When the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers last met, the two clubs opened the 2017 season. Hopes were high for both teams, as each was coming off of a trip to the 2016 postseason after strong campaigns and both were expected to be contenders once again. While both clubs remain contenders in their own right, their respective seasons may not be going as many had expected.
The Indians (39-35) have yet to find the magic recipe to sustained success. The starting rotation has had some struggles with injuries and varying results. The bullpen has been steady, statistically one of the best in the game, but has had its edge-of-the-seat moments. The offense has been a head scratcher at times, producing runs in bulk in stretches before series like this past weekend, when the club mustered just two runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins on the heels of an offensive eruption during a 7-1 road trip. Even worse, home has not been a sweet home for the Indians, as they are one of just two American League clubs (see: Twins) to post a losing record at home (15-20). In the Tribe’s favor this week in their matchup with Texas is an impressive 13-3- start against the AL West this season.
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.
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.
After a solid 9-3 win earlier in the afternoon, the Cleveland Indians completed the Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins, 6-2, using four long balls to get the job done.
The win for the Tribe (35-31) moved them into sole possession of first place after tying the Twins (34-32) earlier in the day. The Indians continued their strong play at Target Field this season, improving to 5-0 there this year with seven straight wins dating back to last season, the club’s longest winning streak in Minneapolis since concluding an eight-game streak there in 1969. Home has not been a sweet home for the Twins this season, as they are just 14-23 at their unfriendly confines.
While things have not gone as planned for the Cleveland Indians this season, the opposite might be said for the American League Central’s top club, the Minnesota Twins (34-29). The Twin Cities representative remains atop the division, holding a two-game lead over the Indians despite being outscored by their opposition this season. Injuries have knocked out several veteran pitchers from the starting rotation, and yet with a patchwork staff, the Twins have continued to chug along. They have held at least a share of the number one spot in the Central since the second week of May.
The Indians (32-31) will need to take advantage of the series’ location this weekend as the two teams meet for a four-game series, with Saturday serving as a doubleheader day for the two clubs to make up a previous rainout. The Twins have not had a ton of success against the Indians, as they have dropped four of the six games played between the two clubs this season. The Indians will need to take advantage of the Twins’ struggles at Target Field this season, as Minnesota is just 14-20 at home, compared to 20-9 on the road.
Prior to Wednesday’s game with the Colorado Rockies, the Cleveland Indians announced that left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett had been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
In a corresponding roster move, starting pitcher Mike Clevinger has been optioned to Columbus.
With the Cleveland Indians visiting for the first time since 2008, the Colorado Rockies played the rude host on Tuesday night as they crushed the reigning American League champions by an 11-3 final from Coors Field.
One of the top teams in baseball so far in 2017 proved themselves worthy of their 37-23 record as the Rockies scored in five different innings, four of which were multi-run efforts. Even the pitcher chipped in, as rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela (8-2) aided his own cause in the second inning against Mike Clevinger (2-3).
The Indians’ interleague tour of the National League West continues this week as Cleveland travels a mile high to Denver for a brief two-game set with the Colorado Rockies this week.
The Indians (29-26) could benefit from a trip out of the division. Their recently completed series with the Kansas City Royals highlighted an issue this season – too much time playing in the AL Central. The Indians fell to 4-5 against the Royals by dropping two of three over the weekend, which lowered their record in the division to 13-14. Interleague play has been a similar story for the club, as they have lost series to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds thus far this season to post a 1-5 record against National League opponents.
Clevinger gave the Indians a quality effort on the mound, but his offense could not figure out the left-hander Manaea, who limited the Indians to just a run and three hits in a dominant effort on the mound.
The loudest ovation to come from Progressive Field on Monday afternoon when the Indians host the A’s may very well come for one of the visitors.
And that is absolutely okay and appropriate.
The Indians and starter Mike Clevinger squandered an early four-run lead as the Kansas City Royals scored six unanswered runs to knock off Cleveland, 6-4, in the series opener on Friday night.
What looked like a safe lead against the Major’s lowest scoring team turned into a mess for the Tribe in game four of their season series with the Royals as KC cleared the wall twice in the middle innings and got a big two-run double in the eighth to claim a victory at Progressive Field as the Indians’ home woes continued.
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.