2021: Life After Lindor
A hard fought pitchers’ dual by both clubs was decided by an eighth inning sacrifice fly as the Detroit Tigers edged the Cleveland Indians by a 1-0 decision on Wednesday night.
Jose Urena and Triston McKenzie matched up nicely in a close contest as both hurlers kept offensive threats to a minimum for much of the night. There were the usual missed opportunities along the way, which proved all the more costly in the one-run final.
Jordan Luplow played the hero last month with his bat, but on Monday night, it was his glove that earned the Cleveland Indians a big win. After entering just an inning earlier as a defensive replacement, Luplow’s diving catch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth saved Emmanuel Clase in a huge jam to give the Indians a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Cesar Hernandez pulled back on a bunt attempt on the first pitch that he saw from Alex Colome to start the bottom of the tenth. For fans opposing the use of bunt in baseball and especially in extra innings with the free runner standing at second base to open the inning, they got their wish on the next pitch as Hernandez stroked a 92 MPH fastball left right over the heart of the plate and ripped it just over the right field wall for a walk-off two-run home run, giving the Cleveland Indians a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday afternoon.
Hernandez’s heroics gave the Indians (24-19) a needed win less than 24 hours after a crushing loss to the Twins (16-29) in the opener of a three-game set from Progressive Field. The Tribe jumped out to an early lead, only to lose it bit by bit in the middle innings as the Twins pulled all the way back to tie the game at three while ending Shane Bieber’s start at just five and one-third innings. The bullpen picked up for the staff ace, firing four and two-thirds hitless and shutout innings in relief, while the offense finally scratched out the runs it needed to seal a win.
Despite a late night flight to Cleveland after playing a doubleheader in Los Angeles against the Angels on Thursday, the Minnesota Twins showed no signs of tiredness or jetlag, knocking around an ineffective Triston McKenzie and Phil Maton between him in a nine-run fourth inning on the way to a 10-0 shutout of the Indians on Friday night.
There was little to talk about regarding the Indians’ performance. Randy Dobnak and two relievers shut down the lineup, with only a handful of threats presenting over the course of the evening. Dobnak allowed single base runners in the first and third innings on a hit and an error, but otherwise kept the bats contained.
The Cleveland Indians ended their brief West Coast trip on the right note on Wednesday night, sneaking out of town with a 3-2 victory over Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Tribe took a first inning lead, but the Angels got out in front after solo runs in the third and fourth innings, using three extra base hits to take the advantage from the visiting club. Cleveland responded with solo runs of their own in their next two trips to the plate in support of starter Aaron Civale and the bullpen tandem of Emmanuel Clase and James Karinchak closed the door despite allowing the tying run to reach base in their respective innings of action.
The Los Angeles Angels used three home runs to rally back from a five-run first inning deficit, but the Cleveland Indians had the last laugh as Josh Naylor’s solo blast with two outs in the top of the eighth gave the Tribe a 6-5 win on Tuesday night to end a four-game losing skid.
The Indians put up five runs in the first inning against Angels’ starter Andrew Heaney, but were unable to strike through against him after that frame or against Jaime Barria in long relief. In the meantime, the Angels slowly chipped into that first-inning hole, taking Zach Plesac deep three times to get back into the ball game.
Cleveland dropped its fourth straight after an ugly five-run second by the Los Angeles Angels pushed them to an easy 7-4 win over Sam Hentges and the Indians on Monday night.
Kicking off the second leg of their two-city West Coast trip, the Indians were tripped up after a quick start to the game had them on top by a run. The Angels tied things up quickly in the home half of the first without the aid of a hit, then knocked out Hentges in a rough second frame to coast to victory. While the club was undoubtedly excited for its series opening win, attentions were likely more focused on superstar Mike Trout, who exited the game after just one plate appearance after straining his right calf while running the bases in the first inning.
The Cleveland Indians were unable to leave Seattle with a split on Sunday, as Shane Bieber lasted a season-low four and two-thirds innings and the bats could not figure out a bullpen day from the Mariners to lose for the third straight game, this time by a 3-2 count.
Bieber’s incredible streak of eight strikeouts in 20 consecutive starts came to an end in a rough go for the reigning Cy Young winner. He finished his day with seven, but he was unable to make it through five innings as command eluded him again.
One-time top Tribe pitching prospect Justus Sheffield shut down his former club, working six quality innings while his teammates provided plenty of punch to knock out Triston McKenzie and the visiting Cleveland Indians in a 7-3 rout on Saturday night from T-Mobile Park.
Sheffield, one of several prospects dealt by the Indians to the New York Yankees ahead of the 2016 trade deadline for All-Star reliever Andrew Miller, worked his way through some trouble but gave the Mariners some length at the center of the diamond. His teammates did the heavy working from there, tagging McKenzie for five runs before he headed to the showers for the day.
Jarred Kelenic set all sorts of career firsts in his second Major League game, notching a homer for his first big league hit in a three-hit, three-RBI day as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Cleveland Indians, 7-3, on Friday night.
The Mariners struck through early against undefeated right-hander Aaron Civale. The Tribe hurler worked the count from 3-0 to 3-2 against Kyle Seager, but the second payoff pitch was belted to right-center to put Seattle up, 1-0.
Any conversations of Zach Plesac’s demise were silenced on Thursday, as the third-year right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Cleveland bullpen held off late threats by Seattle as the Indians knocked off the Mariners, 4-2, from T-Mobile Park.
A dominant start from Plesac spoiled a pair of Major League debuts for two top Mariners prospects, Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert. The outfielder Kelenic went 0-for-4 against Plesac, while the Tribe lineup did some early damage to the young left-hander Gilbert, who was tagged for all four runs in a short four-inning outing.