The depleted Cleveland starting rotation took another hit on Monday, but the Indians bullpen picked up the slack to complete a six-hit 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Cubs in the first of two from Wrigley Field.
The latest in the growing list of walking wounded for the Tribe is Aaron Civale, who exited in the middle of an at bat in the fifth inning on Monday night. The last man standing in the starting rotation left with what was described as a right middle finger injury, but four relievers handled the rest of the load to protect a three-run lead to get the team back to ten games over the .500 mark.
The Indians made it three in a row this week over the Orioles on Wednesday night, using a five-run third inning and several key insurance runs late to hold off Baltimore by an 8-7 decision from downtown Cleveland.
The Tribe bats came to the rescue of starter Aaron Civale, who was hit hard early in one of his worst starts in an otherwise strong first few months of the season. While the five-run frame put the club on top, it was two later insurance runs on a big three-base hit in the sixth that proved to be the deciding runs in the tight contest.
It was a bad news day in Cleveland on Monday, but a united team effort earned the Indians a 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
As the team’s struggling starting pitching staff suffered another blow with the loss of ace Shane Bieber to a right shoulder strain, rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia did his part to ease the burdens of the rotation, then was backed up by four solid efforts out of the bullpen to hold on to a close victory.
Trailing three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Cleveland Indians tied the game to force extra frames, then loaded the bases before an improbable throwing error allowing the game-winning run to cross the plate in a 5-4 come-from-behind victory on Saturday afternoon over the Seattle Mariners.
The game featured plenty of unwatchable moments, but Indians fans that gutted out the messy action through the first seven innings got a show to watch in the final three innings as the Tribe rallied back from a four-run hole, using a long ball in the eighth and a two-out rally by the bottom of the order in the ninth before an ending most could not have scripted.
Adam Wainwright survived a rough top of the first, but the Cardinal bats put up eight unanswered runs as St. Louis knocked off the Cleveland Indians by an 8-2 count.
Backed with an early two-run edge, rookie right-hander J.C. Mejia’s second big league start did not go as planned as he was unable to get out of the bottom of the first. The Tribe bats were then put to bed early, mustering just one more base runner over the final eight innings as the Cardinals ended a six-game losing skid and bounced back from a 10-1 defeat the night before.
The Indians and White Sox split their doubleheader on Memorial Day, with Chicago stealing an 8-6 win in extra frames in the opener before Cleveland rode the long ball to victory in a 3-1 final in the nightcap.
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.
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.
Amed Rosario had four hits and drove in all of the Indians runs on Wednesday, but it was the last one of each that proved most important as his bases-loaded RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning gave Cleveland a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Cleveland (20-14) continued its hot play on the diamond, winning for the third game in a row and for the eighth time in nine contests. It was not the prettiest of games and was aided by another poor offensive performance from the visiting Cubs, who left a small village of runners on the base paths against Indians rookie starter Sam Hentges and the six relievers who worked behind him.
Shane Bieber dodged and weaved through some tough situations on Tuesday and got some big help from his friends as a pair of Tribe taters gave the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs to start a quick two-game interleague set from Progressive Field.
Pitching on extended rest, Bieber needed a career-high number of pitches to work into the seventh inning, but he showed why he is known as the staff’s ace and the reigning Cy Young winner in the American League by gutting his way deep into the outing. He struck out his customary eight batters, something that he has done for a record 20 consecutive games, and the Indians offense provided just enough run support to hold off the visiting Cubs.
The Cleveland bats made up for lost time on Saturday as the Indians routed the Cincinnati Reds, 9-2, from Progressive Field.
After suffering through nine innings without a hit in the series opener with the Reds on Friday night, the Tribe bats came out swinging in the first and never slowed down to even up the three-game set between the two clubs at a game each. The offensive outburst backed yet another strong start from Aaron Civale, who remained perfect on the year with seven quality innings on the mound.
Cleveland ended its road trip in dominating fashion, as Triston McKenzie bounced back from a career-worst performance to fire five shutout innings of two-hit baseball before letting his bullpen handle the rest as the Indians blanked the Kansas City Royals by a 4-0 final on Thursday afternoon.
The Indians won six of seven games during their road trip over the last week, taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox before sweeping the Royals in a four-game series in KC for the first time ever. The stretch of improved play on the field for the Tribe moved the team right back into the mix in the American League Central Division, as the 17-13 club has moved from third place to the top of the pack over the course of the last week.