For the first time this season, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox will meet on the diamond, providing the world with a potential playoff preview between the best squads of the AL East and AL Central. The Tribe traveled to Boston to start a four-game series with the Red Sox on Monday night.
The Indians (71-52) took two of three from the hapless Baltimore Orioles, capping the series with an 8-0 shutout in the finale on Sunday. Cleveland rode big efforts from unexpected contributors, using its MLB-high tying ninth grand slam of the year to put the game away for good. It marked the seventh straight series win for the Indians. The Tribe has had its issues against the AL East this season, posting a 2-5 record against the New York Yankees and a 1-2 mark against Toronto Blue Jays. The 3-7 mark against those two clubs has been balanced by a 5-2 stomping of the Orioles, who are the worst team in baseball.
A full claim to the Ohio Cup came down to the very last batter on Wednesday night as Brad Hand completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds by escaping a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 4-3 win for the Cleveland Indians from Great American Ball Park.
In a game of big innings, the Indians took the lead in the sixth with a home run that just barely squeezed over the left field wall. After two strong innings of setup work from Cody Allen, Hand was tasked with the top of the Reds order, but he had to face six batters in a 4-3 game to record his 28th save of the season and his fourth with the Tribe.
The Cincinnati Reds got the better of the Cleveland Indians last month during a three-game set from Progressive Field, so the Tribe will look to even that score as the club heads to Great American Ball Park for three games this week.
The Indians (66-51) are 15 games over .500 for the first time this year and have pushed their divisional lead to a season-high 12 games after handling the Chicago White Sox twice in three games over the weekend. It pushed Cleveland’s excellence against the AL Central to 37-17, the second-best record by any Major League club within its own division (Boston: 43-15). The Tribe lost a pair of close decisions in the first two games of their previous series with the Reds, losing by two and three runs before a lopsided 19-4 shellacking in the finale on July 11.
After winning back-to-back games in walk-off fashion, the Cleveland Indians were on the losing end in the same way as Daniel Palka led off the bottom of the ninth with an opposite field solo home run to left off of Neil Ramirez to give the Chicago White Sox a 1-0 victory.
The Indians’ (64-51) three-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night in the opener from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago as the White Sox (42-73) edged out just their third win in eleven tries against the Tribe with one swing from Palka. The two teams combined for ten hits on the night, but the final one was the biggest.
The Cleveland Indians kick off a six-game road trip with a return to Chicago for a three-game weekend set with the White Sox.
The Tribe (64-50) moved to a season-high 14 games over the .500 mark by winning three of four from the Minnesota Twins during the week. It brought their record against the division to 35-16 on the season (with an 8-8 mark against the Twins with three left to play). Cleveland comes into the weekend with an eleven-game lead in the AL Central over Minnesota and a 23-game advantage over Chicago.
The Cleveland Indians jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run first inning home run by Jose Ramirez and held on late for a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Tribe took full advantage of a spot start by Deck McGuire, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday to fill in for the injured Tyler Skaggs, who was placed on the disabled list on Saturday. Cleveland would chase him from the contest after retiring just one of seven batters faced and the lead would hold up, giving rookie right-hander Shane Bieber his sixth win of the year.
After a quick road trip through Detroit and Minneapolis, the Cleveland Indians return home this weekend for a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Indians (59-48) finally figured out the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, taking each of the final two games of the series to pull a little closer on the season series against their toughest division rival to date. The Tribe moved to 9-6 since the break after their 4-2 trip and continued their better play on the road in July, winning eight of their last ten away from home. They own a ten-game lead in the American League Central Division over the Twins as the division may have conceded with the pile of trade deadline moves that came from within throughout July.
Mitch Garver, who entered the game 1-for-16 against the Indians this season, won the game for the Twins on Monday night with a deep drive to the gap in left-center in the bottom of the ninth to give Minnesota a 5-4 win over Cleveland.
The second-year backstop with 91 games of experience under his belt was riding a hot stretch at the plate, coming into the game with good numbers over the last week, hitting .409 with three doubles, a homer, and six runs batted in. He would tally two more hits on Monday, but it was the last one that made the biggest difference.
The Indians will wrap up their six-game road trip this week with a three-day stay at Minnesota’s Target Field against the hometown Twins.
The Indians (57-47) have had a tough time since the All-Star break, going 5-4. Four of those wins have come in their six road contests in the second half. Cleveland will wrap up another month with a winning record, bringing in a 13-10 mark in the month of July into the series with two games left to play. They will have to overcome a Minnesota team that has taken six of the first nine meetings between the clubs this season, the only club in the American League Central to give the Tribe fits. The Indians enter the day with a nine game lead in the division.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hit three home runs and used seven runs in the first two innings to run away with a 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
The Pirates (53-49) continued their winning ways with their eleventh straight victory in an easy romp over the Tribe, racking up early runs for the second straight night against Cleveland pitching. It marked the club’s longest winning streak since September of 1996. They were aided by strong starting pitching from Joe Musgrove, who allowed just two runs over seven innings of work.
Yandy Diaz did just about everything that he could to capitalize on his opportunity when the Cleveland Indians called his name last week.
It wasn’t enough.
The Indians optioned the corner infielder and designated hitter back to Columbus on Tuesday afternoon to make room on the 25-man roster for starting pitcher Shane Bieber, who was formally recalled from Triple-A to start Tuesday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Indians return to Cleveland on Monday, but the trip will not be for long as they host the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game interleague homestand before getting back out to the road.
The Indians (54-44) return home after spending the first weekend after the All-Star break in Texas. They outscored the Rangers by a 25-16 margin, but were blanked in the finale of the series Sunday after putting up 16 runs the day before. The Indians had a rough homestand their last stint at home, going 4-6 against the A’s, Reds, and Yankees. They have not won a home series since June 22-24, when they completed back-to-back sweeps during a nine-game homestand with three wins over the Detroit Tigers, but they remain 31-19 on the year at home. They hold a nine and a half game lead over the Minnesota Twins heading into the week.