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Indians score three in the 12th to beat Seattle Mariners 6-3

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 31, 2015

The Indians struggled to come up with a timely hit but did just enough in a 6-3 win against the Seattle Mariners Sunday afternoon.

The Indians (24-26) left 17 men on base, as numerous scoring opportunities went unfulfilled. In the eighth, though Jason Kipnis tied the game 3-3 with a sacrifice fly to left field that eventually led to extra innings.

In the 12th, in part thanks to some wildness from Mariners (24-26) relief pitcher Dominic Leone, the Indians broke through. With two outs and the bases loaded, Leone walked Michael Brantley to bring home the go-ahead run. David Murphy followed with a two-RBI single to right field to make it 6-3.

Zach McAllister (1-2) was credited with the win after ending the bottom of the 11th. Austin Adams earned the first save of his career. Leone dropped to 0-4 this season.

Danny Salazar started the game for the Indians, throwing 5 1/3 innings and allowing three runs while striking out five. The only Indians pitcher not to appear in the game was left-hander Marc Rzepczynski.

The Indians are off Monday before heading to Kansas City for a three-game series. Jason Kipnis went 2-for-5, which ends his hit total for the month of May at 51. Ryan Raburn hit his third home run of the season in the sixth inning off of Mariners starter J.A. Happ.

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Indians beat Mariners 4-3; Shaun Marcum better, Jerry Sands goes deep

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 31, 2015

Shaun Marcum was much better than his last time out and the offense did just enough in a 4-3 win against the Seattle Mariners Saturday night.

Marcum (2-0) was solid in his first start this season but was shelled against Texas in his last time out. Saturday night against the Mariners, he returned to his former form, allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings and striking out five.

Marc Rzepczynski recorded an out and Zach McAllister and Nick Hagadone each threw an inning to get to Cody Allen (11), who notched a four-out save.

MORERyan Lewis: Defense, among the league’s worst, still Indians’ biggest defect

Nick Swisher gave the Indians (23-26) a 1-0 lead in the first with a sacrifice fly that scored Mike Aviles. In the second inning, Jerry Sands—who is with the team while Carlos Santana is on the paternity list—hit a two-run home run off of Mariners starter Roenis Elias (2-2) to extend that lead to 3-0.

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano fired back with a two-run home run of his own in the bottom of the third.

MORE: Indians-Mariners box score

David Murphy, pinch hitting for Sands, singled home a run to right field in the sixth inning to make it 4-2. And, in the seventh, the Mariners (24-25) answered, this time with a single up the middle from Dustin Ackley to score Brad Miller.

From there, McAllister, Hagadone and Allen shut the door to score the win.

Jason Kipnis went 0-for-4, and is still on 49 hits during the month of May. He’ll have one more game, on Sunday, to reach 50.

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Indians' Trevor Bauer out-dueled in 2-1 loss to Seattle Mariners

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 30, 2015

Trevor Bauer had a quality start but Seattle Mariners starter Taijuan Walker was better, and the Indians’ offense mustered too little, too late in a 2-1 loss Friday night.

Bauer (4-2) threw seven innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out 10. He and Walker (2-5, eight innings, two hits, eight strikeouts) both threw five scoreless innings before the Mariners’ Seth Smith broke through with a two-run home run.

The Indians threatened against Mariners closer Fernando Rodney (14 saves) in the ninth. Jason Kipnis walked and with two outs, Ryan Raburn tripled to right field to make it 2-1. Michael Brantley, though, flew out to end the game.

The Indians fell to 22-26 and the Mariners improved to 24-24.

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Indians top Seattle Mariners 5-3; Corey Kluber strikes out 13, Brandon Moss hits home run No. 8

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 29, 2015

The Indians brought enough offense to support Corey Kluber—which hasn't often been the case this season—in a 5-3 win in the first game of a four-game set against the Seattle Mariners Thursday night.

Brandon Moss went 2-for-4, including a home run in the second inning, his eighth of the season. Jason Kipnis went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

MORE: Indians-Mariners box score

Kluber allowed three earned runs over seven innings. He gave up two home runs but also struck out 13 batters. He picked up the win and improved to 3-5 this season.

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Series preview for four-game set between Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 28, 2015

The Indians begin a seven-game road trip with a four-game set against the Seattle Mariners Thursday night. If you’re planning on pushing back the alarm clock and staying up for the games, here are some things to note.

The games Thursday, Friday and Saturday all begin at 10:10 p.m. Sunday’s game is at 4:10.

