Cleveland tied the game with a big two-out two-bagger from Franmil Reyes in the eighth, then plated a pair in the tenth and held on through a weather-delayed home half to squeeze out a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday Night Baseball.
With all eyes in the baseball world affixed on Chicago, the White Sox hosted the Indians for the third and final time this season in a key rubber match between the AL Central rivals. A back-and-forth game pitted a pair of staff aces against one another, but the final score was decided by both teams’ bullpens.
After finding their bats on Thursday night, the Cleveland Indians will hope to keep the offense alive in a three-game series in Chicago this weekend against the rival and upstart White Sox.
The Indians (8-6) got themselves back on track after a tough four-game series in Minnesota resulted in a 1-3 record and an absolute absence of offense. After dropping their series opener with the Reds on Monday, the Indians won each of the final three games of the series, using a pair of shutouts and a massive outburst from the bats to rack up 13 runs in the series finale on Thursday night.
A two-run home run by Franmil Reyes in the top of the eighth highlighted a four-run rally for the Cleveland Indians in support of starter Shane Bieber, while Brad Hand pitched a perfect ninth to save a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
The struggling Indians lineup had a different approach during the game, but came away with just three hits against right-hander Tyler Mahle and the Reds bullpen. Two of those hits came in their final two innings at the plate, however, and both were instrumental in putting key runs on the scoreboard.
With rains falling heavily in northeast Ohio and scattered thunderstorms forecast for the Cincinnati area throughout the day on Monday, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds will be hoping to avoid any doubleheader silliness to open their four-game series split between the two cities this week.
The Indians (5-5) will be the road team first, heading to the Queen City for Monday and Tuesday games at Great American Ball Park. The club has not had the best of weeks and is struggling mightily at the plate, squandering some consistent quality start pitching unlike anything seen in quite some time. Through ten games, the Indians starting rotation has fired nine quality starts, but the offense has mustered just 26 total runs of offense in those games, leading to the subpar overall record through the first sixth of the shortened season schedule.
It was more of the same from Shane Bieber on Thursday night as he fired off eight shutout innings while racking up 13 more strikeouts and James Karinchak pitched a perfect ninth for his first Major League save as the Cleveland Indians took game one from the Minnesota Twins, 2-0.
In his first start since setting a new Indians franchise record with 14 strikeouts in a season opener, Bieber was right back at it as Cleveland opened its series at Target Field with a strong message for the reigning American League Central champs. He faced little resistance throughout the night in a dominating performance, having one actual challenging inning to contend with while beginning his season with numbers seen just one other time in the Live Ball era. The Tribe offense was not able to do much against Minnesota starter Jose Berrios and the Twins bullpen, but Bieber and Karinchak made the two runs provided stand up.
Every game feels all the more important in a 60-game schedule, which means this week’s four-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins could have a significant effect on how the American League Central Division plays out in 2020.
The Indians (4-2) are off to a hot start, led by incredible starting pitching performances from six different starters. The team could very well be sitting at a 6-0 record, but a late loss in extra innings in the second game of the season against the Kansas City Royals and a tough defeat on Wednesday night when the Chicago White Sox tagged Brad Hand for four runs in the ninth have left the Indians a half game out of first place, trailing only the Twins.
Baseball in Cleveland returned without a glitch over the weekend, as the Indians successfully hosted the Kansas City Royals and took two of three from the visiting club to continue a strong reign of dominance over their rebuilding divisional rival in contests from Progressive Field.
The task will be more difficult for the Tribe this week, as the rebuilt and more balanced Chicago White Sox will come to town for three evening affairs to close out the Indians’ season-opening six-game homestand.
Shane Bieber pitched like he was in midseason form, even though the July 24th contest between the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals marked the first game of the 2020 season. The Tribe bats scratched across a pair of runs to support Bieber’s 14 strikeouts over six scoreless four-hit innings as the Indians blanked the Royals by a 2-0 final from Progressive Field.
Bieber put together a historic effort in the annals of Indians history, surpassing the team’s previous mark for strikeouts in a season-opening performance established by Gary Bell on April 19, 1960, when he struck out a dozen Tigers in a 4-2 loss to Detroit in 15 innings. Bieber tallied his 14 Ks over six innings, while Bell worked ten and one-third innings in that record-setting outing.
Finally, after four months of pandemic delays, the 2020 Major League Baseball season is under way. The New York Yankees defeated the Washington Nationals in a rain-shortened 4-1 victory in the first game of the season on Thursday, while the host Los Angeles Dodgers rolled the San Francisco Giants in an 8-1 final in the day’s night cap.
The Cleveland Indians open their first three of ten games with the Kansas City Royals on Friday, July 24, as the Tribe kicks off 17 straight games to begin the season. The 60-game schedule will see the Indians play ten games each with its rivals in the American League Central, as well as six games with the Pittsburgh Pirates, four games each against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs, and three games with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals in localized, regional play.
The Indians fell short of the playoffs in 2019, finishing in second place in the American League Central with a 93-69 record. It marked the fifth time in the Terry Francona era that the Indians had topped the 90-win mark in a season, but the first time the team was left outside of the postseason in such a campaign.
Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 57 days
One of the most exciting things to watch in Cleveland during the 2019 Major League Baseball season was the continued development of right-hander Shane Bieber, the team’s number 57 wearer.
Needing to win every game down the home stretch to improve its playoff odds, Cleveland was dealt a defeat as former Indians hurler Ross Detwiler scattered three runs on five hits over five innings while the Tribe bullpen let the game get out of hand late in an 8-3 loss.
The White Sox claimed the season series over the Indians, winning for the tenth time in 18 matchups this year. That could prove to be the difference for the Tribe, which fared well overall against the other three teams in the American League Central, going 18-1 against Detroit, 12-7 against Kansas City, and 10-9 against first place Minnesota. The White Sox used some early offense, capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Tribe, and put the game away late with a key three-run long ball.
The loss for the Indians (93-65), coupled with a win by Minnesota in Detroit, officially eliminated the Tribe in the American League Central race, with the Twins taking the crown from Cleveland after a three-year run atop the division. Tampa was victorious prior to Cleveland’s loss and now leads the Indians by a game and a half for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Indians used four runs in the first two innings to claim a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies from downtown Cleveland on Friday night.
Shane Bieber won his 15th on the year with another quality start on the mound for the Indians. He allowed just two runs over seven and one-third innings while striking out seven, while former Phillie Carlos Carrasco shut down the only other organization that he has been a member of with a four-out save for his first in the big leagues since 2014.