Pair of Pinder Blasts Push A’s Past Tribe; A’s 3, Indians 1


Chad Pinder took Mike Clevinger deep twice, driving in all three Oakland runs, and Sean Manaea kept the Cleveland offense in check in a 3-1 A’s victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.

Clevinger gave the Indians a quality effort on the mound, but his offense could not figure out the left-hander Manaea, who limited the Indians to just a run and three hits in a dominant effort on the mound.

The Cleveland right-hander, making his fifth start in May, looked good for the Indians early, setting down seven straight batters after a double by Matt Joyce started the ball game. But in his first at bat of the night, Pinder started his career game with a solo drive over the wall in left-center to give the A’s an early 1-0 lead in the third.

Clevinger retired all three outs in the fourth via strikeout, working around a one-out walk by Yonder Alonso, and his teammates picked him up with a run in the bottom of the frame when Francisco Lindor homered to left to end an 0-for-10 stretch for the club to start the game against Manaea. It was the 12th homer of the season for Lindor, who had 15 all of last season in his first full season in the Majors. It also marked the 16th consecutive game for the Indians with a homer, matching the season’s longest streak in the AL by the Minnesota Twins.

For those who believe in response runs, the A’s got exactly that just two batters into the next half inning. Clevinger walked the leadoff hitter of the inning, Trevor Plouffe, in a nine-pitch at bat to bring up Pinder for his second appearance against the Indians starter. After falling behind 0-2, he worked the count back to even before sending a mammoth drive to center for his second blast of the night. His two-run shot put the A’s up, 3-1, and that score would remain the rest of the ball game.

Manaea - Jason Miller/Getty Images

Manaea – Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Indians would get runners on the bases in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and ninth innings, but just twice got that runner into scoring position. Jose Ramirez was erased on a double play ball after his one-out walk in the fifth. Daniel Robertson was stranded at first by Manaea after a one-out single in the next inning. Edwin Encarnacion singled with two outs to extend his hitting streak to ten straight and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Manaea before the A’s starter came back to strike out Ramirez swinging. In the ninth against Santiago Casilla, Michael Brantley reached on an error in left by Khris Davis and pulled into second with two outs, but the tying run, Carlos Santana, flied to right to end the ball game.

Manaea improved to 4-3 with the win, while Clevinger took his second loss of the year. The save for Casilla was his eighth in ten chances.

The Indians managed just three hits on the night, with Lindor hitting his home run and Encarnacion and Robertson each singling. Ramirez drew a walk and was one of just four base runners on the night for the club against Manaea, who allowed all four over seven innings of one-run baseball while striking out nine. He got 19 swinging strikes from Indians hitters.

Clevinger again kept his walks to a minimum, giving up two in the game, but one of those came back to haunt him on the second of Pinder’s homers. The 25-year-old, who was hitting ninth in the A’s lineup, set career highs with his three hits, three RBI, and two homers in a game. Five of the rookie’s last eight hits have been for home runs.

Zach McAllister worked one and one-third innings in relief, giving up a hit while striking out three. Dan Otero pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out a batter and needing just nine pitches to complete the frame. Ryan Madson worked a scoreless eighth, striking out a batter and similarly needing just nine pitches to earn his seventh hold.

With a chance to reclaim first place from the Minnesota Twins, the Indians (27-24) fell to 12-3 against the AL West this season and concluded a rough month with a 13-14 record. The A’s (23-29) moved ahead of the Kansas City Royals for the worst record in the AL by one full game.

The Indians will welcome back right-hander Corey Kluber (3-2, 5.06 ERA) to the roster on Thursday to make his first start in nearly a month after missing time on the 10-day disabled list with a longer-than-hoped struggle with a lower back strain. He has not pitched since May 3 and will be making just his seventh start of the season. A corresponding roster move to create a spot for Kluber had not yet been announced.

The A’s will look to young right-hander Jharel Cotton (3-5, 5.56) to earn his team a split in the four-game set from Cleveland. He allowed just two hits in five and two-thirds innings his last time out, but gave up three runs to the New York Yankees and took the loss in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville.