The Mariners enter the series 23-23 and in second place the American League West, behind only the scorching hot Houston Astros (30-18). The Indians drew a bit of good luck with the pitching matchups in that they’ll face every Mariners starting pitcher not named Felix Hernandez—“King Felix” threw a four-hit shutout to beat Tampa Bay 3-0 Wednesday night.

Both teams enter the series 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Corey Kluber (2-5, 3.49) takes the mound tonight against lefty James Paxton (3-2, 3.52). Friday night will feature a couple of under-25 pitches, as Trevor Bauer (4-1, 3.02) takes on Taijuan Walker (1-5, 7.33). Walker was almost unhittable in spring training but hasn’t translated that to the regular season. On Saturday, Shaun Marcum (1-0, 6.28) will get a chance to stabilize his position in the rotation against another left-hander, Roenis Elias (2-1, 2.56). And on Sunday, Danny Salazar (5-1, 3.50) will square off with a third left hander, J.A. Happ.

The Indians will go from facing one of the hottest hitters on the planet (Texas’ Prince Fielder) to another (Seattle’s Nelson Cruz). Cruz leads the American League with 18 home runs, is tied for the lead in RBI with 38 and is fourth in batting average at .341. If the MVP voting were to stop today, Cruz could be your winner.

Indians manager Terry Francona spent three days explaining how difficult it is to pitch to a guy as hot as Fielder was—it’ll be much of the same with Cruz.

The Mariners do have other dangerous hitters besides Cruz, you just wouldn’t know it looking at their leaderboards. One is second baseman Robinson Cano, the $240-million man who hasn’t had the 2015 he had hoped for to this point, as he’s hitting only .215 with one home run. The other is third baseman Kyle Seager, hitting .275 with nine home runs and 29 RBI.

The Indians will dodge one bullet with Hernandez (if the Cy Young voting were today, he’s your guy, as he leads the AL in wins with eight and is second in ERA at 1.91). How well they dodge Cruz might be the biggest key to the series.

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Indians 12, Rangers 3: Wednesday's One Last Thing on Michael Bourn's hot streak

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 28, 2015
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The Indians put together an eight-run inning and received a strong outing from Carlos Carrasco to cruise past the Texas Rangers 12-3 Wednesday at Progressive Field.

Carlos Santana, Nick Swisher and Lonnie Chisenhall all hit a home run. Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourn all had three hits. Every Indians starter recored a hit and scored a run.

And starter Carlos Carrasco allowed one run in eight innings while striking out eight.

Wednesday’s One Last Thing: Michael Bourn is quietly heating up outside of the leadoff spot.



A while back, it was written that Bourn wasn’t getting hits but he was hitting the ball hard. Several analytic numbers pointed to the fact that Bourn was still making hard contact, it just wasn’t translating into him getting on base as much as it should.

Now, the hits are coming.

Bourn went 3-for-5 with two RBI Wednesday. He was hitting .180 before being moved down the lineup and is now hitting .300 since Indians manager Terry Francona made the change. Bourn is also hitting .360 in his past 16 games.

“Wherever Tito lines the lineup at, man, I just play,” Bourn said. “You don't make the lineup. You just go out there and play. So, whatever combination he thinks works for us, then I'm going to go out there and play baseball.”

MORE: Indians players, coaches shave their heads for Mike Aviles' daughter, who has leukemia

Of course, the switch has also coincided with Kipnis’ torrid May, so both hitters have taken off since that point in late April in Detroit.

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Eight-run third inning gives Indians 12-3 rout of Texas Rangers Wednesday

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 27, 2015

The Indians batted around and then some in the third inning and used it to cruise to a 12-3 win against the Texas Rangers Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.

The Indians had seven hits, including two doubles and a three-run home run by Carlos Santana, in that third inning to take a 10-0 lead off of Rangers starter Colby Lewis (4-3).

In the second inning, Nick Swisher hit his second home run of the season and first at Progressive Field. Lonnie Chisenhall added a home run of his own in the fifth inning.

All nine Indians starters recorded a hit and scored a run Wednesday. Santana and Chisenhall each ended the day with a home run and three RBI.

Pitching with a double-digit lead for most of the day, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (6-4) threw eight innings, allowed one earned run and struck out eight.

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Indians players, coaches shave their heads for Mike Aviles’ daughter Adriana, who has leukemia

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 27, 2015
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Over the last couple of days, more and more players and coaches have been walking around the Indians’ clubhouse with a shaved head. It started with Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and a few others. Now, everyone has joined in.

It’s for Mike Aviles’ 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, who was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month. Aviles was away from the team for a week and a half as he spent time with his family after learning the news.

Adriana will be starting chemo-therapy soon, which means she’ll be losing her hair. To show their support, Aviles’ teammates are cutting it all away. .

