Five-Run Second Paces Plesac and Tribe to Sweep of Tigers; Indians 8, Tigers 3

Zach Plesac was good again for the Tribe and his offense provided him with a five-run second inning as the Indians cruised to a Sunday sweep of the Detroit Tigers in an 8-3 victory from downtown Cleveland.

Plesac continued an impressive start to his Major League career by handling the Tigers with ease after a slightly shaky opening to the day. He outdueled Daniel Norris, who faced all nine Indians hitters in the second in what proved to be the difference in the ball game.

Plesac faced some early resistance from the Tigers in the form of JaCoby Jones. With four hits in his first eight at bats of the series, Jones continued his strong stretch against the Indians by driving a 2-1 four-seamer over the 19-foot wall in left to put the Tigers up, 1-0, on his leadoff blast. The next two also reached base as Nicholas Castellanos doubled to left and Miguel Cabrera moved him to third with a single to right, but Plesac retired the next three, getting Niko Goodrum to line to third, Brandon Dixon to foul out to first, and Christin Stewart to line to center to leave a pair of big runs in scoring position.

Norris retired the side in order in first and Plesac set down his three outs in order in the second before the Tribe bats got to work in a big way in the home half of the frame.

Plesac – Jason Miller/Getty Images

Jordan Luplow struck out swinging to open the inning, but the next four reached safely to put the Indians out in front. Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis each singled to right and Bobby Bradley, in his first Major League at bat, dropped in an RBI-ground rule double the opposite way to left, just out of the reach of the outfielder Stewart. Kevin Plawecki singled to short and the throw from Goodrum to first was well off of the mark, allowing Kipnis to score easily on the throwing error and Bradley to scamper home as well from second to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. Tyler Naquin flied out for the second out, but Francisco Lindor extended the lead to three runs with a double to center to score the catcher Plawecki from second base. Oscar Mercado joined the hit parade with a single off of a diving Goodrum at short that rolled into left field, letting Lindor score safely to make it a 5-1 game. The ninth man to bat, Carlos Santana, flied to right to end the five-run rally.

Plesac was beat by Jones again to start the third, as the outfielder singled to left, but the young Indians hurler got the better of him in the end as, after three straight throws over to first, he picked off the careless Tigers base runner for his American League lead tying third pickoff of the season. Castellanos flied to center and Cabrera grounded to Kipnis at second to end the inning.

The Indians’ rookie right-hander gave up another hit in the fourth, but a double play liner to Kipnis ended the inning. Norris matched Plesac in effectiveness, retiring nine straight after getting Santana to end the second inning onslaught. That changed when Santana stepped in with two down in the fifth, as he jumped on the first pitch and parked it over the wall in right for his 17th homer of the season to give the Indians a 6-1 lead.

Plesac walked Cabrera with two down in the sixth, but avoided any further trouble by striking out Goodrum. He left after pitching a perfect seventh inning, putting the game in the hands of the bullpen.

Norris retired the side in order again in the sixth and returned for the seventh as well, giving up a two-out single and a stolen base to Lindor before getting Mercado to ground out to end the inning.

Nick Goody faced seven batters in what was a dangerous and ugly eighth inning. Harold Castro and Bobby Wilson each singled to put runners on the corners. Goody got Jones to pop to second for the first out, but walked Castellanos on four straight to load the bases. Cabrera stepped in with a chance to make it a ball game again, but he flied out to Naquin in foul territory down the right field line. Goodrum, however, did not have the same fortune as he singled to left, scoring both Castro and Wilson to cut the score to 6-3. With two on, two out, and the tying run at the plate in Dixon, Goody got a fielder’s choice one hopper to Ramirez at third. He got his body in front of the ball and blocked it, catching the ricochet before beating Castellanos to third base for the inning-ending force out.

The Indians got the two runs right back in the bottom of the eighth against Jose Cisnero. Santana drew a leadoff walk before Luplow was cut down on strikes. Ramirez moved the runner to third with a single to right and moved up into scoring position himself with a stolen base, his 18th of the season. The recently-productive Kipnis came through big to end an eight-pitch battle with Cisnero by dropping in a single to left to score both runners, giving the Indians an 8-3 lead. Bradley walked to reach base safely for the second time on the day and was lifted for a pinch-runner, but Cisnero got the next two as Plawecki popped to short and Naquin was cut down swinging to end a seven-hitter inning.

Manager Terry Francona used a pair of pitchers in the ninth to wrap up the series sweep. Tyler Olson needed just eight pitches to dispatch of Stewart and Gordon Beckham on swinging strikeouts. Adam Cimber came on to face pinch-hitter Ronny Rodriguez, but he grounded out for Castro to end the ball game.

The Indians (42-35) moved to seven games above the .500 mark for the first time on the year. They swept the Tigers for the second series in a row and are 8-1 against Detroit this season. They have now won eight of their last ten and 13 of 18. The Tigers fell to 26-47 on the year.

Plesac was effective again and did not let the three first inning hits rattle him. After the tough frame, he allowed just two more hits on the afternoon and ended his day with seven innings worked, allowing a run on five hits in total with a walk and two strikeouts. He departed with 97 pitches thrown and a healthy 6-1 lead. He is now 3-2 on the year with a 2.33 ERA.

Norris was able to give the Tigers seven innings after surviving a nine-batter battle in the second. He allowed six runs on eight hits, striking out eight and walking none. He moved to 2-6 on the season with the defeat.

Bradley – Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

Cleveland had another double-digit hit performance at the plate, led by two-hit days from Kipnis, Ramirez, and Lindor. Kipnis led the team with a pair of RBI and scored once. Ramirez scored twice and is now hitting .211 on the season. Santana also scored twice. As a team, the Indians were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded just four on base.

Bradley was 1-for-3 in his Major League debut with an RBI-double for his first hit. The 23-year-old later drew a walk to reach a second time.

“It’s just an unreal moment, I mean it still doesn’t feel real to me yet,” Bradley said after the game. “Just to be able to be up here and get a hit, it means the world to me.”

To make room for the addition of the International League’s home run leader, the Indians optioned left-handed reliever Josh Smith to Triple-A Columbus.

The Indians will get back to work on Monday night as the Kansas City Royals come to town. Adam Plutko (3-1, 4.55 ERA) will draw the game one start against fellow right-hander Brad Keller (3-9, 4.45).

Game time from Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.

Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

Related Posts

Lindor and Perez Named AL Gold Glove Winners

Sunday night’s Gold Glove Awards reminded Indians fans of the sheer talent on display by Francisco Lindor – and showed off another player who blossomed in his…

Hamilton Named Finalist for Ford C. Frick Award

Cleveland Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton was named as one of eight finalists on Friday for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Ford C. Frick Award….

Baseball Enters Offseason Mode With Nats’ World Series Win

The 2019 Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Washington Nationals are first time World Series Champions, taking home an improbable title after entering…

Postmortem for a Wasted 2019 Season for the Tribe

Sometimes you have to take a step back and wait a few days before assessing situations. In this case, I needed a little more than that (but…

Indians Make Decisions on Three Club Options

Cleveland’s Chris Antonetti shared with the media on Wednesday that the Indians will pick up the team option on right-hander Corey Kluber, bringing him back for the…

Tribe Drops Fifth Straight to End Season with Thud; Nationals 8, Indians 2

The Cleveland Indians’ late season collapse concluded with an 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, sending the team into the offseason on a five-game losing skid. Looking…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.