2019: Enjoy Him
Shane Bieber pitched another gem for the Indians in a playoff atmosphere and the Cleveland bats beat up on Minnesota starting pitching again as the Tribe rolled to a 6-2 win on Friday night.
A big needed victory for the Indians moved the club to 70-46, matching the Twins for the top record in the American League Central for the first time since April 26. In doing so, they officially trimmed the deficit in the division that once sat at 11.5 games all the way to zero, with two games remaining in the four-game set from Target Field this weekend. The Indians have won four in a row and seven of their last eight games, while the Twins have dropped four straight. The Tribe is now 40-16 since sitting at the .500 mark on June 4, when they started their first home series of the season against the Twins.
The final two innings gave the Indians a pretty significant scare, but Cleveland came away with a 7-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins in game one of four from Target Field on Thursday night.
Clevinger contained the dangerous and pesky Twins lineup over seven innings, giving up just five base runners in a quality start (three hits, one walk, one hit batter). He allowed a pair of runs in the four inning on a pair of RBI singles, but he was already blessed with a 4-0 lead at that point as the Indians had attacked the ineffective and wild Twins starter Kyle Gibson.
Three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a little extra cushion in a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers in game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Indians got big contributions from a pair of new faces and two other steadily improving veterans on the lineup card as Cleveland’s stellar bullpen allowed just one run on four hits to shut down the Texas offense on a day that the Rangers combined to score just one run over 18 innings of day baseball.
It was a game dominated by pitching as the Indians and Rangers opened the day’s doubleheader with a pitchers’ duel between 23-year-old Jurado and the 24-year-old Zach Plesac. The two starters went toe to toe for six innings before the Indians finally struck through against the Rangers’ second-year right-hander.
For many years, the Indians offense has been linked to what Jason Kipnis could provide the lineup with his bat in his work near the top of the batting order. In recent years, the team has had to look elsewhere for that production as the popular second baseman has not provided the All-Star level numbers that he did during some of his early years in a Cleveland uniform.
That has all changed this season after a slow start to his 2019 campaign. Now, like fellow infielder Jose Ramirez, Kipnis’ bat has come alive and has stayed that way as the team has surged its way back up towards the top of the American League Central Division.
Tuesday’s game between the visiting Texas Rangers and the host Cleveland Indians was rained out from Progressive Field with inclement weather pending in the northeast Ohio area. The game will be played on Wednesday as part of a traditional doubleheader.
The pitching probables for the night, Cleveland’s Zach Plesac (6-3, 3.41 ERA) and Texas’ Ariel Jurado (6-6, 4.92), were pushed back to start the opener of Wednesday’s double dip, still scheduled for 1:10 PM ET. The second game will start shortly after the completion of game one and will see a bullpen game from the Tribe while the Rangers will call on right-hander Lance Lynn (14-6, 3.71).
Jordan Luplow’s cramp following his slide into third base in the seventh inning on Monday night was a little worse than hoped. The outfielder was placed on the ten-day injured list on Tuesday while Greg Allen was recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
Texas’ Mike Minor came into Monday night’s series opener at Progressive Field with video game numbers against the Cleveland Indians. The left-hander had pitched seven times against the Indians in his career (six relief appearances with the Kansas City Royals in 2017 and one start this June for the Rangers), allowing just one run on seven hits with 18 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings of work.
He continued that mastery of the Indians with seven shutout innings on Monday as he combined with two relievers to blank Cleveland on eight hits, 1-0.
Minor made his first start in August after a disastrous July that wrapped around the first All-Star nod of his career. He went 1-2 with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in five starts last month as he struggled with both his command and the long ball. He got both of those things in check against the Indians, as he scattered seven hits and a walk in seven shutout innings, striking out seven while making the one lone Rangers run stand strong.
Shane Bieber threw his third complete game of the season as the Cleveland Indians completed their three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-2 final on Sunday afternoon.
Bieber received some early run support but got a big jolt in the middle innings as the Indians pulled away from the Angels. The second-year starter scattered five hits over nine innings of work and avoided unnecessary problems by issuing no free passes. Three Indians long balls powered the offense in a ten-hit effort as the team improved to 4-2 during their current nine-game homestand.
With the Browns’ Baker Mayfield in attendance, the Cleveland Indians put on a show as they hit three home runs, including two in a five-run fifth inning, as the Tribe defeated the Los Angeles Angels by a 7-2 final on Saturday night.
Mayfield incidentally may have sparked the Tribe’s fifth inning rally in a scoreless game. The star second-year quarterback for the NFL’s Browns was shown on the Progressive Field scoreboard, drinking a beer before shotgunning a second while flexing his Francisco Lindor jersey to the hometown crowd. Shortly thereafter, the Indians offense erupted, backing starting pitcher Adam Plutko to another win.
Seven runs scattered over the first three innings powered the Cleveland Indians to a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels in the series opener of their three-game set from Progressive Field.
The Indians’ run through the American League West continued on Friday as the Angels replaced the Astros in town, but they could not replicate Houston’s wins in two of the three games there earlier in the week. The Angels jumped out to an early lead two batters into the game, but the Indians came roaring back with a big offensive outburst to support the starting efforts of Mike Clevinger, who walked four but otherwise shut down his former club.
The on-going injury concerns for Indians pitcher Danny Salazar continued on Thursday, when he was removed from his first start off of the injured list in his first action since 2017 with a groin strain. After being evaluated by the team training staff on Friday, he was placed on the 10-day injured list.
Also joining Salazar on the injured list was left-handed reliever Tyler Olson with a non-baseball medical issue. Olson is dealing with the shingles.