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.
Josh Tomlin could not hold an early lead as he surrendered three home runs and Manny Machado was 4-for-4 at the plate with four runs batted in as the Baltimore Orioles held off the Cleveland Indians, 6-5, on Tuesday night.
The scuffling Machado looked like the player of old as he owned Tribe pitching all game long, providing the bulk of the offense for Baltimore on the night. The Indians held a three-run lead at one point, but Machado tied the game with one swing in the fifth and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh as the Indians stranded a small village on the bases.
It is the middle of June, so it seems just about time for the Cleveland Indians to go on a nice little winning streak. While the franchise-record 14-gamer set last season may be a lofty goal, the nice run by the Indians could not have come at a better time as they have now won five straight and have guaranteed no worse than a split of their roadtrip.
The Indians (36-31) have reached the high point of their performance this season, putting up a winning streak that matches their longest of the season. It was well timed, as their four-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend allowed them to move from two games in back in the American League Central to two games up, taking sole ownership of the top spot in the division for the first time since May 10.
Lonnie Chisenhall delivered a clutch pinch-hit three-run home run in the fifth inning and the Cleveland bats tacked on as the Indians defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-5 to avoid the sweep in the final game of their homestand Thursday afternoon.
The bats were alive and well in a rare series finale between the Tribe and Dodgers as the club’s met for just the 12th time in the regular season. It required an unusual mid-game turn to the bench by manager Terry Francona, but the move worked to perfection as the Indians extended a one-run lead and did not look back.
A better weekend from the Cleveland Indians against the Chicago White Sox kept them above the .500 mark and still within striking distance of the first place Minnesota Twins. Their next opponent, however, is one of the best in the National League and unfamiliar opposition if ever there was such a thing.
The Indians (31-29) will host the Los Angeles Dodgers (39-25) this week for just the second time in the regular season. The series will be the fourth between the two clubs; the Indians have won four of the previous matchups while the Dodgers have claimed five. The two teams last met in 2014 in Los Angeles, where the Indians won two of the three matchups. They previously played in LA in 2008, and the first regular season series between the two clubs occurred in 2003, when the Indians were swept on their home field by the visiting club.
These games, of course, do not include the Indians’ win in the 1920 World Series against the then-Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games in the best-of-nine championship bout.
Left-hander David Holmberg made his longest start of the season and earned his first win in two years as he allowed a pair of runs on three hits over five innings. Four early runs and 14 hits on the night against Indians pitching gave him all of the support that he would need.
Cleveland’s issues in interleague play continued this week as it fell to 1-7 against National League opponents after a sweep by the Rockies in Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday. With interleague done, at least for the next three games, the Indians will need to improve upon a disappointing 12-14 record at Progressive Field this weekend while hosting the Chicago White Sox, or risk falling back to or below the .500 mark for the season.
The Indians (29-28) did not take advantage of the high altitudes and friendly hitting environment of Coors Field, putting up just four runs in the brief two-game sweep in Denver. They will now have to take advantage of their long-time opponent in the White Sox, who have struggled for much of the season and now find themselves looking up at all four teams in a sloppy AL Central this season.
Kansas City’s Jason Vargas gave up seven hits, but induced four double play balls by Cleveland bats on the way to a 4-0 complete game shutout of the Indians on Friday night.
It was a night of missed opportunities for the Tribe, who got a well-pitched game from Josh Tomlin. The Indians starter kept the Royals off of the scoreboard through each of the first five innings before the KC bats struck for runs in each of its final three trips. Cleveland had hits in each of the first six innings, but four separate times saw any rally efforts squandered on double play grounders.
Things would be much different for the Cleveland Indians if they could just play the American League West all season. With a series win in four games over the Oakland Athletics during the week, the team improved to 13-3 against the westernmost division in the AL. The club departed Cleveland and headed west after its series with the A’s to take on Kansas City for three games for the second consecutive weekend of play against the Royals.
The Indians (28-24) did not start their homestand on a good note as they lost one game to rain and three straight to the Cincinnati Reds and the Royals. The Kansas City club put 6-4 and 5-2 victories on the Indians in the first two games of their series to drop the Indians to a game above the .500 mark, but the Tribe recovered with a resounding 10-1 victory in the finale of that series. They followed it up with much better results against the second-worst team in the league, the A’s, by outscoring them 23-10 in taking three of four.
Josh Tomlin allowed just one run in a complete game effort and was backed by a big day from his offense, including four hits from Jason Kipnis as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep and a rare four-game losing skid behind a 10-1 thumping of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
The Indians took out some frustrations on the Royals and starter Danny Duffy after putting up a fairly poor showing in each of the first two games of the series this weekend. They racked up their ten runs on 18 hits and scored in five straight innings, beginning in the third.
Rainy weather in Cleveland ended the Indians’ series with the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, with the club losing two of three to their in-state Major League brothers before the postponement pushed their next meeting into late June. The poor results dropped the Indians’ record in interleague play to 1-5 on the season. They will return to a more familiar schedule and opponent beginning Friday night when they host the division rival Kansas City Royals in three games this weekend.
The Indians (24-21) head into play in second place in the American League Central, trailing the first place Minnesota Twins by two games in the standings while holding a two and a half game lead over the third place Detroit Tigers. The Indians will need a series win to stay above the .500 mark against the division this season, as they start the three-game set with an 11-10 record against the Central this season.