First pitch from Progressive Field on an early getaway start Thursday is scheduled for 12:10 PM ET.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images



Cleveland Indians stay put at No. 9 in ESPN’s power rankings


The Cleveland Indians have begun to heat up, and remain in the top ten of the most recent edition of ESPN’s MLB power rankings. Thanks to the Memorial Day holiday, I was a little late with this week’s recap of where the Cleveland Indians stand in ESPN’s MLB power rankings. Alas, here we go. The […]

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Trosky’s Memorial Day Performance Gave Glimpse of Never-Realized Potential


On May 30, 1934, more than 27,000 fans settled into their seats at League Park, lured by the promise of a Memorial Day doubleheader between the Indians and the White Sox. The star of the show turned out to be Hal Trosky, a player signed off the farm in Iowa in his first full year with the Indians.

The Tribe dropped a heartbreaker in the first game, losing 8-7 in 12 innings. Odell Hale hit two home runs, but the Indians were undone by three errors – one by Hale. In the second game (can you really call it a nightcap since League Park never installed lights?), Trosky hit three home runs – each over the 40-foot wall in right field, but none a cheap shot, said Plain Dealer Sports Editor Gordon Cobbledick.

“All three were socks that would have cleared the barrier in any park in the major leagues,” Cobbledick wrote. “But he saved his best shot for the last. That one, soaring high over the wall in right center, smashed through the windshield of a car parked deep in a lot on the far side of Lexington Avenue.”

Trosky, at the time 21 years old and still one of the youngest players to hit at least three home runs in a game, appeared on his way to fulfilling the potential seen in him by scout Cy Slapnicka. Cobbledick recounted that after the win – which kept the Indians barely in first place, a half-game ahead of the Yankees – General Manager Billy Evans wired Slapnicka commending him on unearthing Trosky.

Trosky, a sandlot player in his native Iowa, had attracted the attention of several teams. The Cardinals wanted to sign him after he graduated high school in 1930. Bing Miller, from a nearby town and fresh off a World Series appearance with the Athletics, wanted to bring him to the attention of A’s manager Connie Mack. But it was Slapnicka who charmed Trosky’s father and got Trosky to sign on the dotted line for the Indians.

Trosky made a brief appearance in the majors at the end of 1933, with 13 hits – including a double, two triples, and a home run – in 11 games for an average of .295. He was penciled in as the Tribe’s everyday first baseman in 1934. It was an era of slugging first basemen, with Lou Gehrig – who just two years earlier had become the first modern player to hit four home runs in a game – in New York, Jimmie Foxx in Philadelphia, and Hank Greenberg in Detroit. It appeared Trosky would take his place among them.

“At 21, the young first baseman has a dozen years ahead of him in which he should spread terror among opposing pitchers – increasing terror as the seasons pass,” the Plain Dealer wrote.

And the season bore out that prediction. Trosky played every inning of all 154 games, batting .330 and hitting 35 home runs. He even got enough votes to finish seventh in the race for American League MVP. After a down year in 1935, Trosky came roaring back, again playing all 154 games in 1936. He hit 42 home runs and drove in 162 runs, both team records.

But after that, his power declined precipitously. He never hit more than 32 home runs in a season, and his batting average declined as well, as migraines took a toll on him to the point where he was seriously contemplating retirement. In 1940, he was blamed – most likely unfairly – for the clubhouse revolt against manager Oscar Vitt. After the 1941 season, Trosky did, in fact, retire, but not before hitting his 200th home run, then putting him in rare air in the major leagues, one of just 17 players to do so. But the dozen years predicted for him to terrorize American League pitching turned out to be just eight.

He returned to the family farm in Iowa, and was declared 4-F for World War II – a fact which no doubt brought him back to the majors in 1944, the year of the 4-F Browns winning the American League pennant. Trosky had an inconsistent year, but his ten home runs were enough to lead the Pale Hose. After spending 1945 out of baseball, he had one last go-around with the White Sox in 1946, but he was done.

After his retirement, he returned to his farm in Iowa. His son Hal Jr. had a brief major league career. The elder Trosky died in his home in 1978.

Trosky still has a place in the Indians record book, fourth all-time in RBI with 911 (his record of 162 in a season stood until Manny Ramirez drove in 165 in 1999), fifth all-time in home runs with 213, 11th in hits (1,365) and runs (758) and 12th in batting average at .313. But it’s a fraction of what was expected of him after Memorial Day 1934.




