Sometimes, the worst thing for a team is to face a pitcher after an abysmal start. That was the case for the Cleveland Indians on Thursday afternoon as Chicago’s Reynaldo Lopez bounced back from a career-worst performance with a complete game one-hitter in a 7-1 White Sox win over the Tribe.
After holding on by the skin of their teeth on Wednesday, momentum failed to carry over for the Indians on Thursday as Lopez shut down the Tribe for nine innings to win his ninth game of the season. Coming off of a two-thirds of an inning performance against the Atlanta Braves in his last start on August 31, Lopez looked like a completely different pitcher as he allowed just one run on one hit with three walks and eleven strikeouts while facing just four batters over the minimum. His offense gave him a pair of early runs in the second, then broke the game open for good in a three-run sixth against Cleveland starter Zach Plesac.
Tribe closer Brad Hand gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth to allow the Twins to tie the game at three, but Carlos Santana sent the Indians to a victory as he hit a grand slam in the top of the tenth to give Cleveland a 7-3 win over Minnesota on Sunday.
In the biggest series of the year for the Indians to date, the club showed up big in the Twin Cities and stole three wins in a four-game series to tie the Twins for the top spot in the American League Central for the second time in the last three days. They needed some late inning heroics, capped by a dynamite defensive play to avoid a dramatic loss in the bottom of the ninth before Santana crushed the backbreaker in the next half inning to send Cleveland home with an impressive series win from Minnesota.
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.
For the fourth time since November, the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays swiped right and made a match.
The two clubs announced another player swap on Sunday evening, as the Indians acquired right-handed pitcher Hunter Wood and utility infielder Christian Arroyo from the Rays in exchange for minor league outfielder Ruben Cardenas and future considerations (believed to be international bonus slot money in value of $250,000, according to MLB.com).