Terry Francona returns to another city he once called home as his Cleveland Indians head to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox.
The first-place Indians (26-19) lost their first series, during the week to the Tigers, since the last time they met up with the Red Sox. They maintain a one-half game lead over Detroit in the American League Central. They are 15-6 in the month of May.
The Red Sox (28-19) fell on some hard times after their previous meeting with the Indians. After finishing the month of April at 18-8, they are a game under in the month of May at 10-11. They have lost four series this month – in Texas, versus Minnesota and Toronto at home, and in Chicago against the White Sox in their last series. After charging out of the gate in first place in the AL East, they have fallen as far as three games back and are currently in second place, one-half game back of the New York Yankees.
Monday afternoon’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners was reminiscent of a boxing match. Both sides took turns absorbing the other’s best shots, but would not stay down for the count.
Finally, in a back-and-forth affair, it was Yan Gomes who delivered the knockout punch. A 10th inning, three-run home run, erased an 8-7 deficit and gave the Tribe a 10-8 win. It was Gomes’ second longball of the day and fourth of the season. The comeback victory completed a four-game sweep over the Mariners and gave Cleveland its fifth straight win. At 26-17 the Indians are now two and a half games up in the AL Central Division over the Tigers, who visit Progressive Field on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A count of 19,390 fans witnessed the Indians’ third walk-off home run of the year and third walk-off victory during the four-game tilt with Seattle. Gomes’ blast was the sixth time on the day a team had a lead erased. Seattle had the lead to start both the ninth and tenth innings.
The Seattle Mariners continue their cross-country tour with their lone stop to the shores of Lake Erie this weekend as they take on the Cleveland Indians in a four-game set.
The Mariners (20-21) pulled into second place in the American League West after a series win over the New York Yankees. They have won or split each of their last six series (five wins, one split). They still trail the division-leading Texas Rangers by seven games.
The Indians (22-17) got a much needed day off on Thursday, their last of the month, but were still able to move back into a first place tie in the AL Central, courtesy of a Detroit loss to Texas. During a 14-games-in-13-days span, the Indians were 10-4. They now begin a stretch of 20 straight games before their next day off.
Sometimes good is not quite good enough.
That was the case for the Indians’ Scott Kazmir, who pitched into a couple mistakes he could not recover from. Meanwhile, the Tribe’s offense was stymied for the third straight game, resulting in an Indians 6-2 loss to the Philadelpha Phillies Tuesday night.
The Cleveland Indians make the rare trip to Citizens Bank Park as they conclude their short interleague season series with the Philadelphia Phillies this week. The Indians were swept in June of 2010 in the team’s only ever trip to Philadelphia to play the Phillies.
The Indians (21-16) remain one of the hottest teams in baseball. After beating up on one of the best in the West in the Oakland Athletics during the week, they took two of three from the Tigers in Detroit and split a doubleheader with the AL East-leading New York Yankees. They have won 13 of their last 16 games, including two against Philadelphia during this span. They are 6-0 in one-run games during this stretch and 10-3 on the season. They are a perfect 3-0 in extra inning games.
The Phillies (18-21) have played at both ends of the spectrum this season. They have won no more than three games in a row this season and have lost as many as four in a row once. In day games, they are batting a National League-best .281; in night games, they are hitting .232, third-worst in all of baseball. Despite the slower start than they may have expected, they have pulled within four games of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
The average pitcher does not return from the hardships that Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Scott Kazmir has seen over the last few years.
Kazmir went from being one of the more feared left-handed pitchers in all of baseball to being out of the game altogether, just two seasons after starting Game 1 and Game 5 of the 2008 World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kazmir had it all.
Major League Baseball teams that reach the postseason typically get contributions from players and spots on their clubs previously unexpected to make an impact.
Entering the 2013 season, it was the starting pitching for the Cleveland Indians that many people thought would have to overachieve in order for the Tribe to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Cleveland’s starting pitching staff had so many questions and few answers to start the year. Could Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez rebound from disappointing 2012 campaigns? Could Brett Myers make the conversion from the bullpen back to the rotation? Could Scott Kazmir make a successful comeback from two years away from the game? Finally, what young pitchers would step up this season?
On Wednesday night, the Oakland Athletics were frustrated after a botched call turned a ninth-inning, game-tying home run into a double. It helped secure a win for the Cleveland Indians.
The Athletics had less than 24 hours to stew over it before the two clubs met again this afternoon. Rather than Oakland taking out its frustrations on the Tribe, it was the Indians who pounded the Athletics. Cleveland completed a four-game sweep of the Bay-Area visitors with a 9-2 victory at Progressive Field.
The 12,477 fans watched the Indians improve to 18-14 with their 10th win in 11 games and 14th victory in their last 18 contests. The Tribe is now just 1 ½ games behind the AL Central Division leading Detroit Tigers, who have a game later today with Washington.
Major League Baseball’s top scoring team brings its offensive show on the road to Cleveland, as the Oakland Athletics take on the upstart Indians in a four-game series this week.
The A’s (18-14) have cooled off after starting the season 12-4. While Oakland has dominated their AL West rivals, winning 13 of 16 matchups so far, they have struggled against the rest of the league. Their offense has remained productive throughout, as the team continues to be among the American League leaders this season in runs, walks, and runs batted in. They enter their series with Cleveland leading the MLB in runs scored with 171 through their first 32 games.
The Indians (14-14) saw their six-game winning streak end Sunday at the expense of Mike Pelfrey. During their winning streak, they outscored the opposition, 53-14, and had two shutouts. They were able to earn a split against Kansas City and to claim both series against Philadelphia and Minnesota during the week.
Scott Kazmir won his first start since September 19th, 2010 with six strong innings and the Indians offense continued to slug away, as Cleveland defeated the Minnesota Twins, 7-3.
The Indians have now won six straight games and have moved above the .500 mark at 14-13 on the season. They improved to 6-6 at home. It marks the longest winning streak for Cleveland since winning seven straight from April 26th to May 3rd, 2011. They have now scored six runs or more in six straight games, the first time the team has accomplished this feat since September 18th to 24th, 2005 (when the team won seven straight).
They have scored 53 runs now in their current six game winning streak.
The Minnesota Twins make their first of three different appearances to Progressive Field this season starting Friday evening with a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians.
The Twins pulled back to even on the season by taking the final game of their series in Detroit against the Tigers. They are in the middle of a difficult road trip between Detroit, Cleveland, and then Boston, before returning home for nine games.
The Indians’ bats are alive and well and have supplied the starting pitching, which has been much improved in recent days, with ample run support as the team resumes its current nine-game home stand. Cleveland and Minnesota will still play 16 more games against one another after the completion of this series.
Interleague play comes to Cleveland for the first time this season as the Philadelphia Phillies make a quick stop to Progressive Field for a pair of games against the Indians.
The Phillies come to town on a three game winning streak. They have played very streaky baseball so far this season – prior to their sweep of the Mets over the weekend, they dropped three of four against the Pittsburgh Pirates, split a series two games apiece with the St. Louis Cardinals, and were swept in three games by the Cincinnati Reds. They have won just three of their eight series on the season, winning two sets from the Mets and one from the Miami Marlins.
The Indians return home after a scheduled ten-game road trip that was shortened a day in Chicago due to inclement weather. Unusual heroes – Mike Aviles, Corey Kluber, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ryan Raburn – assisted Cleveland in coming home with a winning 5-4 record on their road trip.
Both managers (Terry Francona and Charlie Manuel) will face off against the organizations they began their managerial careers with. Francona managed in Philadelphia for four years starting in 1997. Manuel led Cleveland for two and a half seasons, starting in 2000.