Tribe Tallies Ten Runs in Wrigley Field Rout; Indians 10, Cubs 1

Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer extended his scoreless innings streak to 14 straight and the Indians offense provided plenty of support via ten runs, ten walks, and eleven hits in a 10-1 rout over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night from Wrigley Field.

After scoring just seven runs in three games over the weekend against the Houston Astros in a tough playoff preview, the Indians’ (23-23) offense woke up on Tuesday in the series opener with the Cubs, far more resembling the lineup that had averaged more than six runs scored per contest in the month of May. A big win in the team’s first appearance at the baseball landmark since Game 5 of the 2016 World Series guaranteed at least a series split, with one more to be played on Wednesday in the short set from Chicago.

Bauer was on the bump for Cleveland, coming off of his best start of the year. He had some slight issues with command and had a lot of traffic on the bases, but the problems paled in comparison to his pitching counterpart for the evening, Tyler Chatwood.

Both pitchers stared down first inning threats. Chatwood walked Jose Ramirez with two down in the inning and Yonder Alonso got his first of three hits on the night, a single to right, to put runners on the corners before Melky Cabrera grounded out to first. Bauer gave up a one-out single to Albert Almora Jr. and a two-out single to Anthony Rizzo to similarly place runners at first and third, but Bauer came back to record his first strikeout of the night, setting down Willson Contreras swinging.

Ramirez – Jon Durr/Getty Images

The Indians drew a pair of walks off of Chatwood in the second, but could not score. That changed in the third when the Tribe broke the game open and sent the Cubs’ right-hander to an early shower in a nine-batter inning. Francisco Lindor led off the third with the fourth free pass of the game surrendered by Chatwood. Michael Brantley singled to right, extending his hitting streak to eleven games. Ramirez stepped in and delivered as he has done all month long, sending his team-leading 14th home run of the year into the right field basket, putting the Indians up, 3-0. The Cleveland bats were not done, however, as Alonso singled to right-center and Cabrera walked. Jason Kipnis grounded back to the pitcher, moving both runners up, and Roberto Perez lifted a sacrifice fly to right to push across the fourth run of the inning. Greg Allen drew the third walk of the frame and the sixth in just two and two-thirds by Chatwood, bringing Joe Maddon out of the dugout for his long reliever, Mike Montgomery, who struck out Bauer to end the onslaught.

Bauer worked around a two-out double from Kris Bryant in the bottom of the third before the Indians got back to work at the plate. Brantley singled with one out off of Montgomery before Ramirez popped out. Alonso walked and Cabrera delivered his first hit as an Indian, as his RBI-double to left knocked in Brantley to make it 5-0. Kipnis, who had extended his on-base streak to eleven straight with his walk in the second, came through with a two-run single to right, giving the Indians a seven-run lead.

The lineup flipped over for a fourth trip in the top of the fifth for the Tribe and the bats stayed hot on a chilly night off of Lake Michigan. Allen singled to right, but was thrown out on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Bauer. Lindor doubled to deep right to put a pair in scoring position for Brantley, who grounded back to the mound. Ramirez was intentionally walked for the lefty-lefty matchup between Montgomery and Alonso, but the Tribe first baseman cleared the loaded bases with a double to center, his third hit and his fourth time on base in the first five innings. The extra base knock extended the Indians lead to 10-0.

Bauer, who walked Kyle Schwarber in the fourth in an otherwise quiet inning, could have gotten into trouble in the fifth had it not been for a bad base running play by the Cubs with a ten-run deficit. After Victor Caratini struck out pinch-hitting for Montgomery, Ben Zobrist walked. Almora Jr. singled to Cabrera in right, sending Zobrist to third, but for reasons unknown, the Cubs’ center fielder opted to test the Indians’ new right fielder’s arm out. Cabrera won, throwing out Almora Jr. at second with his second outfield assist in as many games. Now with two outs and a runner at third, Bryant struck out swinging to waste a scoring opportunity.

The Indians’ right-hander kept the Cubs off of the scoreboard again in the sixth, working around a pair of one-out singles by Contreras and Schwarber to strike out Javier Baez and to get Addison Russell to ground to third. It would be his final inning, as he was set to lead off the next frame.

Oliver Drake got some rare work in on the mound in the seventh, giving up a single and a walk. Dan Otero and Andrew Miller pitched the eighth, with the right-hander retiring both batters he faced and the left-hander giving up a triple to Baez before ending the inning with a fly out.