Today in Tribe History: May 31, 1967


In East Chicago, Illinois, future Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton is born.

Lofton spent parts of ten seasons manning the outfield for the Indians after being acquired in what would be a lopsided trade for the club with the Houston Astros in 1991. Part of a crowded outfield mix in Houston, the former 17th round pick of the 1988 draft was dealt with Dave Rohde to Cleveland for pitcher Willie Blair and catcher Ed Taubensee.

Lofton’s star shined the brightest in Cleveland, where he finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year vote in his first season with the club in 1992 when he led the league with 66 stolen bases. He would accomplish that feat in each of the next four seasons as well and would start a streak of six consecutive All-Star appearances in 1994. He was traded by the club prior to the 1997 season to the Atlanta Braves, but returned as a free agent in the offseason and would remain with the club during his second trip until 2001.

Lofton went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers before he was dealt back to the Tribe by the Rangers in 2007 for minor league catcher Max Ramirez.

It would be his last season. He batted an even .300 in his Cleveland career with 452 stolen bases, still a club record.



Bauer Strikes Out Career-High 14 as Cleveland Knocks Off Oakland; Indians 9, A’s 4


Throughout his career, Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer has shown glimpses of what made him the third overall selection in the 2011 draft. Tuesday night was one such night as he struck out a career-high and American League season-high 14 Oakland hitters and the Indians used a seven-run outburst in the middle innings to defeat the A’s, 9-4.

The Indians (27-23) pushed their winning streak to three straight and continued their dominance of the American League West Division. The club has now won seven straight against the AL West and improved to 12-2 overall against the division after posting a 3-0 mark against Texas, a 2-1 record against Seattle, and a 5-1 advantage over Houston.

While Bauer was cutting up the Oakland lineup, it did not come without some complications as the A’s held a 3-0 lead before Cleveland would tally its first run. After getting some help from his friends, Bauer made sure his new found lead would stand up.

The right-hander struck out three in the first, working around a two-out double by Jed Lowrie. In the second, the A’s struck quickly after a leadoff walk by Yonder Alonso. Ryon Healy singled to right to put runners on the corners and Matt Joyce grounded out to Edwin Encarnacion at first on a play that would be overturned after the first base umpire initially ruled second baseman Jason Kipnis’ foot was off of the bag. The call was corrected, but the A’s had a 1-0 lead.

Bauer - Jason Miller/Getty Images

Bauer – Jason Miller/Getty Images

Bauer worked through a swift third inning before the A’s struck through again with three straight hits to start the fourth. Khris Davis and Alonso each singled before Healy doubled off the wall in right, pushing home Davis with the second run of the game. A sacrifice fly by Joyce scored Alonso and Oakland had a 3-0 lead. It could have been much worse, but a nice defensive play by Michael Brantley in left ended the inning. After Josh Phegley struck out, Adam Rosales singled to left. Healy attempted to score from second with two outs, but Brantley threw a strike to catcher Roberto Perez, who applied the tag on the sliding base runner for the third out.

The big play may have been just enough to fire up the Indians offense, one that had just a pair of singles through the first three innings against veteran right-hander Sonny Gray. Francisco Lindor drew a walk before Brantley struck out. Carlos Santana reached on an infield single and Encarnacion ripped his second hit of the game into left to score Lindor from second, making it a 3-1 game. A double to right from Jose Ramirez scored Santana with the second run and with two in scoring position and still only one out in the inning, Bradley Zimmer started his big night at the plate with a two-run double to right, putting the Indians on top, 4-3.

Picked up by his teammates, Bauer struck out the side swinging in the top of the fifth and his offense tacked on more in the home half. Kipnis sent the first pitch of the inning over the wall in center for a home run. Lindor walked and stole second before scoring on a single by Brantley to left to make it 6-3. Brantley stole second, moved to third on a groundout by Santana, and scored easily on a wild pitch with Encarnacion at the plate to give the Indians a 7-4 lead.

Bauer struck out three in an inning for the third time on the night in the sixth, working around a one-out single from Alonso. He struck out the side for the second time in the seventh, ending his outing with five straight strikeouts and nine of the last ten retired in such a way after Brantley’s fourth inning outfield assist.

