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.
Mike Clevinger pitched seven innings of one-run baseball and a four-run first inning by the offense set the tone as the Cleveland Indians cruised to a 9-1 win over the Kansas City Royals to take the first three of their four-game series from Kauffman Stadium on Saturday evening.
Oscar Mercado had another four-hit game, Jason Kipnis drove in four runs, Francisco Lindor had three hits, and Jose Ramirez homered for the third straight game as the Indians offense was alive and well from Kansas City, Missouri. The dominant performance from all sides of the game moved the Indians to 62-42, and with a loss in Chicago by the Minnesota Twins, Cleveland is now just one game out of first place in the American League Central Division.
The Kansas City Royals have been a pesky team for Cleveland this season and that continued on Thursday as they responded to every Indians score, but reliever A.J. Cole worked out of a bases loaded jam with a two-run lead in the bottom of the 14th to give the Tribe a 5-4 win in the series opener from Kauffman Stadium.
Cole got the final out four hours and 51 minutes after first pitch in a 14-inning marathon that saw 16 different pitchers throw a combined 461 pitches while scattering 25 hits, 16 walks, and nine runs while also stranding 31 base runners. The two teams were an ugly 2-for-26 performance with runners in scoring position.
The Indians matched a season-high with 18 hits and put up eleven runs, including six in the eighth, to rout the Cincinnati Reds by an 11-1 final to wrap up the first half of the season.
Cleveland (50-38) cruised to a sixth straight victory with a strong pitching performance from Trevor Bauer (8-6) and moved within five and a half games of the Minnesota Twins in the division, as the top club in the American League Central fell 4-1 in eleven innings against the Texas Rangers.
Jason Kipnis capped a three-hit day at the plate with the deciding blow in the bottom of the tenth to send a tired Cleveland crowd to a 3-2 walk-off fireworks display against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
After losing a one-run lead in the top of the eighth, the Indians needed bonus baseball to find a fourth straight win in a game already delayed more than two hours by rains in the middle innings. They pulled out the victory in another dramatic Progressive Field moment, walking off for the fifth time this year on Kipnis’ sixth long ball of the season.
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.
Aaron Civale’s Major League debut could not have gone much better for Cleveland on Saturday afternoon as the 24-year-old allowed just two hits and three walks over six shutout innings and four relievers handled the rest of the work in a 2-0 shutout for the Indians over the Detroit Tigers.
The Indians lineup backed their rookie starter with a couple of early runs of support, but struggled to get much else going against Spencer Turnbull, who pitched well overall in a five-and-fly despite being around the strike zone quite a bit. He kept the Tigers in the game and his bullpen fired three perfect innings of relief after he left, but Civale and the Tribe relief corps were able to protect the two-run lead to take home a second straight victory over Detroit.
The Indians used a five-run first to set the stage on Wednesday night and Jason Kipnis hit a pair of home runs as Cleveland routed the host Texas Rangers in a 10-4 final.
The Tribe offense was alive and well as a hot June continued for the club, which now sits with the best record in the American League in the month at 11-5. The Indians (39-34) used five multi-hit games and 12 hits in total to put up a second straight double digit scoring effort to clinch at least a series split with the Rangers (39-35) while moving a half-game in front of them in the overall American League standings.
Zach Plesac took a no-hitter into the fifth and allowed just two knocks on the night, while his teammates backed his strong start with four home runs in a 10-3 victory over the Texas Rangers from Globe Life Park on Tuesday.
The Tribe’s rookie right-hander pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his big league career and bounced back well after a rough start against the Cincinnati Reds his last time out. He gave up just a run on two hits and departed in the eighth, while the bullpen handled the rest in a big offense performance from the Indians that included a rare feat not accomplished by the club in nearly 15 years. The ten-run outburst by the offense came on a night where both Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana were held hitless.
Trevor Bauer went the distance for the third time in his career on Sunday, firing his first professional shutout in a four-hit 8-0 gem over the Detroit Tigers from Comerica Park.
Needing to pick up their play against the American League Central Division, the Cleveland Indians (37-33) did that this weekend in securing a series sweep over the fourth place Tigers, moving to 5-1 on the year against their divisional foe. They did so in fairly dominating fashion to boot, outscoring the host club 25-6 in a series highlighted by impressive starting pitching and a healthy offensive contribution from Cleveland.
The Indians spoiled the final regular season start in Cleveland for longtime Tribe southpaw CC Sabathia and claimed another big series win over a playoff caliber opponent on Saturday afternoon with an 8-4 win over the New York Yankees.
Playing in his 19th and final Major League season, the Sabathia farewell tour made its stop in Cleveland with a big milestone on the line for the left-hander. Looking for his 250th career win in his last Progressive Field start (his home for eight big league seasons), Sabathia was good in the early going, but ran into trouble late and was bested by Adam Plutko, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus for a spot start for the Tribe.