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Rangers 4, Indians 3: Tuesday's One Last Thing on shaved heads for Mike Aviles' daughter

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 27, 2015

The Indians gave up two big home runs and couldn’t take advantage of their own opportunities in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers Tuesday night.

Prince Fielder hit a 441-foot, three-run home run off of Danny Salazar in the fifth to tie it 3-3. Mitch Moreland than hit a solo home run in the eighth off of Nick Hagadone for the go-ahead run.

But tonight, it’s not all about baseball.

Tuesday’s One Last Thing: The Indians have banded together for a 4-year-old girl with leukemia.

Over the last couple days, more and more players have been walking around the Indians’ clubhouse with a shaved head. It started with Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher. Then it was Jose Ramirez. Now several guys, probably close to the entire team, have a shaved head or at least a low buzzcut.

The reason for it was known and pretty obvious, but players hadn’t yet wanted to speak about it and reporters were respectful of that, not pushing it.

MORE: Indians manager Terry Francona offers a solution for substances used on baseballs

Tuesday night, Kipnis became the first to speak on it and confirmed that it was for Mike Aviles’ 4-year-old daughter Adriana, who was diagnosed with leukemia recently. Aviles missed a week and a half as he spent time with his family after learning the news.

Adrianna will be starting chemo soon, which means she’ll be losing her hair. To show their support, Aviles’ teammates are doing the same.

“Yeah, kind of a team thing,” Kipnis said. “It started kind of with Mike Aviles’ daughter, for her, what she's going through. She’s going to, unfortunately, be losing her hair soon here to chemo and so we all kind of wanted to join in and it started with a couple and then spread throughout the whole clubhouse. … It wasn’t all in one day, just periodically, more guys were getting in on it and going through that.”

Aviles has chosen not to speak with reporters about it. But to his teammates, having him back in the clubhouse has been a positive influence.

“Having Mikey back, he’s one of the best clubhouse guys there is probably in this entire league,” Kipnis said. “He’s a great person, a great teammate and I think all the other guys have done a good job of stepping up to kind of make him feel welcomed and back at home and like nothing’s changed. And I think there’s been numerous guys that have told him that if he needs anything at any time that they’re there for him. So I think this is a good distraction for him when it can be, baseball.”

Aviles has played well and is hitting 7-of-19 since returning.

“Yea and on top of that, you gotta tip the cap to the guy to still be able to come to the field and produce and be playing well because he’s definitely been contributing.”

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Indians can’t hold lead after delay, fall to Texas Rangers 4-3

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 26, 2015

The Indians grabbed an early lead but two big swings made it moot in a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
In a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth, Indians reliever Nick Hagadone was taken deep for a

solo home run by Rangers (23-23) first baseman Mitch Moreland, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead.

Hagadone (0-1) came on for Danny Salazar, who threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out six. Hagadone had retired all five batters he faced until the Moreland home run.

In the ninth, Jason Kipnis reached on an error and Carlos Santana was hit by a pitch with two outs, but Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson got Michael Brantley to ground out end the game and record his fifth save of the season.

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Indians manager Terry Francona offers solution for substances used on baseballs

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 26, 2015

A couple of pitchers around baseball were recently suspended using illegal substances while pitching to doctor the ball, and it has brought a long-debated topic back into the forefront.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Will Smith and Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz were each suspended eight games in the past week for having a substance on their non-throwing arm and applying it to the baseball. Last season, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended 10 games for having a substance on his neck. And the list goes on.

There are a number of things pitchers can try to have on their arm, neck or wherever they can glob something in order to be able to swipe at it with their throwing hand before gripping the ball. In Smith’s case, it was rosin and sunscreen. In Pineda’s, it was pine tar.
Indians manager Terry Francona sees that there is a line that can be crossed, and it has to be considered cheating. When asked Tuesday about the issue, though, Francona made the point that many times pitchers are trying to find a better grip because they can’t feel the ball as well, especially when it’s cold. It’s not as much finding an advantage as it is a pitcher trying to not allow a 95-mph fastball go to an unknown location.

“Obviously you want to respect the game of baseball, but you want every pitcher—especially when it’s cold—to be able to feel the ball, because when they don’t, it starts going places it’s not supposed to and that’s dangerous,” Francona said. “I get it, if somebody’s out there trying to get the ball to drop six inches, to me that’s cheating. I know by the letter of the law that putting something somewhere is cheating, but when you’re trying to grip the ball, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

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Rangers 10, Indians 8: Monday's One Last Thing on 20-foot ground balls

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 26, 2015
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The Indians, in many senses of the word, threw away their game Monday against the Texas Rangers in a 10-8 loss.