Bryan Shaw started the eighth for manager Terry Francona, but was unable to complete what he started. He struck out the first and third hitters that he faced, but the second man up, Lowrie, singled, and the fourth man, Alonso, doubled him to third. A booted ball by Ramirez off of the bat of Healy allowed Lowrie to score and brought the tying run to the place in pinch-hitter Mark Canha, who struck out swinging against reliever Andrew Miller.

Zim and JRam - Jason Miller/Getty Images

Zim and JRam – Jason Miller/Getty Images

Zimmer gave the bullpen some breathing room in the eighth against Frankie Montas, delivering a two-run home run after a one-out single by Ramirez, the third hit of the ball game for the Indians third baseman.

Nick Goody pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, giving up a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt before getting Rosales to fly out. He struck out the next two batters swinging to end the contest.

The A’s fell to 22-29 with the loss and are just 7-19 on the road this season. The Indians crept closer to the .500 mark at Progressive Field, where they are now 11-13 on the year.


After some mixed results in the first few innings, Bauer locked himself in on the mound and used a diet of devastating curveballs throughout the rest of his night to make the A’s hitters look bad. He retired all three outs in an inning on strikeouts on four separate occasions and ended his outing on a tear, striking out nine of the final ten men that he faced around a one-out single by Alonso in the sixth.

He worked seven full innings, allowing three runs on seven hits in his quality start with just one walk and 14 Ks. He threw 77 of his 113 pitches for strikes, including 17 of the swinging variety, in earning his fifth win of the season.

His 14 strikeouts established a new career high and are the most strikeouts by an AL pitcher in 2017.


A look at some of his in-depth statistics shows that the right-hander Gray has struggled his second and third times against lineups this season and Tuesday was no exception. The Indians were 2-for-9 the first time through, 4-for-8 with a walk the second time, and 3-for-5 the third look with another walk before he was lifted for Montas.

He worked four and two-thirds innings in his second consecutive rocky start, giving up seven runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts on 92 pitches.


Brantley extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his single in bottom of the first. He added an RBI-single in the fifth in his third AB of the night.

Encarnacion wasted no time extending his own hitting streak to nine games with his second inning single in his first at bat of the night. Like Brantley, he added another RBI hit later in the game.


Ramirez had two singles and a double in four trips to the plate on Tuesday, giving him three straight three-hit games. Alonso copied Ramirez’s three hits with two singles and a double, but he also drew a walk to reach base safely in all four trips.


It will be a battle of youngsters in the third game of the four-game set on Wednesday as right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-1, 2.82 ERA) faces off with left-hander Sean Manaea (3-3, 4.35).

Clevinger remains in the rotation after the move of Danny Salazar into the bullpen and will make his fifth start and sixth overall appearance in the month. He took a no-decision his last time out as two home runs by the Kansas City Royals were his undoing. He gave up eight hits in his five innings, a season high, but walked just one batter while striking out six in the no-decision. Manaea will look to build on his best start of the season while making his second career start against the Indians. He was solid his last time out last week, earning a win behind seven scoreless innings of four-hit baseball with eight strikeouts.

First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images



Cleveland Indians: Rajai Davis will always be a cherished player to fans


Cleveland Indians fans welcomed Rajai Davis back to Progressive Field on Monday, and he will continue to be welcomed year after year. Rajai Davis only spent one season as a member of the Cleveland Indians, but he built a legacy that will never be forgotten by fans who witnessed the 2016 season. From his solid outfield […]

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Cleveland Indians: Who deserves to have their number retired next?


With Frank Robinson getting his number retired, what former Cleveland Indians great could be next in line to have his number retired by the club? This past weekend the Cleveland Indians honored former player and manager Frank Robinson with a statue at Heritage Park. The club also retired his No. 20 as part of the ceremony […]

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Patience in Encarnacion Paying Off as Slugger’s Bat is Heating Up


All season long, manager Terry Francona has encouraged patience with slugging first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion while the Indians’ big free agent acquisition struggled with some consistency and an elevated strikeout rate at the plate.

That patience appears to have paid off.

