The Cleveland bats backed six different pitchers with four home runs as the Indians swept the Baltimore Orioles behind a 10-3 final from Progressive Field on Thursday afternoon.
With the bullpen expecting to do some heavy lifting with young right-hander Eli Morgan making his second big league start, the bats came to the rescue to provide the entire pitching staff with some wiggle room. Jose Ramirez had a big day, driving home three runs, but Yu Chang made an even bigger contribution out of the eight-hole, driving in a career-high four runs on a pair of two-RBI knocks to help guide the Indians (38-28) to a four-game sweep and a season-high record ten games above 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.
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.
Shane Bieber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Tribe offense gave him some strong run support on Thursday afternoon as the Cleveland Indians wrapped up their series in Detroit with a 5-2 win over the Tigers.
The Indians (27-21) took three of four in the series with the Motor City Kitties to get keep pace in the American League Central Division. The victory, led by Bieber and his 12 strikeouts, moved the Indians to 7-3 on the year against the Tigers and came on the heels of a tough 1-0 loss on Wednesday that ended the club’s six-game winning streak over their Detroit neighbors. The win was also the 700th of Terry Francona’s managerial tenure in Cleveland.
“Tried to use kind of a north-south attack and work with Hedgey,” said Bieber after the game. “We were on the same page from pitch one, really, and I just kind of fell in a rhythm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.