Shaun Marcum was hit hard for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched. The Indians’ offense erased that, taking an 8-7 lead.

But in the seventh, Marc Rzepczynski allowed a score-tying single to Prince Fielder after allowing Delino DeShields to advance to second on a throwing error.

Zach McAllister then turned a would-be inning-ending play into a disaster. Josh Hamilton tapped a ground ball back to McAllister, who then sailed the ball over Carlos Santana’s head, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Monday’s One Last Thing: Sometimes, baseball comes down to a 20-foot ground ball.

Monday was really quite the great Baseball. Fourteen runs in the first three innings, four lead changes, five home runs, including Santana’s which bombed 455 feet.

MORE: Indians manager Terry Francona shares his thoughts on Memorial Day, heroes

But after all that, it was not being able to field a tapper back to the pitcher that cost the Indians would have been their seventh win in a row.

“After it was all said and done, it came down to a ball that was hit probably 20 feet,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And we talk about that a lot. You execute a really good pitch on a really dangerous hitter, you gotta get an out. Zach’s kind of a long-levered guy. Making that short throw, he really has to move his feet, probably more than the average guy just because he’s got long arms and legs.”

MORE: Indians manager Terry Francona gets no respect in his own apartment building

Even though it’s an easy play, that throw is often difficult for pitchers to make in the moment. A pitcher has to transition from slinging 95-mph fastballs into the zone out of the wind-up to softly tossing a ball 30 feet to first base. When you’re rushing, and when it's a key moment like in that seventh inning, it’s a play that should be easy but isn’t.

Still, as McAllister said, it has to be made.

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Pitching, defense fail Indians offense in 10-8 loss to Texas Rangers

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 25, 2015

The offense afforded Indians pitchers plenty of room for error Monday, but it wasn't enough in a 10-8 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Both starters couldn’t get through three innings, as each offense got to work early. After the third, there had been four combined home runs and the score was tied 7-7.

The Indians led 8-7 entering the top of the seventh inning. Indians reliever Bryan Shaw allowed a single to Delino DeShields. Left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski (1-2) allowed DeShields to advance on a throwing error and then gave up the score-tying single to Prince Fielder.

Zach McAllister came in to face Adrian Beltre and allowed a single. Josh Hamilton followed with a slow ground ball back to McAllister for what looked to be an easy third out. Instead, McAllister sailed the throw over Carlos Santana’s head, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus opened the eighth inning with a home run to left off of McAllister to give the Rangers a 10-8 lead.

Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers was credited with the win and is now 1-0 this season.

Indians starting pitcher Shaun Marcum allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched, including three in the top of the first and back-to-back home runs by Fielder and Beltre.

Santana homered off of Rangers starter Phil Klein in the bottom of the first inning, a shot that was estimated to travel 455 feet, to make it 3-1.

In the second inning, Roberto Perez put the Indians on top 4-3 with a three-run home run to right field. Jason Kipnis made it 5-3 with an RBI double. The Rangers (22-23) re-took the lead in the third with a four-run inning, capped by Andrus’ two-RBI double.

With the score tied 7-7, Michael Brantley put the Indians on top with an RBI double just inside
the right-field line to score Santana all the way from first.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Indians (20-24).

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Indians manager Terry Francona shares his thoughts on Memorial Day, heroes

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 25, 2015

Indians manager Terry Francona shared his thoughts on Memorial Day, what it means to him and what it means to be a hero on Monday.

Francona’s son, Nick, who became the Los Angeles Angels’ coordinator of major league player information last year, is a former Marine commander. Francona was honest in that Nick’s involvement with the military altered the way he viewed certain things, like the time he put aside to reflect on Memorial Day or where his thoughts are during the National Anthem.

“For right or wrong, my feelings probably changed when my son went into the Marines,” Francona said. “Probably started to be a little more respectful of days like this that I probably should have been all along. During the National Anthem I probably think more about things that maybe I should have had a long time ago that I didn’t.

“Back in generations before me, you didn’t sign up. You had to go. And now, that’s not the case. People volunteer. I think that is what’s kind of neat. They refer to people as heroes. But what they are, are regular people who choose to do something that helps us live our life how we want to. I guess that’s what makes a hero. And it’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, along the way people lose their lives and they have injuries that hurt their way of life. It’s difficult to understand but hopefully it’s not just today that we remember what some good people are trying to do.”

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Indians manager Terry Francona gets no respect in his own apartment building

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 25, 2015

Indians manager Terry Francona went to the Cavaliers game Sunday night with bench coach Brad Mills.

