The Cleveland Indians have a challenging and important weekend ahead of them as they host the American League East’s best, the Baltimore Orioles, in three games at Progressive Field.
The Indians (60-60) maintained their aversion to a winning record by splitting a pair of games with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday after Mother Nature interfered with more than three hours of rain delays on Tuesday night. Trevor Bauer struck out nine and pitched a career-high eight innings in a 3-2 walkoff win courtesy of a Zach Walters ninth inning homer in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The two teams needed 12 innings to decide a victor in the second game, and the spoils went to the Diamondbacks on a one-out RBI single, giving Arizona the 1-0 win.
Monday night, there was a changing of the guard at the top of the American League Central Division. A Kansas City win combined with a Detroit Tigers loss moved the Royals into the driver’s seat, proving that nothing is settled in the Central. Now five and a half games in back of KC, the Cleveland Indians will look to stay relevant in both the divisional and AL Wild Card races as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the club’s final interleague series of 2014.
Cleveland (59-59), despite struggling to stay afloat this season with ineffective starting pitching, horrendous defense, inconsistent offense, and injuries, still finds itself within striking distance for a playoff opportunity. They climbed back to .500 again this weekend after taking the final two games of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium. They dropped Friday’s opener by a 10-6 final, as five runs in the first and sixth innings were too much to overcome. They got the usual stellar outing from Corey Kluber on Saturday and his relief corps secured the 3-0 shutout. A successful spot start from Carlos Carrasco paced the club to a 4-1 win on Sunday afternoon.
Finding good, Indians starting pitching has been tough this season.
The Indians found a good start from T.J. House, however, they didn’t support it with solid defense or timely hitting. Instead, Homer Bailey set down the Tribe while Cincinnati took advantage of defensive miscues and made the most of timely hitting to win 4-0. The victory gives the Reds a win in the four-game series this week and the Ohio Cup.
The Indians were held to just five hits by Bailey and the Reds. Meanwhile Cincinnati used three, two-out base hits to take control of the game. Cleveland’s defense struggled, like it has all year, but Cincinnati was able to use the speed of Billy Hamilton to make the Indians suffer when they created a mishap. The Indians had three errors in the game and a misplayed ball in the outfield that was not ruled an error.
The 2014 rendition of the Battle of Ohio returns this week as the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds play a four game home-and-home series, beginning Monday and Tuesday at Progressive Field, as the two clubs look to finally find a decisive winner in the contest.
The Indians (56-55) got back on track over the weekend by sweeping the Texas Rangers. On Friday night, the Indians offense erupted for ten runs and 13 hits off of the Texas starting pitcher in a 12-2 final. The Cleveland pitching staff combined on a five-hit shutout on Saturday in a 2-0 final. A game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off blast from Michael Brantley lifted the Tribe to a 4-3 come from behind victory on Sunday afternoon.
A game where the Indians scored two runs and committed two errors is usually a recipe for disaster.
But two runs were all Cleveland needed, blanking Texas 2-0 before a crowd of 28,285 on Jim Thome Night. The slugger, who hasn’t played baseball since 2012, signed a one-day contract to officially announce his retirement as an Indian. A statue of him pointing his bat was unveiled Saturday in center field.
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went Thursday and hopes for substantial upgrades to the Cleveland Indians roster went unfulfilled for the fan base. The team then went out and dropped the series finale to Seattle to lose both the series and season series to the Mariners. The Tribe will try to get back on track, sans Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera, as they host the Texas Rangers for three this weekend.
The Indians (53-55) dropped a 5-2 decision on Tuesday night as four run-scoring extra bases hits in the fourth inning proved to be the difference. Corey Kluber ousted Felix Hernandez on Wednesday behind an 85-pitch three-hit complete game 2-0 shutout. A two-run shot in the eighth by the Mariners’ Mike Zunino slipped Seattle by Cleveland, 6-5, on Thursday night. Despite the subpar series, the Indians lost no ground to the Detroit Tigers, who dropped two of three to Chicago.
They used three center fielders and two shortstops in Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, but the Indians still fell one run short, dropping the series opener 4-3.
The Cleveland Indians came just one win short of creating the perfect start to the second half of the season by taking three of four from the first place Detroit Tigers to trim two games off of their American League Central Division deficit. They will look to continue to close the gap as they make their first appearance of the season, and their first since clinching the AL Wild Card last season, at Target Field to take on the Minnesota Twins for three games this week.
The Indians (50-48) made a long overdue trip back above the .500 mark in bashing the Bengals in four games over the weekend to hit their high water mark of three games to the plus side before dropping Sunday’s finale. They overcame a three run Tigers advantage with a seven run seventh inning in a 9-3 win on Friday night. They doubled up Detroit with a pair of wins in a double dip on Saturday, winning by 6-2 and 5-2 finals, aided by a ninth inning, two-out, three-run double by Carlos Santana in the late game. They dropped a 5-1 decision on Sunday afternoon to fall short of their first ever four-game road sweep of the Motor City Kitties.
If you want to win a division, it is best to win within your division. The Cleveland Indians will continue a pursuit of the American League Central Division crown as they host the rival Chicago White Sox in a three-game set this weekend to conclude the unofficial first half of the regular season before the All-Star Break.
The Indians (45-46) split a four-game series with the New York Yankees during the week, trading off wins each night. The Yankees won Monday, 5-3, defeating Justin Masterson in another short start for the starter. The Indians returned the favor, 5-3, on Tuesday, defeating AL All-Star Masahiro Tanaka in what could be his final start of the season after partially tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. A solo home run by Jacoby Ellsbury off of Vinnie Pestano in the 14th inning gave the Yankees a 5-4 win on Wednesday night. The Indians’ offense erupted on Thursday, scoring nine runs in the final two innings in a 9-3 victory.
Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley will make his much-deserving first trip to a Major League Baseball All-Star Game Tuesday in Minnesota. He was nearly joined by teammate, and arguably just as deserving, Corey Kluber.
Kluber, who has become the Tribe’s ace this season, was not named to the team when all-star squads were announced this past Sunday. However, Boston manager and skipper of the American League club John Farrell thought enough of the 28-year-old righty to add him to the final fan vote.
On a night intended to honor a legendary shortstop, it was the former All-Star shortstop of the Tribe that made the headlines.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a bases loaded triple in the seventh inning to wake the Indians’ bats after Yankees starter Phelps had stymied the Tribe all evening. Cabrera’s triple tied the game and soon after the Indians took the lead and never looked back at Derek Jeter’s final game at Progressive Field. Cleveland After being shutout for six innings, the Tribe tallied nine runs in their final two at-bats to win Thursday night’s series finale, 9-3 over New York. Jeter was honored pre-game with a guitar and Lego portrait of himself.
Originally, it appeared as if the game would feature two young starters, Phelps and T.J. House. Each have assumed larger roles that originally planned at the beginning of the season for their respective clubs.
The Derek Jeter retirement show continues on the road as the New York Yankees make their lone trip to Progressive Field this season to take on the Cleveland Indians Monday through Thursday evenings this week.
The Indians (43-44) climbed closer to the .500 mark again by taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. The Royals claimed the opener on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd, 7-1. The Indians bounced back with a 7-3 win on Saturday with three runs in the third and fifth innings, earning rookie T.J. House his first Major League win. Cleveland claimed the series on Sunday afternoon, 4-1, after scoring three early runs and getting eight and one-third innings from potential All-Star Corey Kluber.