squad after posting a 1-5 record against two other last place teams, the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants, in the Tribe’s first two series after the All-Star break.
The Indians (51-45) will look to continue their much better hot stretch on Monday night as they host a one-game makeup session with the Cincinnati Reds to complete their earlier home-and-home matchup with their in-state rivals. The May 25 contest was rained out, forcing the Indians to forgo Monday’s originally scheduled off day.
When falling upon hard times, sometimes a little luck and a little help from the baseball gods is exactly what you need. A poor display of fundamentals by the usually reliable San Francisco defenders allowed Cleveland to get back into the game and a strong outing from Josh Tomlin led the Indians to a needed 5-3 victory over the Giants in game one of a three-game series.
Tomlin outpitched the Giants’ Matt Moore, who became his own worst enemy to aid in the Indians scoring. The Cleveland starter would make just 79 pitches on the night, but gave the Indians seven and one-third innings of solid work in a quality outing that the Tribe desperately needed from its one-time stopper.
While it may be a meaningless piece of information to some, the Cleveland Indians’ nearly two-year run without a losing streak exceeding three games was pretty remarkable. Just a week short of two years ago, the team began what would be a six-game losing skid in what was the most disappointing season of manager Terry Francona‘s reign in the Tribe dugout. This past weekend, the Indians extended their losing streak to four games after losing the first half finale to Detroit before a three-game sweep by the Oakland Athletics.
The Indians (47-43) will look to end their losing ways as they continue their west coast trip with the rare stop at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The two clubs have met for just four series in the past and the Indians have not had much luck against the unfamiliar opposition. Coupled with the bad play out of the All-Star break and the club’s lousy 3-11 record during interleague play this season, the next three days could be a rough go for the Indians.
After a pair of disappointing efforts in the first two games of their interleague series with the San Diego Padres, the Cleveland Indians put together one of their more complete performances of the season in an 11-2 rout of San Diego, avoiding the dreaded three-game sweep in the series finale on Thursday night.
Josh Tomlin was solid in an outing that he desperately needed. The offense was alive, active, aggressive (maybe to a fault), and contributing consistently throughout, one night after scoring just two runs while accumulating 14 hits. The bullpen even chipped in as the Indians improved to 45-39 on the season and remained atop the American League Central Division for another day.
Interleague play has brought a pairing of the American League Central and the National League West this season, mashing up some teams with very limited matchups on the diamond. This week, it will be the San Diego Padres who come to Cleveland for the fourth time ever to do battle with the Indians.
The Indians (44-37) return to Cleveland after a brief weekend away from Progressive Field. They were expecting to play four in Detroit in three days, including the makeup of a previous rainout, but in turn had Friday’s series opener washed away to force another makeup matchup with Detroit in September. The Indians took two of three from the Tigers, losing the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday before winning the nightcap and a well-pitched game by Mike Clevinger on Sunday. The Indians hold a two and a half games lead in the AL Central, but both Kansas City and Minnesota remain within striking distance.
After the Tribe tied the game with a three-run top of the seventh, Cleveland’s Bryan Shaw allowed three runs in the bottom half of the inning as the Tigers defeated the Indians in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader from Detroit, 7-4.
In a matchup of two inconsistent starters in Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin and Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, neither pitcher would factor in the final decision, but had plenty to say with how the game got to its end results.
Rains had already interfered with matchups between the Indians and Tigers in Detroit this season, as the two clubs had planned to play four this weekend to make up for an early postponement. Those plans changed on Friday, as the first game of the set was cancelled as rains hit the Great Lakes region.
The Indians (42-36) head into the weekend with a game and a half lead over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division. The Twins spoiled the Indians’ homestand, sweeping three straight last weekend, but Cleveland bounced back to take three of four from the Texas Rangers to get back into first place while salvaging the home set. The Indians are just 2-4 against the Tigers this season and have struggled in the division this season, posting a 19-18 record overall against the Tigers, Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Kansas City Royals.
Ervin Santana kept the Indians off of the scoreboard for six innings and his bullpen did the same as the Minnesota Twins completed the three-game sweep in Cleveland to reclaim first place in the American League Central Division with a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Just one weekend after entering Target Field and sweeping the Twins (39-34) in four straight, the Indians (39-35) were unable to continue their victorious ways against Minnesota. Despite posting a 7-1 road trip behind a revival of the bats in the lineup, those same threats were unable to produce against the Twins this weekend, dropping three straight while scoring a grand total of two runs in the three-game set. They are now just 15-20 at Progressive Field this season, while the Twins are 23-9 on the road.
The Cleveland Indians may have broken the spirit of the Minnesota Twins last weekend, when the Tribe swept the young club and knocked them out of first place. The Twins will look to return the favor and gain some ground back in the American League Central Division beginning Friday night, when Minnesota and Cleveland begin their three-game series from Progressive Field.
The Indians (39-32) have gotten hot and stayed hot, beginning with their four-game sweep of the Twins (36-34) during the successful start to their eight-game road trip. They won seven games on the road to pull two and a half games in front of the Twins in the division. Including their victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final game of their homestand two Thursdays ago, the Indians have outscored their opponents, 68-23, in their last nine games. The hot stretch includes a season-high tying six game winning streak.