“He was my hot date,” Francona joked. “That was fun. We had a ball.”

Afterward, he was mistaken for a Kevin Love autograph seeker. Coming back from the game, a tired Francona just wanted to get back to his room. He happens to live on the same floor as Love and was heading to the elevator at around the same time.

“I’m trying to get into the darn elevator, I’m tired. Some security guy grabbed me,” Francona said, laughing through the story. “He said, ‘Sir, sorry, you can’t use this elevator.’ I was like, ‘Hey man, I’m going to my room. I don’t want his [expletive] autograph.’ Kevin Love said, ‘ Hey man, he’s OK.’ So we’re talking, we’re going up, I said, “Hey how come you’re not giving me any security? He’s [Love] not doing nothing.’”

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Indians 5, Reds 2: Sunday's One Last Thing on the starting pitching and the team's turnaround

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 25, 2015
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The Indians completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday with a 5-2 victory.

The win extended the Indians’ streak to six games. Trevor Bauer threw 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

Sunday’s One Last Thing: The starting pitching, just like last year, has coincided with the team’s turnaround.

The Indians’ rotation has definitely found its groove. Indians starters have thrown six-plus innings in eight straight games. They haven’t allowed more than three runs in seven straight games. They have a staff ERA of 1.42 in those seven outings.

Corey Kluber looks like the guy who won the AL Cy Young last season. Danny Salazar has been lights out with his new curveball. Carlos Carrasco has been solid. Bauer, who had a couple shaky starts in a row, has now made adjustments and is pitching well.

Even Shaun Marcum, called up from Triple-A, gave the Indians a quality start, throwing 6 2/3 innings and allowing two earned runs in a 4-3 win against the White Sox last week.

MORE: Trevor Bauer teams up with Lone Survivor Foundation to help spread awareness, raise money for veterans

Nick Swisher said on Friday this is what turned around their season a year ago. So far, it’s happening yet again.

“I feel our confidence is coming back,” Swisher said. “When we started rolling last year, it was our starting pitching that gave us our jump start and that’s kind of what’s happening to us now. Us being able to score early has been crucial, letting our pitchers relax. I think we’re feeling more confident, there’s more cohesiveness.”



David Murphy—who by the way is quietly hitting .321—said after Sunday’s game that is the starting pitching that will have to be the source of consistency.

“Starting pitching is always going to carry a team,” he said. “Offense is going to come and go throughout the course of a season, but starting pitching—any championship caliber team is going to have quality and good starting pitching.”

MORE: Indians-Reds box score

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Indians sweep Reds with 5-2 win Sunday, powered by Trevor Bauer's pitching

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 24, 2015

Trevor Bauer continued the Indians’ strong run of starting pitching and the Indians completed the sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 5-2 win at Progressive Field Sunday.

Bauer (4-1) threw 7 2/3 innings, allowed one run on five hits, struck out four and walked none.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning off of Reds starter Raisel Iglesias (1-1). First, David Murphy singled to right field to score Carlos Santana, who earlier had doubled. Brandon Phillips followed with an error on a ground ball off the bat of Nick Swisher, which allowed Brandon Moss, who had walked, to score as well.

Another Reds error in the sixth inning extended the lead. With the bases loaded and two out, Michael Brantley hit a hard ground ball to Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Votto made a sweeping play to field the grounder, but he and pitcher J.J. Hoover couldn’t complete the exchange. Votto’s throw sailed into foul territory along first base, which brought home two more runs.

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Indians 2, Reds 1: Saturday’s One Last thing on Corey Kluber and run support

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 24, 2015
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The Indians topped the Reds 2-1 Saturday night to win their fifth consecutive game.

Jason Kipnis had the go-ahead hit, an RBI-double to left-center field to score Michael Bourn from first in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Corey Kluber threw eight innings, allowed one run on nine hits and struck out seven.

MORE: Indians didn't hit panic button in April have been a 'different team' during winning streak

Saturday’s One Last Thing: The Indians still aren’t giving Corey Kluber much support, but lately, it’s been just enough.

MORE: Marla Ridenour: Corey Kluber back to being Klubot, and that spells trouble for Indians’ foes

The Indians still aren’t giving Kluber much run support. In fact, no qualified pitcher in baseball has been less supported, with the Indians giving Kluber 2.2 runs per game.

MORE: Manager Terry Francona hopes Cleveland will 'shine' following verdict.

During his three-start stretch in which he has 37 strikeouts, one walk and two earned runs, the Indians are right on that pace with two runs scored in each game.

