For the third time this season, the Indians have cut bait with a veteran brought in during the spring to help out the thin offense.
Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was designated for assignment prior to Wednesday’s game between Cleveland and the Oakland Athletics to make room for catcher Eric Haase. The 26-year-old, already on the 40-man roster, was needed in town after Roberto Perez left Tuesday night’s game with concussion-like symptoms.
While Perez passed the concussion tests, he will still be unable to play for several days, leaving just backup backstop Kevin Plawecki on the roster. In need of some extra insurance in the lineup while Perez is unavailable, Haase was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and Gonzalez was the roster casualty to make it happen.
The long slumping Indians lineup jumped all over left-hander Manny Banuelos and the White Sox bullpen as Cleveland and Carlos Carrasco cruised to an easy 9-0 victory from Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.
The month of May has not been favorable to the depleted Indians offense, but the team looked to salvage their road trip with a win in the finale from Chicago on Tuesday afternoon. With a 5-7 mark coming in on the day and with three runs or fewer scored in eight of the 12 contests, the Cleveland lineup was in desperate need for a breakout game at the plate.
The starting nine provided exactly that.
There was no last inning celebration this time at Oakland Coliseum, as the Cleveland Indians used a three-run home run from Roberto Perez in the sixth inning to break up a tied ball game and held on for a 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
After a pair of walk-off wins in their final at bats on Friday and Saturday in the first two games of the series, the A’s ran out of time and ran out of innings on Sunday, as the Indians finally survived the late inning heroics of the host club. Jefry Rodriguez was good again on the mound, filling in one of the holes in the starting rotation, and the bullpen worked three scoreless frames to give their young right-hander his first win of the season.
Solo homers won’t hurt too bad, unless you give up four of them in the same game. But despite a Home Run Derby performance from Seattle against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Santana provided a big drive of his own in the bottom of the eighth, as his two-run shot gave the Indians a 5-4 win over the Mariners on Saturday afternoon.
For the fifth time on the season, the Indians (18-13) found a way to outlast the Mariners (18-17) on the diamond. Seattle is now losers of six straight games and has lost five games to Cleveland by a grand total of seven runs this year. The Mariners fell to 0-12 on the season against teams with winning records, while the Indians moved to 9-4 at Progressive Field in 2019.
Early season pressures are beginning to mount for the Indians as they come home to Cleveland to host the Seattle Mariners in the final three meetings between the two clubs this season.
Things are only getting harder for the Indians (16-13), which will need to figure out how to function without two talented starting pitchers missing from the rotation. The Indians return to Progressive Field for a seven-game homestand after splitting their last road trip with three wins and three losses. Cleveland has split its last three series and has not won a series outright since sweeping their three-game set in Seattle in the middle of April. The offensive woes of the club have not improved as the month of April progressed, and after a game in May, the club still ranks last in the league in hits, batting average, slugging, OPS, doubles, and triples, and is the second-worst team in runs scored, on-base percentage, and homers.
Corey Kluber exited the game between the Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins on Wednesday night after being struck in the right forearm on a line drive off of the bat of Brian Anderson in the fifth inning. Initially diagnosed a contusion, x-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture of the right ulna.
Down 3-1 at the time, the Tribe would fall in a 4-2 final from Marlins Park to split the two-game set with Miami.
It is another devastating blow to an Indians roster built around its strong starting pitching. Already without number four starter Mike Clevinger for several months with a sprained back, the team will now have to look for answers after losing its ace to yet another fluke line drive off of a starting pitcher. Carlos Carrasco has been a magnet for baseballs over the last several seasons, and last year, Trevor Bauer’s season was interrupted after he was struck by a line drive in Chicago against the White Sox’s Jose Abreu.
In the event that you thought the 11-5 score from Progressive Field was a close game, that final score was hardly indicative of the results as the Cleveland Indians buried themselves under an eleven-run deficit before finding the scoreboard late in an embarrassing shellacking by the Atlanta Braves on Sunday in the series finale.
In a nationally televised game on ESPN, the game was essentially over after two frames. On the heels of a disastrous ninth inning in the second game of Saturday’s double dip, the Indians allowed nine runs in the first four innings on Sunday before scoring some garbage time runs to make the final a little more palatable.
The Kansas City Royals completed their three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday and used a little flare for the dramatics to do so, using a walk-off single from Hunter Dozier in the bottom of the ninth to capture a 9-8 win from Kauffman Stadium.
Things did not go as planned for the Indians, who swung through Missouri on the middle leg of a three-city, nine-game road trip while catching the Royals in the horrors of a ten-game losing streak. Instead of being able to beat up on a rebuilding and struggling division rival, the Indians became the punching bag for Kansas City, which took out some pent up anger in routing Cleveland in three straight.
Matthew Boyd allowed just one run over six innings of work, while the Detroit Tigers offense strung together ten hits and two home runs off of Trevor Bauer to back their starter in a 4-1 win on Wednesday afternoon.
A team finally figured out Bauer in the middle game of three from Comerica Park this week. The Indians’ 28-year-old right-hander, who had allowed just one hit total in his first two starts, dealt with base traffic all game long for the first time this season. He was outpitched by the Tigers’ lefty, who struck out a season-low six, but limited the Indians to just four hits on the day.
Corey Kluber allowed one earned run in six innings and was backed by four home runs (and an unofficial Little League homer) as the Indians opened a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers with an 8-2 win.
The Indians entered the day with just four home runs on the year, but they rode the long ball starting with the very first batter of the game, jumping out to an early lead to back Kluber, who was looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic performance in his last start Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. Kluber gave the Indians a quality start and left with a healthy lead after six as manager Terry Francona looked to get his rested bullpen some extra work early in the season.
The Indians flirted with history on Thursday night but fell just short as Trevor Bauer threw seven no-hit innings and the offense added some rare support, but Toronto ended Cleveland’s no-hit bid in the ninth inning as the Tribe defeated the visiting Blue Jays by a 4-1 final from Progressive Field.
Bauer’s brilliant start to the 2019 season continued as he has already made an early case for his name to be mentioned amongst the best in baseball this year. After allowing just a run on a hit with one walk and nine strikeouts in a no-decision on March 30 against the Minnesota Twins, he followed it up with a hitless outing in which the only blemish was his six walks that drove up his pitch count and prevented him from completing his attempt at the first Indians no-hitter since 1981 (a drought of nearly 38 years and the second-longest active to only the San Diego Padres, which have never recorded one).
The Cleveland bullpen allowed three runs after seven shutout innings of one-hit baseball from Mike Clevinger, but a similar disastrous effort from the Chicago White Sox allowed the Indians to rally with four runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-3 win in Monday’s Home Opener from Progressive Field.
Three different Tribe relievers combined for two extra base hits, a walk, a costly error, and three poorly timed runs in the top of the eighth as the dormant White Sox lineup woke up to claim a 3-1 lead. Chicago manager Rick Renteria responded with a trip to his own bullpen after seven one-run innings from Ivan Nova, but it proved to be costly.