After a couple games in a row where the Indians pitching staff has pitched well with no help from the offense, the bats finally woke up one Wednesday. The Indians were able to win the game 10-4 with the help of three home runs, a solo shot from Mike Aviles, a two run home run from Nick Swisher and a three run blast to extend the lead off the bat of Jason Kipnis. The pitching was also strong to keep the Phillies bats in check with Corey Kluber going six innings, giving up six hits, three runs but no walks and striking out five.
The first and second innings were quiet from both teams, as no runs were scored despite the Tribe getting Ryan Raburn and Mike Aviles on base with two outs. Kluber flied out on a very strong at bat for a pitcher, making Cole Hamels throw eight pitches.
The third inning was when the bats started to come alive for the Tribe as Kipnis started the hitting with a one out double to deep center. After an Asdrubal Cabrera walk Swisher struck out, creating a chance for Mark Reynolds to do what he does best, two out RBI’s. On the second pitch of the at bat, Reynolds hit a double to drive in both Kipnis and Cabrera, putting his batting average with two outs and runners in scoring positions at .500 (8 out of 16) for the season. Reynolds’ double staked the Tribe to a 2-0 lead.
Philadelphia was able to respond in the bottom of the third after John Mayberry hit a one out single, was bunted over by Hamels and driven home by Jimmy Rollins on a single. Kluber was able to limit the damage as he got Chase Utley to pop out and kept the lead at one for the Indians.
Mike Aviles was the only player with a hit in the fourth inning but it was a big hit for him and the Indians. On the first pitch of the at bat, Aviles was able to drive a fastball to left field just over the fence for a solo home run, driving the lead for the Tribe to 3-1. Kluber was able to follow up with his third one-two-three inning of day.
The Indians offense just kept rolling the fifth. After a leadoff double by Kipnis and a failed bunt attempt by Cabrera, Swisher came up to bat and was able to take Hamels to deep left field for the Tribe’s second home run of the day, putting the score at 5-1 Indians.
The Phillies were able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. After back-to-back one out singles from Carlos Ruiz and Mayberry, Kluber was able to pop out Kevin Frandsen before Rollins came up to bat. Rollins kept his hot bat going with a double to right field, driving in both runs and cutting the Indians lead to 5-3.
The scoring outbursts for the Indians kept going in the seventh inning as they were able to plate two more runs. After Raburn and Aviles grounded out to start the inning, it sure looked like the inning would be over with Kluber coming to bat but he was able to draw a walk. After the walk Drew Stubbs was able to get a single and Kipnis was able to draw a walk loading the bases for Cabrera. Cabrera took advantage of his chance by hitting a single to center, scoring both Kluber and Stubbs. Kluber started the inning with his second quality at bat of the day.
“You never know what to expect when you pitcher bats. He handled himself very well up there,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
After one-two-three innings from both teams in the seventh inning the Tribe was able to put the game away, adding on three key insurance runs in the eighth inning. Aviles started out the inning with a routine pop fly before a Michael Brantley walk and Stubbs double put runners on second and third for Kipnis. After working the count full, Kipnis was able to hit the sixth pitch of the at bat deep to right field for his sixth home run of the year. This three run blast put the Indians up 10-3. Nick Hagadone was able to come in and hold the Phillies scoreless in the eighth inning.
After Michael Bourn, Carlos Santana and Raburn all went down in order to start the ninth, Matt Albers came in for the ninth inning to close it out for the Tribe. Despite giving out two hits and one run, Albers was able to come in and keep the lead safe, as the Indians were able to win this game 10-4.
One of the biggest players today was Kluber as he pitched a very quality start on the mound but also had two very impressive at bats for a pitcher.
“He did a great job today, both on the mound and at the plate,” Kipnis said. “When we had the best at bat early in this game we knew we had to hit well to not be embarrassed. He earned a lot of the guys respect and no one is shaking their head at him today.”
Kluber (3-2 5.40 ERA) was able to get the win, with Hamels getting tagged with the loss (1-6 4.61 ERA).
The Indians have tomorrow off before opening a four game set with the Seattle Mariners on Friday at 7:05 ET. Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2 5.55 ERA) will start for the Indians, with Brandon Maurer (2-5 5.97 ERA) pitching for the Mariners.
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