The last eight games have provided nothing but encouraging results for the Indians and Encarnacion as the calendar inches closer to the summer months. Historically, the big bat has been a slow starter, owning a career .243/.324/.433 slash in April and .244/.327/.488 mark in May. But in June and July, he is a career .288 hitter with a .382 on-base percentage.

Encarnacion’s April of 2017 was frustrating to watch at times as he struck out in nearly one-third of his total plate appearances, but he also drew the highest number of walks in the month in his 12-year career. He drew free passes at a 16% clip and his 17 walks in the month equaled his 17 hits. His .343 OBP for the month was the fourth-best of his career in April, which helped to ease the effects of a .200 batting average.

So while the power was down, Encarnacion saw pitches, worked opposing pitchers, drew his walks, and bided his time while acclimating to a new clubhouse and a new situation in Cleveland. He was also spending the bulk of his time in the dugout, doing exclusively a designated hitter’s work from April 16 to May 5. Even since returning to the field, he has taken his glove to first base just four times, with two of them coming in the DH-less interleague series in Cincinnati.

“He’s had periods where he looks like he’s starting to kind of get it, and then he’s fallen back,” shared Francona on May 1. “He’s been a typically slow starter. I’m telling you, and I get it, he’s hitting .200, but as cold as he got, he’ll get just as hot. He’s healthy and he’s really good. It’s just not been his best month. A lot of Aprils are like that for him.”

Encarnacion - Jon Durr/Getty Images

Encarnacion – Jon Durr/Getty Images

His May numbers are just a touch higher than his career averages, with two more games yet to be played in the month. In 25 games, he has put up a .250/.349/.478 slash, up in all three departments. His doubles and homers are up in seven more at bats than the previous month. His walk rate has dropped slightly to 12.3%, but much more encouraging has been a better rate of avoiding the strikeout. After striking out at a near 33% clip in April, he has struck out just 20.8% of the time in May. That rate is far more in line with predictions from ZiPS (19.6%) and Steamer (20.8%) and much closer to his production with the Toronto Blue Jays last season, when he struck out in 19.7% of his plate appearances.

The improved production has coincidentally come since Francona’s roster shuffle that moved Carlos Santana down in the lineup to the fourth spot and saw Jason Kipnis inserted at the top of the batting order. Encarnacion was moved into the fifth spot to alleviate some of the pressures of being in a position (and with a contract size) expected to contribute runs with great frequency, and he has responded with a .275/.327/.608 slash since being dropped down a spot with a pair of doubles, five homers, and ten RBI.

Encarnacion has been steady where some of the numbers count, especially in the on-base percentage department. His .346 OBP for the season is not all that far removed from the .352 career mark that he brought to Cleveland after his first eleven Major League seasons.

The 34-year-old has seen a different diet of pitches at the dish this season, which may be factoring into the results when trying to clear the table. Albeit a smaller sample size than previous seasons, he has seen fewer fastballs this season (52.7% through Sunday’s game) than the majority of his career (with the exception of last season, when 52.2% of his pitches seen were fastballs). This has led to a small uptick in slider usage and a notable 3.1% jump in changeup use as teams look to approach him with more slow stuff. The slider in general has been problematic for him and opposing teams have noticed, as he has seen the pitch second to only four-seamers and he has just four hits off of it for a .138 average with 23 whiffs (entering Monday’s action). The changeup has also caused him fits at times, as he has hit just .200 against it this season.

When he is getting fastballs, there have been fewer four-seamers and more sinkers than his career norms. It all could factor in to the elevated K rate in the early going.

Even after factoring everything in, his April (.277) and May (.270) BAbip were right on pace with his career BAbip of .273.

When Encarnacion is swinging, he is swinging at far fewer pitches out of the zone than in years’ past. He enters play Monday with a 21.7% O-Swing%, compared to 23.8% last season and 25.2% for his career. There has been a notable jump in his percentage of swinging strikes overall, however.

While the power numbers may be a little less than hoped for, he has hit the ball hard. His line drive percentage is more than 5% higher than last year’s mark and more than 6% over his career average, which has cut into his fly ball rate. Those hard hits account for 40.5% of his contact, nearly 8% higher than his career average and 3% more than last season, indicating that he may be sending some well-struck balls right at defenders or that opposing managers are shifting their squads into spots to eliminate some would-be hits.

