A season-high six-run fifth inning for Cleveland broke a 2-2 tie and gave Corey Kluber the run support that he needed on Saturday afternoon as the Indians defeated the Atlanta Braves by an 8-4 final in game one of the day’s doubleheader.
It was a rare sight to see at Progressive Field, as the Braves made just their second regular season trip to Cleveland. The two clubs, who have met twice in the World Series (1948, 1995), last played in Atlanta in 2016 and have not played a series in Ohio since 2007.
Kluber faced off with Atlanta’s ace, Julio Teheran, in the series opener on Saturday after Friday’s contest was postponed by rain. A pair of late runs off of Kluber spoiled his quality start bid, while Teheran was knocked out before the close of the fifth inning when the Indians used a massive two-out rally to take the lead for good.
Carlos Carrasco was rocked again as he was charged with six runs on six hits while retiring just two Royals hitters as Kansas City rolled to an easy 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in the series opener from Kauffman Stadium on Friday night.
The Royals’ offense broke out and ended the club’s ten-game losing streak behind an impressive first inning as the lineup jumped all over Carrasco, who lost for the second time in 2019. Carrasco made just 28 pitches while facing all nine Royals hitters, who put together a giant inning that proved far too much for the Tribe to overcome while dealing with a well-pitched outing from Kansas City right-hander Brad Keller.
The Cleveland Indians are back on the road as they make their slow and steady crawl to the west coast with a three-day layover in Missouri to face the struggling Kansas City Royals.
The Royals (2-10) are still looking for their first win in April after losing each of their first nine games this month (and ten straight dating into March) after winning their first two games of the season. Kansas City was swept by the Seattle Mariners in four straight during the week, losing by a single run in each of the final two games despite putting up 19 total runs in the series. The Royals dropped 12 of 19 games to the Indians in 2018 and were just 3-6 at home against Cleveland while being outscored 101-71 for the year.
The Indians (8-4) have picked up their play over the last week. They began their first homestand of the year by splitting with the Chicago White Sox to open April before sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays in four straight last weekend. They outscored the Detroit Tigers 13-6 in their three-game series at Comerica Park, winning the opener before capturing the rubber match on Thursday with a 4-0 shutout.
Two teams riding modest winning streaks will battle in Motown this week as the Detroit Tigers host the Cleveland Indians in three unusual midweek afternoon start times from Comerica Park.
The Tigers (7-3) have gotten off to a surprisingly strong start, given the season projections. They have won five straight games, sweeping the Kansas City Royals over the weekend and taking the last two games of their three-game series with the New York Yankees early last week. They began the year by splitting a four-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays. While the Tigers have showed up in the win column, their offense has not been showing up much on the field. They rank last in the American League in runs scored (27), homers (3), and batting average (.181) and are in the bottom third of nearly every offensive category. The two things that they have done well at is drawing walks and hitting doubles. The pitching staff has carried the club, posting the second-best ERA (2.30) and WHIP (0.93) and best batting average against (.188) in the AL.
The Indians (6-3) have had a nearly identical experience to the Tigers this season, which is certainly not what most prognosticators would have predicted coming into the year. The Indians offense has improved, but still ranks among the worst in baseball and the AL in most categories. The pitching has been lights out, ranking in the top third in the league behind some dynamite starting pitching efforts from the rotation. The Indians have a team ERA of 2.85 with a 1.06 WHIP and a .195 batting average against with 104 strikeouts in 79 innings over nine games (a league-best 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings).
Only a bout with upper back tightness could prevent Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger from replicating his season debut numbers on the mound, as the right-hander worked five scoreless one-hit innings and the Indians bullpen did the rest to complete a four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Clevinger struck out ten Jays hitters and scattered a hit and a walk in five easy innings of work. He experienced the back tightness on the second pitch of the fifth inning, but after talking it over with the Cleveland coaching and training staff after the inning, he was taken out of the game for precautionary reasons.
Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 30 days
Tyler Naquin kicked off his spring with the Tribe in nice fashion, yanking a pitch down the right field line at Goodyear Ballpark and over the wall for a solo home run, giving Cleveland its first run of Cactus League play in 2019. Will that be a positive omen for the right fielder, who is looking to stake his claim to a roster spot after several seasons of mixed results and injury?
Naquin’s third season in the number 30 for the Tribe came to a premature end last season after just 61 games. He had provided some encouraging numbers through the first half, but the injury bug’s repeated bites led to lackluster second half figures.
On a cool and rainy day in northeast Ohio, there was something comforting about seeing the Cleveland Indians back on the ball diamond once again.
A new look Tribe, returning one familiar face in Carlos Santana after purging several others in the offseason (including the loved-or-hated Chief Wahoo), will get its work in from Arizona this spring, with many roster spots up for grabs. In addition to a wide open battle for bullpen spots around closer Brad Hand, the Indians have a wildly uncertain outfield picture as well as a need to crown a utility man to start the season.
During the six-year tenure of manager Terry Francona, the Cleveland Indians outfield has been a work in progress, piecemealed together and full of platoons for much of that time. That has been especially true during the club’s three consecutive division championships seasons.
The quest to try and put together an outfield befitting a team with title aspirations is not going to end any time soon. In fact, the jobs of President Chris Antonetti and General Manager Mike Chernoff could be even harder this offseason than the past few.
The last couple of winters, the outfield buzz often centered around whether or not Michael Brantley would be healthy or not. However, at least when he was on the field, there was no doubt who would play left field on an everyday basis.
With Saturday’s probable starter Mike Clevinger dealing with an illness in Detroit, the Indians have changed course on their roster plans for the day.
Outfielder Tyler Naquin, as expected, has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right hip soreness and has left the team to return to Cleveland for further evaluation. The team was expected to promote Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus, but due to Clevinger’s illness, instead brought back right-hander Adam Plutko.
Plutko was with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate at Lehigh Valley, where the Clippers were set to play the IronPigs.
The Cleveland Indians used four home runs and five late inning runs to knock off the Detroit Tigers from Comerica Park on Friday night in an 8-3 final.
In a close pitching matchup between Carlos Carrasco and pesky Detroit right-hander Mike Fiers, it would be a battle of bullpens that proved to be the difference as the Indians broke open the game with a big inning against the Tigers’ lone All-Star representative, Joe Jimenez.
One night after an embarrassing defeat aided by a communications breakdown by manager Terry Francona and his coaching staff, the Cleveland Indians avoided a similar scenario by running up 19 runs on 19 hits in a 19-4 rout of the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
The Tribe avoided a series sweep at the hands of the last place Reds from Progressive Field and earned what should have been a series clinching victory, had it not been for the disastrous events of the night before. In the final game of the penultimate series of the first half of the season, the Indians (50-41) salvaged a victory, ending a four-game losing skid while finally notching their 50th win of the campaign. The Indians got good starting pitching from starter Carlos Carrasco, but they would not need much help from him or the bullpen on Wednesday as the bats came alive and battered the young Reds pitching staff.
Looking to avoid the sweep in St. Louis, Cleveland called on rookie right-hander Shane Bieber on Wednesday and the 23-year-old delivered six innings of one-run baseball as the Indians defeated the Cardinals by a 5-1 final from Busch Stadium.
For the third straight start, Bieber did his best on the mound to put the Tribe in position for victory. Backed by some early offense and three perfect innings of relief behind him, the Indians (44-35) were able to get back into the win column after two rough losses to start their series in Missouri.