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Pirates 5, Indians 3: Sunday's One Last Thing on Danny Salazar and the fifth inning

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 6, 2015

The Indians were doomed by a five-run fifth inning in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Sunday’s One Last Thing: Hitters are hurting Danny Salazar in the fifth inning this year.

Danny Salazar was nearly untouchable through the first four innings Sunday, allowing one hit and striking out seven, as the Indians built a 3-0 lead. Then came the fifth inning, and things quickly fell apart.

Jung Ho Kang singled and Pedro Alvarez got all of a high fastball for a two-run home run, slicing into the Indians’ lead. Chris Stewart and Josh Harrison then singled, setting the table for Neil Walker, who tied the game 3-3 with an RBI single to left field. One pitch later, Andrew McCutchen blasted a double off the wall in center field to put the Pirates up 5-3.

MORE: Indians catcher Yan Gomes rounding into form; Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco could be vying for All-Star spot

That’s been the template for many of Salazar’s starts this season. A lot of weak contact and strikeouts the first two times through the order, and then the trouble starts once the opposing lineup turns over for their third at-bat.

Including Sunday’s start, Salazar has allowed 13 earned runs in the first four innings combined this season. In the fifth inning alone, he’s allowed 21 earned runs (and five in the sixth inning, his second-worst inning). His ERA in the fifth inning: 14.18.

MORE: Indians-Pirates box score

“It wasn't a big difference. I think I made some good pitches and they got on base with it,” Salazar said. “I followed [the] game plan. The pitches they hit, those were pitches I wanted to throw there, except for McCutchen, that changeup didn't break too much. I felt pretty good. Sometimes, a game will turn around just like [that].”

As with many trends or tendencies, Indians manager Terry Francona says every game is separate from the one before or after it. But, there is a habit of hitters making an adjustment the third time around against Salazar, and it’s working.

“Every game’s different. How do you know the fifth inning, who’s hitting, things like that?” Francona said. “Good hitters especially, when they come around after you’ve seen them a couple times they are going to make adjustments. It’s something we need to look at.”

When asked if he needs to make an adjustment later on in his outings, Salazar said, “Yes.”

“I think I just need to keep on working and try to figure it out, and see if I'm doing something different than when I start a game,” he said.

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Five-run fifth inning dooms Danny Salazar, Indians in 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 5, 2015

One big rally was enough to down the Indians and Danny Salazar, as they fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 at PNC Park Sunday afternoon.

The Indians (38-43) took an early 3-0 lead, as Michael Bourn, Roberto Perez and Michael Brantley all drove in runs with RBI singles.

Salazar breezed through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run home run and Neil Walker later tied the game 3-3 with an RBI single. One pitch later, Andrew McCutchen hammered a ball off the wall in center field for a two-run double and a 5-3 Pirates (47-34) lead.

Salazar (7-4) lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowed five runs on seven hits and struck out seven.

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Indians offense falls silent in 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 4, 2015

Cody Anderson for the third straight time pitched into the eighth inning, but he found no offensive support in a 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at PNC Park.

Anderson threw eight innings, allowed one run on six hits and struck out four. The Pirates’ lone run came in the sixth, when Josh Harrison doubled off the center-field wall and was hit in by Neil Walker.

Anderson (1-1) has pitched at least 7 2/3 innings in all three of his major-league starts since being promoted.

Pirates starter Jeff Locke (5-4), though, had the Indians’ number, to the tune of only two hits allowed over eight innings. The Indians did not have a runner reach second base until the ninth inning and at one point had six straight 1-2-3 innings.

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Indians 5, Pirates 2: Friday's One Last Thing on Trevor Bauer having some fun with batting stances

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 4, 2015

The Indians topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on a rainy Friday night, and in the process won their fifth straight game.

Brandon Moss hit a two-run home run to left field, Michael Bourn drove in three runs and Trevor Bauer was solid in his 6 1/3 innings pitched.

Friday’s One Last Thing: Trevor Bauer had some fun with his batting stance Friday night, because why not?

American League pitchers hitting is normally pretty funny. Trevor Bauer knows he probably isn’t going to get a hit. A reasonable best-case scenario is getting a bunt down when needed and hopefully having an at-bat that sees at least 5-6 pitches.

So he had some fun in his couple at-bats with a few impressions. First, he imitated Mike Aviles and his exaggerated bat waggle before pitches. Then, it was Jason Kipnis, and Bauer pointed his bat straight backward. Finally, he did Ryan Raburn, and how he taps his elbows together.

MORE: Indians-Pirates box score

In his final at-bat, a nine-pitch walk, he switched back and forth each pitch.

Aviles, along with every other player, loved it.

“That was kind of funny. It was funny because he was working on it yesterday pretty intensely in the dugout,” Aviles said. “He was working on his Raburn impression, his Kipnis impression and my impression with the roller, one of those rollers that you roll out your muscles with. He was messing around with it in the dugout yesterday and I saw him. When he said it yesterday, I was like, 'He's not serious.' He was.”

MORETribe pitchers make history with perfect-game bid streak

The Indians were leading throughout the game Friday night and entered the day on a four-game winning streak. It ended itself to a little humor and Bauer having a little fun.

“Obviously, I don't think you do that when you're down in a game or whatnot,” Bauer said. “I really don't expect myself to get a hit. I don't think anybody really expects me to get a hit, either. So, I'm just trying to have some fun with it and keep things loose. It seems to be working for us recently. Everyone seems to be having a little more fun and joking around a little bit more.”

