There’s something about Progressive Field that makes the Indians want to win. Coming into tonight, the Indians held the best home record at 21-11, along with a 9 game winning streak at home. They were able to keep that streak alive tonight after grabbing another home win.
After splitting their ten game road trip 5-5, the Tribe returned home to welcome the Angels for a four game series. Trevor Bauer (2-3) was on the mound for the Tribe, hoping to rebound after a not-so-great start against Kansas City. For the Angels, Jered Weaver (7-6) was on the hill to face the Tribe.
The Tribe took the lead early against Weaver. Michael Bourn started off the inning with a leadoff single. Asdrubal Cabrera followed him with homerun to dead center that just barely made it over the yellow line to grab an early 2-0 lead. The Angels would come back to score in the top of the second though.
David Freese and Howie Kendrick led off the second with back-to-back singles. Chris Ianetta then followed them with a double of his own to score the tow of them to tie the game at 2-2. The Angels would threaten again in the third after a leadoff single by Mike Trout. He then went on to steal two bases, but was stranded on third after Freese grounded out to third.
The Indians regained the lead in the third after a single by Bourn, a walk to Cabrera, and then a single by AL Player of the Week Michael Brantley. The Indians were then leading 3-2. Jason Kipnis then grounded into a double play. During the play, Brantley went face first into John McDonald’s left knee. Coming up from the slide, Brantley looked to be in a little bit of pain, and would inevitably lead to his removal of the game for precautionary reasons.
The Angels weren’t going down easy tonight though. After a ground out by Kendrick, Raul Ibanez walked, and Ianetta followed up with a single and then McDonald hit a sac fly to drive in Ibanez to tie the game up at 3-3. Bauer then gave up a single to Kole Calhoun and walked Trout to load up the bases for Albert Pujols. Bauer was able to work out of the jam as he got Pujols to ground out to end the inning.
After getting the lead and losing the lead twice now in the game, Carlos Santana led off the inning with a solo home run to regain the lead again for the third time in the game. This was Santana’s eighth home run of the season, and the Indians were winning 4-3. Santana has had a hot bat since returning from the disabled list as he has hit safely in 9 out of 11 games. Weaver would then follow the home run with back-to-back strike outs to Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher and a fly out to David Murphy.
Bauer went on to get three more strike outs in the next two innings, but also ended up walking two more batters. For Bauer, his control has not been as sharp in his last couple of starts, but it really showed tonight after he walked four batters through the first 6 innings. He did however keep the score at 4-3.
The Indians had nothing brewing after Santana’s home run in the fourth. Weaver went on to set down the next nine Indians and getting four of them to strike out.
Starting off the seventh with 110 pitches, Bauer returned to the mound to face Josh Hamilton. He was able to get Hamilton to ground out, Freese to line out, and was then removed in way of Carlos Carrasco. This was a career high in pitch count for Bauer as he threw 119 pitches through 6.2 innings. Carrasco got Kendrick to strike out to end the seventh. Bauer was in line to win the game if the bullpen could hold this one run lead.
With Chisenhall leading off the inning, Weaver’s night was done as Mike Morin replaced him. Weaver, who had never lost at Progressive Field, was in line for the loss unless the Angels could come back to win it. The Indians put two men on base in the seventh, but were stranded there after a fly out by Bourn.
Carrasco returned for the eighth and led off the inning by surrendering a walk to Ibanez. This was all for naught though as Ibanez was thrown out trying to steal second. Ianetta struck out during the steal attempt as well. Erick Aybar pinch hit for McDonald and laced a single into right, but Calhoun struck out to end the inning.
Dan De La Rosa came on to pitch in the eighth for the Angels. Cabrera led off with a single, but was left on third to end the inning. Going into the ninth, the Indians still led the Angels 4-3, which Carrasco returning to the mound to face Trout, Pujols and Hamilton.
For a guy who was not that great as a starter, Carrasco has become an arm to rely on out of the pen. Now he was on to face the heart of the Angels lineup. He made quick and easy work against the three boppers though as he got Trout to ground out, Pujols to fly out, and then struck out Hamilton to pick up his first career save. Bauer picked up his second win on the season, while Weaver received his sixth loss, and his first loss at Progressive Field.
This was a well-played game by both teams. Even though Bauer wasn’t at top of his game tonight, he still provided exactly what the team needed: innings. With Bauer going 6.2 innings, he was able to give the bullpen arms some rest tonight. Carrasco was also a saving grace as well as he went a solid 2.1 innings and was able to get four strike outs in the process. With a night off for a lot of the arms in the pen, they should be able to come back tomorrow ready to play.
The Indians are back at it tomorrow with Josh Tomlin (4-3, 3.33) on to face the Angels and Matt Shoemaker (3-1, 4.19). They hope to keep their home game winning strea