He entered the season with very balanced platoon splits against opposing pitchers, as the right-handed hitter had posted a .264/.344/.495 slash against right-handers and a .268/.376/.499 line against left-handers. This season, he has hit for a higher average (.250) and put up a higher on-base percentage (.408) against southpaws, but has just two of his homers in 56 at bats against them. His average (.215) and OBP (.314) have been lighter against same-siders, but his slugging percentage is 89 points higher as all four of his doubles and eight of his ten homers on the season have come in his 121 at bats against righties. His batted balls spray chart shows a tendency this season to use the whole field more against right-handers, while his contact against left-handers have been more pull-heavy, indicated in the below charts via

EE spray

Pitchers have worked Encarnacion low and away at a far greater percentage than other areas of the zone. His swing percentage, however, has been more focused over the middle of the plate and on pitches up and in. While he has made frequent contact with pitches over the plate and especially in the low and away quadrant of the strike zone, pitches up and in have not resulted in much contact. He has found good results on pitches right over the plate, as would and should be expected, but has also fared well with his hit results from those pitches low and away.

What may be encouraging during his current eight-game hitting streak is that Encarnacion has cut back on his strikeout rate and seems to be looking for and recognizing his desired pitch and going for it. Strikeouts are intrinsically linked to power hitters, but Encarnacion is also lauded for his eye at the plate. Of his eleven hits during his current streak, eight have come off of either two-seam or four-seam fastballs, two have come off of sliders, and one off of a single. Seven of the hits came in the first three pitches of his at bat, including all three non-fastballs hit. Just three of the hits came on pitches in the upper reaches of the strike zone, as he appears to be focusing more on pitches from the middle of the plate on down. Two of his three homers and both of his doubles during his streak have come off of fastballs, and the one extra base hit that did not, his second homer on May 23 against Cincinnati, came on a 3-2 slider.

The numbers may not have been what was expected of the franchise-record contract given to Encarnacion thus far, but history has shown that the next two months would be the time that his powerful bat will provide big things to a lineup. If the last couple of weeks have been any indication, Encarnacion’s bat has woken up from its spring slumber and is ready to erupt with some big numbers for the Indians lineup.

Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images



Today in Tribe History: May 30, 1977


Dennis Eckersley throws the 13th no-hitter in Indians history as he shuts down the California Angels, 1-0, at Cleveland Stadium.

Eckersley is the first Indians hurler to lob a no-no since Dick Bosman narrowly missed a perfect game on July 19, 1974. Eckersley was just as masterful on the mound, striking out a dozen Angels, including at least one in every inning, while walking just one. He outdueled California’s Frank Tanana, who had started the season 8-1 and limited the Indians to just one run on five hits, walking one and striking out six in his second loss of the year.

“Eck” allowed just two base runners in the game –Tony Solaita, who walked and was stranded at first base in the first, and Bobby Bonds, who struck out in the eighth and advanced to first base on the wild pitch. Bonds was immediately doubled up on a groundout by Don Baylor.

The Indians scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the first inning when Duane Kuiper tripled to center with one out and right fielder Jim Norris sacrificed Kuip home. Cleveland had other chances, but three separate 5-4-3 double plays erased scoring opportunities.

Eckersley struck out the final batter of the game, Gil Flores, to end it. He threw a 12-inning complete game in his previous outing, a 2-1 win over Seattle.



Four-Run Fourth Sends Tribe to Memorial Day Win; Indians 5, A’s 3


Carlos Carrasco gave the Indians a quality outing and three solo homers provided some run support as the Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics, 5-3, on Memorial Day.

The Indians’ number two starter, making his second start since a left pectoral injury sidelined him for a few days, looked much more himself on the mound in limiting the A’s to just two late runs in his outing. His teammates were able to get to second-year starter Daniel Mengden, who was making his first start of the season while replacing the injured Kendall Graveman in the rotation.

“Cookie” was crisp in the first few innings, striking out two batters swinging to end the first and two more swinging in the second. A two-out walk in the third put the first runner on base and former Indians outfielder Rajai Davis, celebrated before the game by the club for his efforts last season, singled to right, but Carrasco got his second swinging strikeout of the inning to leave the pair standing where they were.