Indians manager Terry Francona perhaps didn’t get as much amusement out of it as the players did. But he did respect Bauer for putting in a quality at-bat and even reaching base from the No. 9 spot in the order.

“I probably don’t laugh as much as the other guys. I probably worry more about the guys getting hurt because they’re just not up there that much,” Francona said. “I’ll tell ya what, he’s actually kind of held his own. He has a few different batting stances. He’s trying. He found a way to get on base. Both times this year he’s seen a bunch of pitches which really actually does help.”

When things are going well, everyone tends to loosen up. And when an American League pitcher comes to the plate, maybe there isn’t a better time to have a little fun.

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Indians top Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2, win fifth game in a row

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 4, 2015

Brandon Moss had the Indians’ biggest hit and their best play in the field and Michael Bourn had three RBI in a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates at a rainy PNC Park Friday night.

After David Murphy singled to right field, Moss drove a Charlie Morton offering over the fence in left-field for an opposite-field home run, his 14th of the season, to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

The Indians added on in the fourth. This time, it was started by Moss, who was hit in the ankle with a pitch. Yan Gomes then singled to left field but was too aggressive trying to turn a single into a double. He was thrown out, but Moss advanced to third. Two batters later, Bourn doubled to right field, putting the Indians up 3-0.

Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen came back in the bottom half of the fourth with a two-run home run of his own, this one to center field and off of starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (7-5).

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Indians' Terry Francona ranked as third-best manager per ESPN poll of scouts, executives, media

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 3, 2015
Tito

Indians manager Terry Francona was ranked as the third-best manager in the game today, according to a poll put together by ESPN.

ESPN surveyed 50 scouts, front-office executives, big league coaches and media analysts, asking them to select the game’s best managers in several categories. Overall, San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy was named the best manager in baseball with 24.2 percent of the vote. Baltimore’s Buck Showalter came in second at 21.5 percent. Francona was third, with 12.8, just ahead of Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon (12.5). Those four led in nearly every category, creating a clear separation from the rest of the pack.

Francona was also named the best in the game at relating to his players, earning 24.2 percent of the vote. He came in sixth in handling a pitching staff, fourth in “best leader” and second in developing young players, behind only Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (15-15.3 percent). And when 177 players were asked if you could play for one manager besides their own, Francona was again third, garnering seven percent of that vote.

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Carlos Carrasco misses no-hitter by one strike in Indians' 8-1 win over Tampa Bay

By Ryan Lewis Published: July 1, 2015

Carlos Carrasco was one strike away.

With two outs in the ninth and two strikes in the count, Tampa Bay’s Joey Butler singled to right field just over a leaping Jason Kipnis’ glove. That was the Rays’ first hit of the game, as Carrasco was electric in an 8-1 Indians win.

He struck out 13, walked two and hit one in his 8 2/3 innings, improving to 10-6 this season. He’s just the fifth pitcher in baseball this season to reach 10 wins.

The Indians have had 14 no-hitters in their history, the last belonging to Len Barker in 1981 against Toronto. Carrasco was only a pitch away from being No. 15.

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Danny Salazar, three home runs lead Indians over Tampa Bay 6-2

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 30, 2015

Danny Salazar had a strong outing into the eighth inning and the Indians provided plenty of power in a 6-2 win against Tampa Bay Tuesday night.

Salazar threw 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He improved to 7-3 this season.

Offensively, Jason Kipnis (6th), Giovanny Urshela (2nd) and David Murphy (5th) all homered for the Indians (35-41). Kipnis’ home run gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Urshela’s home run acted as the major insurance provider, as he hit three-run shot in the seventh inning to put the Indians up 4-0.

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United Church of Christ delivering petitions to Cleveland Indians calling for name, logo change

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 30, 2015

The United Church of Christ is delivering petitions signed by more than 1,000 people to the Cleveland Indians’ offices today calling for a team name change and the disbandment of the Chief Wahoo logo.

The UCC is taking action in partnership with the UCC Council for American Indian Ministries and the Cleveland Committee of 500 years. At the denomination’s biennial General Synod gathering, which has been taking place over the last several days at the Cleveland Convention Center, the group also called for the Washington Redskins to make similar changes.

"For decades, we have spoken out in opposition to the usage of negative stereotypes, and been active in protests against such misuse," said the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, a UCC national officer, in a press release. "We will continue to journey in solidarity with our brothers and sisters until this part of our body of humanity is honored and respected."

The UCC, which has a denomination of nearly one million members and is headquartered in Cleveland, has been a vocal opponent of the name and logo of the Indians and has been among the groups protesting at each year’s home opener.

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Cody Anderson loses perfect game in seventh, Indians top Tampa Bay Rays 7-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 29, 2015

Cody Anderson was stellar in his second career start, as he led the Indians over Tampa Bay 7-1 on the road Monday night.

Anderson (1-0) threw eight innings, allowing just one run on two hits. He had a perfect game into the seventh inning until former Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore hit a solo home run, making it 2-1.

The Indians (34-41) pushed their lead to 3-1 in the eighth with a Yan Gomes home run and tacked on four more runs in the ninth to pull away.

Yan Gomes went 3-for-5 with that home run, a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Jason Kipnis went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Michael Brantley finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run.

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