May 13 against the Cardinals and tonight, it was just enough and it came at just the right time.

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Jason Kipnis’ late RBI double, Corey Kluber’s solid outing lead Indians to 2-1 win against Reds

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 23, 2015

Jason Kipnis drove in the go-ahead run to support another solid outing from Corey Kluber, and the Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-1 for their fifth consecutive win.

Locked in a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning, Kipnis hit a double to the gap in left-center field off of Reds (18-24) relief pitcher Tony Cingrani (0-1) that scored Michael Bourn from first base to give the Indians their first lead of the day.

Kluber (2-5) threw eight innings, allowing just one run on nine hits and striking out seven. Cody Allen came on in the ninth and earned his ninth save of the season.

The Indians (19-23) played most of the game trailing but tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Kipnis singled, advanced to second on a walk and scored on David Murphy’s single to center field.

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Indians C Yan Gomes will return Sunday, spoke with reporters Saturday (video)

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 23, 2015

Indians catcher Yan Gomes will return to the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds after a six-week absence as he rehabbed a sprained right knee.

Gomes’ initial timetable was 6-to-8 weeks. Sunday will mark six weeks plus one day since he hurt his knee April 11 against Detroit.

Gomes is excited to return, and while it was nice to get some family time, he didn’t enjoy being out of the lineup every day.

“It’s kind of like a re-opening day. It’s been a long six weeks, just ready to get back out there now,” Gomes said before Saturday’s game. “When the team went on the road and I had to stay back, even though it was nice hanging out with my daughter and my wife, it just sucked. Like gosh, is there anything I can do?”

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On Michael Brelo verdict, Indians' Terry Francona hopes Cleveland takes opportunity 'to shine'

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 23, 2015

A Cleveland judge ruled Saturday morning that officer Michael Brelo was not guilty of two charges of voluntary manslaughter stemming from a police chase in November of 2012 that involved more than 100 police vehicles and resulted in the deaths of two people.

There was concern from many in and around the city of the reaction that would follow from the verdict, especially considering the recent unrest in Baltimore.

Indians manager Terry Francona said Saturday that he did speak with security officials for the game in case there was a disturbance. He also said he hopes the city shows how it can shine.

Here is Francona's full comment:

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Indians 7, Reds 3: Friday's One Last Thing on Brandon Moss, expectations and better vibes

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 23, 2015
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The Indians topped the Reds 7-3 Friday night, marking their fourth consecutive win.

Brandon Moss hit a home run—his seventh of the season—and drove in three runs. Carlos Santana also snapped an 0-for-25 slump.

Carlos Carrasco threw six quality innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven.

Friday’s One Last Thing: Brandon Moss is doing what was expected and the Indians are starting to see positives in multiple facets of the game.

Moss has seven home runs and many of them have been no-doubters. He’s provided a power bat in the middle of the order—he also has nine doubles—and has been a legitimate clean-up hitter. At other times, of course, he’s also struck out at a high volume. He has 40 strikeouts to date this season.



It’s par for the course for what Moss offered when he was an All-Star in Oakland. And it’s pretty much what Indians manager Terry Francona said all along when Moss was struggling, that when he hits, he’s going to hit for power and it’s going to come in bunches. Also, Moss told reporters one night that he’s going to strike out and we better get used to writing about it.

He then struck out quite a few times, and now he’s hit two home runs in three games. It’s who Moss is as a hitter.

“It’s been a battle lately,” he said after Friday’s win. “Hit some balls well to left that haven’t done much but other than that, it’s been a battle. Tonight I felt good, I made some adjustments in the cage, trying to get a little bit better path to the ball. Feel a little bit stronger and came out tonight and felt really good.”

Moss jumped on the first pitch he saw from Reds starter Mike Leake in the third inning and sent it over the right-field fence. He said he doesn’t always look to do that but the timing was right and he got the right pitch to drive.

“I’m looking for a pitch middle-middle,” Moss said. “I’m kind of in-between with whether I swing at first pitches or not. After I’ve seen a guy once and I’m leading off an inning, it’s not always the best thing in certain situations but he was struggling with his command so you know he was going to try to get strike one. I felt like, if he grooves you a pitch, don’t take it, don’t just let it go.”

MORE: Catcher Yan Gomes on track to return to lineup Sunday

Moss was asked Friday night about the Indians’ starting pitching, how it’s been playing with a lead lately, how the clubhouse has been the past week. For the first time this season, all of them warranted positive answers.

On the starters: “It’s been pretty unbelievable. It takes a lot of pressure off of the offense. Obviously we’ve faced some really good starters in their own right the past few days. We’ve been able to scratch out a few and they’ve kept it right where it was. They’ve gone out and done an unbelievable job.”