Austin Jackson, the ninth man in the order, notched the Indians’ second hit of the afternoon leading off the third. He took a Mengden offering the opposite way to right, just clearing the wall with a solo homer to give the Indians a one-run lead.

Encarnacion - Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Encarnacion – Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Carrasco breezed through a quick fourth inning and the Indians offense got back to work with a big inning off of the young A’s right-hander. Carlos Santana worked a 3-1 count before sending a deep drive out of the yard to right for a solo shot to lead off the home half of the frame. The next batter, Edwin Encarnacion, did him just a bit better, sending a monstrous shot to straightaway center. The 450-foot-plus shot gave Cleveland a 3-0 lead and extended his hitting streak to eight straight. Jose Ramirez kept the hit train rolling with a double to center and Yan Gomes delivered with a seeing-eye single up the middle to drive home the speedy third baseman with the fourth run of the game. Bradley Zimmer worked the count full before lining a bullet off of the lower leg of Mengden that ricocheted into left field for a double to put two in scoring position. Jackson tacked on another run and his second of the day with his third sacrifice fly in the last two games, pushing across Gomes and making it a 5-0 Indians’ lead.

An aggressive Athletics lineup took few pitches over the fifth and sixth innings, stranding a leadoff single by Ryon Healy in the fifth and doubling up Chad Pinder in the sixth after he reached basee after being plunked by a pitch.

The A’s struck through against Carrasco in the seventh to cut into the deficit. With one out, Yonder Alonso homered deep to center and Healy delivered a drive of his own to the bleachers in left to make it a 5-2 game.

Carrasco handed the game over to Andrew Miller for the eighth inning and the Tribe left-hander responded in fashion, striking out all three batters that he faced swinging to send the game towards its final stanza.

Cody Allen made it an adventure, a curious and somewhat unsettling trend through much of May. After getting a groundout from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis delivered the A’s third homer of the day to left-center to cut the Indians’ lead to two runs. Allen struck out Alonso swinging, but Healy and Stephen Vogt each singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in Trevor Plouffe. He saw four pitches, cut at three of them, and exited the batter’s box with a strikeout to show for it as Allen slammed the door with his 14th save of the season.

The win pushed the Indians record to 26-23 on the season and Cleveland finally reached double digits in home wins, the last team in the league to do so. The A’s (22-28) fell to 7-18 away from home this season.

Carrasco - Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Carrasco – Ron Schwane/Getty Images


Carrasco’s stat line was nearly free of blemishes through six innings of shutout baseball, having allowed just two hits and a walk. The two solo homers back-to-back may have led to a speedier exit, but it took little away from an otherwise sound effort from the right-hander.

He finished the afternoon with seven innings worked, four hits and two runs allowed, one walk, one hit batter, and seven strikeouts. He needed just 101 pitches to get through seven and threw 69 of them for strikes, including 14 pitches that were swung on and missed. He earned his fifth win of the season in the process against two losses.


Mengden, getting the call from Triple-A Nashville, had a tough time with the Tribe lineup, especially after the first time through the order. He would last three and one-third innings on the holiday, giving up five runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Three long balls would do the bulk of his undoing as he struggled to miss the Indians bats throughout the contest.


The 12-game hitting streak of Francisco Lindor came to a close on Monday afternoon as he went 0-for-4 at the plate after a day off on Sunday.

Brantley’s own 12-gamer increased to 13 with a single in four trips against Oakland on Monday. Encarnacion’s homer in the fourth extended his hitting streak to eight straight as he appears to be busting out of his slump with a powerful boom.


The second of four games between the Indians and A’s will pick up at 6:10 PM ET on Tuesday night with right-handers Sonny Gray (2-1, 3.34 ERA) and Trevor Bauer (4-4, 6.30) matching up on the mound at Progressive Field.

Gray has pitched well since returning from a disabled list trip that kept him sidelined the entire first month of the season. He has made five starts in May, with four lasting at least six innings and three resulting in quality starts. He made his best start of the season his last time out when he gave up just one run on three hits with a walk and a season-high eleven strikeouts. Bauer has lasted deeper into games for the Indians of late and has kept the damage to a minimum. In his last start, he took his first no-decision of the season when he allowed just two runs on four hits.

Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images