Three outs away from their fifth shutout of the season, those dreams would be squandered in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Tomlin, on in relief for the second time this season and the first time since his removal from the starting rotation, gave up a leadoff blast to switch-hitter Ian Happ, who had pinch-hit for the pitcher. The home run extended Tomlin’s MLB lead in home runs allowed to 16 (in 32 total innings) and made it a 10-1 game. He settled in after that, retiring the next three in order with a strikeout to wrap up the solid Tribe win at Wrigley.

The Cubs dropped to 25-20 with the loss and are now just 9-10 during the month of May. The loss, coupled with a win by first place Milwaukee, dropped Chicago three games in back in the division.

Bauer – Jon Durr/Getty Images

BAUER BATTLES THROUGH

Bauer was not necessarily at his best, but he minimized every opportunity that the Cubs had on the night. He allowed seven hits over six innings of work and added in two walks and three wild pitches, but he kept the most important column on the scoreboard at zero in his quality and scoreless outing. He added in six strikeouts.

“I was happy with how I pitched,” said Bauer. “I think I threw a couple too many pitches early. I would have liked to have pitched through seven, that’s been my goal this year.”

Combined with his eight shutout innings in his last start, Bauer has thrown 14 straight innings without giving up a run, dropping his ERA to 2.35 on the season. He improved to 4-3 on the year.

“He kept them off the scoreboard – two walks with six strikeouts. Made pitches all night,” said manager Terry Francona about Bauer’s effort. “It’s a good lineup; I thought he did really well.”

WILD WILD CHATWOOD

Chatwood was looking for a second straight win against the Indians this season, but just as was the case in his first start against them (and to be fair, all season long), walks were plentiful. Unlike that first start at Progressive Field in April, the free passes would cost him dearly as he was only able to retire eight batters in his short start on the mound. He was charged with four runs on four hits, hurt hardest by the Ramirez home run, but six walks also aided in that cause. He threw 74 pitches – 30 strikes and 44 balls in his wild outing – while dropping to 3-4 on the year.

WALK THIS WAY

While the Indians drew six walks off of Chatwood and four more off of the Cubs relievers throughout the night, Ramirez was racking up a significant portion of those on his own. He reached base safely four times in five trips to the plate, hitting his three-run home run while walking three times. The effort at the dish pushed his batting average up to .297 and his on-base percentage to .394.

“I just try to keep concentrated on the pitches I’m looking for,” Ramirez said after the game through a translator. “If he’s not throwing my pitch, I try not to get frustrated and just wait for my pitch.”

When asked what pitch he got on his home run, Ramirez joked, “a home run pitch.”

“He’s just one of the better hitters in the game,” shared Francona. “You look at him, I don’t know that you necessarily think you’re going to see a guy that hits the ball out of the ball park like that.“

Alonso had three hits and a walk behind Ramirez in the lineup. Allen drew a pair of walks, his first two of the year.

SWEEP OR TIE

The Indians will go for the short series sweep on Wednesday evening in an 8:05 PM ET first pitch from Wrigley Field.

Long-time foe Jon Lester (4-1, 2.52 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs, looking to avenge his April loss to the Indians that remains his only defeat of the season. He has won each of his last two starts, using a season-high eight strikeouts to knock off the Cincinnati Reds in his last outing.

The Indians will recall right-hander Adam Plutko (1-0, 3.68), who will make his second career start and second start of the season while sliding into a regular spot in the Tribe’s starting rotation for a period of time yet to be determined in the place vacated by Tomlin. Plutko has continued to pitch well since working seven and one-third innings of three-run ball in a quality start and win in his first Major League start earlier in the month against Toronto. He is 4-3 at Triple-A with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP in seven outings. A corresponding roster move will need to be made to add Plutko to the 25-man roster.

TRIBE TRIVIA

This Hall of Fame infielder spent nearly his entire career in the Indians dugout during some of the more competitive years in Tribe history, beginning with a one-game appearance in 1938. His time in Cleveland included an extensive role, eight All-Star appearances, a batting title, and an MVP. The multi-sport collegiate star later returned home to Illinois and spent significant time in the broadcast booth, as well as a one-year run back in the dugout as manager, for the Cubs.

Who am I? – Indians legend Lou Boudreau

The 6’7” “Red Baron” spent some of his most successful big league seasons with the Indians and Cubs. A Rookie of the Year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1979, he joined the Tribe in 1982 and was an All-Star in 1983, going 17-11. He started 1984 with the Tribe, but after a 4-5 start with a 5.15 ERA in 15 games, he was dealt to the Cubs with two others for a package that included Joe Carter. He had a miraculous turnaround for the eventual NL East champs in his new locale, going 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA in his final 20 starts of that season to claim the league’s Cy Young award.

Who am I? – check Wednesday night’s game recap

Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images

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