Former Indians coach Kevin Cash has done some interesting things with the Tampa Bay Rays. Those Rays are on pace for their best win total in his four years as manager and will look to build towards that end result as the club returns to Cleveland for the first time since the middle of May of last season.
The Indians (76-57) edged out a series win over the Minnesota Twins to take the season series from the second place team of the American League Central during the week. It gave the Indians season series victories over the Twins, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers, while having a sizable lead over the Kansas City Royals (8-4) prior to their visit at the beginning of next week as they go for the AL Central sweep.
It was another bad day for the Cleveland Indians bullpen on Wednesday, as they lost an All-Star reliever early in the afternoon before their all-time saves leader blew a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of a 4-3 loss at Progressive Field to the Minnesota Twins.
For the third time this month, the Indians and Twins will meet on the diamond as Minnesota makes its second trip of August to the city of Cleveland.
The Indians (74-56) will welcome a return home to Cleveland after a tough seven-game road trip over the last week. After splitting with the MLB-best Boston Red Sox to start the week, they dropped two of three to the Kansas City Royals, including a tough loss in the series opener when back-to-back ninth inning homers turned a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss in the matter of four pitches. The Tribe has recovered from a rough start to the season against the Twins to pull their season record against the second place club to 8-8. The Indians remain 16-8 in August with a +32 run differential for the month.
The American League Central sleepwalk, coupled with a tough series with Boston earlier in the week, appear to have taken their toll on the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe dropped a season-high fourth straight game on Saturday, shelled by the Kansas City Royals, 7-1.
It was another tough start for Corey Kluber, who saw his four-game winning streak disappear in a rough outing against KC. The Royals fell behind early, but fought back and scored runs in five of their final six trips to the plate to bury the Indians with a big loss.
For the first time since the end of April, the Red Sox have lost three straight games. This time, they have the Indians to blame for two of those defeats as Shane Bieber took a shutout into the seventh inning and the bottom of the Tribe lineup provided an extra punch in a 6-3 win by Cleveland in Boston.
The Red Sox, who entered the night with a 44-17 record at home, took a second straight loss to the Indians to make it three straight defeats for just the second time this season (the other occurred from April 21 to 24 in Oakland against the A’s and Toronto against the Blue Jays). Boston could get nothing going against the Tribe starter Bieber, finally tallying three runs in the seventh with Cleveland already up by five.
A playoff preview from Fenway Park lived up to every bit of the hype on Monday night as the visiting Cleveland Indians rebounded from an early three-run deficit, then held off a late rally from the Red Sox for a 5-4 win in the series opener from Boston.
In a pitching matchup that pitted former Cy Young winners Rick Porcello of Boston and Corey Kluber of Cleveland, both starters would deal with scoring threats of the opposing power packed lineups. The Red Sox stepped up big early with two-out hitting, but the Tribe outfielders countered with blasts of their own to get the Indians back into the game in the middle innings. The Tribe dealt the deciding blow against Porcello in the seventh, then had to protect a two-run lead with the relief staff carrying the load for the final three innings.
A fourth inning grand slam from Melky Cabrera doubled Cleveland’s lead, while the Indians’ Mike Clevinger and three other relievers combined on a nine-hit 8-0 shutout of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon.
The Indians locked down shutout number 13 on the year behind steady pitching from the Cleveland staff, early support from Greg Allen at the top of the order, and a big blow from Cabrera for the Indians’ ninth grand slam of the season, tying Boston and Cincinnati for the Major League lead. Cleveland took a lead in the bottom of the first, tacked on another in the second, and broke the game open with a six-run fourth against Orioles right-hander Yefry Ramirez, who would not retire an out in the fourth.
The Indians will get a quick sample of home cooking this weekend during a brief three-game homestand with the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
The Indians (69-51) won another road series with a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the week to capture sole possession of the Ohio Cup. It improved the team’s record to 11-3 in the month. The Indians have nearly doubled the amount of runs scored by the opposition this month, plating 69 while allowing 35. They have the second-best record in the American League in August, trailing only the 11-2 mark of Boston, and are third-best in the Majors (also trailing St. Louis’ 12-3 mark). The team’s hot stretch has extended well into the second half, when they rank third among the 30 MLB teams with a 17-8 record, worse only than Boston’s 18-6 record and Oakland’s 17-7 mark. Cleveland took three of four from Baltimore earlier this year while outscoring the Orioles, 14-7.
A full claim to the Ohio Cup came down to the very last batter on Wednesday night as Brad Hand completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds by escaping a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to secure a 4-3 win for the Cleveland Indians from Great American Ball Park.
In a game of big innings, the Indians took the lead in the sixth with a home run that just barely squeezed over the left field wall. After two strong innings of setup work from Cody Allen, Hand was tasked with the top of the Reds order, but he had to face six batters in a 4-3 game to record his 28th save of the season and his fourth with the Tribe.
Corey Kluber cruised through seven innings for the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night, allowing one run while backed early and often by his offense in an 8-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
It was a taste of the old Kluber from Great American Ball Park, where he looked to defend a 3-0 career mark against the Reds in three career starts, but it was to be his first appearance against the cross-state club since 2015. Before he could step foot to the mound to throw his first pitch of the night, he stood at the plate with a bat in his hands as the Indians put up four first inning runs and sent nine men to the plate to put away the game mere minutes after it had started.
After being held to two runs over the first five innings, the Cleveland bats broke out with seven runs in the sixth to pace the Indians to a 10-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
Mike Clevinger finally got back into the win column with his first victory since July 1 as a shaky outing from the right-hander was supported with the big outburst in the latter half of the ball game. The top three hitters in the Tribe’s lineup combined to go 8-for-15 with three walks, contributing four runs batted in and six runs scored.
The Cincinnati Reds got the better of the Cleveland Indians last month during a three-game set from Progressive Field, so the Tribe will look to even that score as the club heads to Great American Ball Park for three games this week.
The Indians (66-51) are 15 games over .500 for the first time this year and have pushed their divisional lead to a season-high 12 games after handling the Chicago White Sox twice in three games over the weekend. It pushed Cleveland’s excellence against the AL Central to 37-17, the second-best record by any Major League club within its own division (Boston: 43-15). The Tribe lost a pair of close decisions in the first two games of their previous series with the Reds, losing by two and three runs before a lopsided 19-4 shellacking in the finale on July 11.