MOREIndians notebook: Catcher Yan Gomes on track to return Sunday; Francisco Lindor cooling in Triple-A

On playing with a lead: “Lately we’ve been on the road so it’s easier to get out to a lead when Kipnis is swinging the bat the way he is and you’re on the road and hitting first. I think playing from behind is never easy. You start playing for that one run and then that next run and it’s hard to string things together when you’re playing for one run because you start sacrificing at-bats and then yourself and you run out of outs. When you’re playing ahead you play loose and then you just try to add on any way you can. You feel better at the plate.”

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Brandon Moss drives in three as Indians beat Cincinnati Reds 7-3 for fourth straight win

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 22, 2015

Brandon Moss supplied much of the Indians’ offense in their 7-3 win against the Cincinnati Reds Friday night at Progressive Field, marking their fourth consecutive win.

Moss went 2-for-3 with a home run—his seventh of the season—a double and three RBI.
The Indians secured a lead they never relinquished in the bottom of the third, as Moss hit the first pitch he saw off of Reds starter Mike Leake (2-3) over the fence in right field for a 3-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the fourth, he extended the Indians’ lead to 5-2 with a two-out, two-RBI double to the warning track in right field.

The Indians added two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh facing Reds relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz. Roberto Perez tripled after Reds right fielder Jay Bruce dove for a ball but missed. Jason Kipnis (3-for-5) drove him in with an RBI single, his second of the night. Carlos Santana followed with a double off the wall in center field, scoring Kipnis from first to give the Indians a 7-2 lead. That double broke an 0-for-25 slump for Santana.

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Indians catcher Yan Gomes on track to return to team Sunday

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 22, 2015
Gomes

Indians catcher Yan Gomes, if all goes to plan, could be in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Gomes has been rehabbing from a sprained right knee he sustained against Detroit on April 11. The early timetable for his return was 6-to-8 weeks. If he does catch Sunday in Cleveland, it would be six weeks plus one day since his injury.

Gomes caught seven innings and simulated two more Wednesday night for Triple-A Columbus before acting as the designated hitter Thursday. Friday night, the plan was for Gomes to catch nine innings. If he feels good the next morning, he will come to Cleveland Saturday and be re-activated from the disabled list Sunday.

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Danny Salazar's outing, four-run first inning offensively give Indians 5-2 win against White Sox

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 22, 2015

The Indians hit back-to-back home runs to cap a four-run first inning and support Danny Salazar, who threw six scoreless innings, in a 5-2 win against the White Sox on the road Thursday night.

Facing White Sox (18-20) starter John Danks (2-4), Michael Brantley singled home a run to center field before Ryan Raburn grounded into a double play that scored a second run. Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles each followed with solo home runs to make it 4-0.

It was Swisher's first home run of the season.

Salazar allowed five hits over six innings and struck out eight. He improved to 5-1 this season with the win.

Bryan Shaw allowed a two-run home run to White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers in the bottom of the ninth inning.

This is the first time this season the Indians (17-23) have won three consecutive games. They will take on the Reds in a three-game home set starting Friday.

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Shaun Marcum leads Indians to 4-3 win against White Sox

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 20, 2015

Shaun Marcum was promoted by the Indians Wednesday and turned in a quality outing in a 4-3 win against the Chicago White Sox on the road that included a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the ninth.

Marcum (1-0) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowed two runs on four hits and struck out six.

The White Sox (18-19) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on Adam Eaton’s solo home run. The Indians (16-23) then scored for unanswered runs.

Mike Aviles drove in Jose Ramirez with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 1-1. The Indians took a 2-1 lead on Ramirez’s RBI single to left field an inning later. Michael Brantley then added two insurance runs with a two-RBI double to right field off of White Sox reliever Dan Jennings (0-1).

Conor Gillaspie added a second solo home run off Marcum in the seventh, making it 4-2.

Zach McAllister recorded four outs to get the ninth. Then things got interesting.

With one out, Cody Allen loaded the bases with a single and two walks. He got Gillaspie to pop out for the second out, but the White Sox made it 4-3 on an infield single by Alexei Ramirez.

Allen, with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth, struck out J.B. Shuck to secure the win and earn his eighth save of the season.

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Indians call up SP Shaun Marcum, send down INF Zach Walters

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 20, 2015

The Indians on Wednesday promoted pitcher Shaun Marcum and optioned down infielder Zach Walters to Triple-A Columbus.

Marcum, 33, is slated to pitch Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox. In Triple-A this season, he has a 4-0 record and 1.36 ERA in five starts. Wednesday night will mark his first major-league start since July 6, 2013 with the New York Mets.

Walters was expendable once Mike Aviles returned to the team. He went 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts in seven games for the Indians.

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Trevor Bauer's solid night leads Indians to 3-1 win against Chicago White Sox

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 19, 2015

Trevor Bauer turned in a solid outing and the Indians topped the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on the road Tuesday night.

Bauer (3-1) allowed one run and struck out seven over 7 1/3 innings pitched. Cody Allen came on with two outs in the eighth to record a four-out save, his seventh of the season.

The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first off of White Sox starter Jose Quintana (2-4) when Jason Kipnis opened the game with a triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Michael Brantley.

After the White Sox (18-18) tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Indians (15-23) responded in the top of the fifth with an RBI double by Jose Ramirez to again score Kipnis.

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Corey Kluber throws nine innings, Indians lose in 10th to White Sox 2-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 19, 2015

Indians ace Corey Kluber picked up where he left off in his last start but it wasn't enough in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox in 10 innings Monday night.

Kluber threw nine innings, struck out 12 and allowed one run. The Indians' offense, though, only mustered one run against White Sox ace Chris Sale. He struck out seven over eight innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 10th, Zach McAllister relieved Kluber. He allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base—Avisail Garcia walked and Connor Gillaspie singled. McAllister recored two quick outs by getting Alexei Ramirez to pop out and striking out Geovany Soto, but couldn't get the third as Carlos Sanchez singled to left field to win the game.

The Indians fell to 14-23 and the White Sox improved to 18-17.

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Indians pitcher Bruce Chen announces retirement via Twitter Monday night

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 19, 2015

Indians pitcher Bruce Chen announced via Twitter Monday night that he was retiring from baseball.

Chen, 37, was trying to revive his career but had two unsuccessful starts for the Indians. He was designated for assignment last week. Instead of going back to Triple-A, he decided it was time to call it quits.

 

Today, I would like to announce my retirement. For the last 22yrs I have been doing what I love for a living. I feel blessed and fortunate

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Indians activate Mike Aviles, option down Austin Adams; Carlos Santana scratched from Monday lineup

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 18, 2015

The Indians announced Monday that Mike Aviles has returned to the team.

Aviles was dealing with the news that his 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, had been diagnosed with leukemia. Indians manager Terry Francona and the team told Aviles to take his time before coming back to baseball.

Aviles was on the medical emergency list and then the MLB restricted list. 

In a corresponding move, relief pitcher Austin Adams was optioned down to Triple-A after his third stint with the Indians this season.

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Indians, Carlos Carrasco fall to Texas Rangers 5-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 17, 2015

The Indians dropped Sunday's game and the series to the Texas Rangers 5-1 on the road.

Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (4-4) threw eight innings but took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and striking out nine.

Once again, poor defense hurt the Indians (14-22). The Rangers' first run came home after Nick Swisher—who played right field for the first time this season—missed cutoff man Jason Kipnis on a throw back into the infield on a Mitch Moreland double. Kipnis couldn't handle it well, which allowed Adrian Beltre to score to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. 

An inning later in the bottom of the third inning, Michael Bourn didn't get a good jump on a bloop single off the bat of Prince Fielder, which brought home Shin-Soo Choo from second base.

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Indians outlast Rangers 10-8 on Jason Kipnis' ninth-inning home run

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 17, 2015

Jason Kipnis continued to tear through the month of May, as he went 3-for-6 and hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Indians to a 10-8 victory on the road.

It's the first time the Indians have won back-to-back games since the season opening series in Houston.

Scott Atchison picked up the win but was in line for the loss heading into the ninth inning. Atchison, pitching in a 7-7 game in the bottom of the eighth, allowed a solo home run to Robinson Chirinos that put the Rangers on top 8-7.

In the top of the ninth, the Indians (14-21) tied the game on a fielder's choice that Jose Ramirez beat out at first to score Lonnie Chisenhall—who doubled to open the inning—from third. Kipnis, up with two outs in the inning, then sent his fourth home run of the season to the upper deck in right field off of Rangers (15-22) relief pitcher Neftali Feliz.

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Indians offense, bullpen find groove in 8-3 win against Texas Rangers

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 16, 2015

The Indians' offense started fast and kept it going and the bullpen was strong after a shaky start by Bruce Chen in an 8-3 win on the road against the Texas Rangers Friday night.

Several Indians hitters got in on the act. Jason Kipnis continued his torrid May, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Michael Brantley went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two walks. Nick Swisher went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Brett Hayes hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first off of Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguez (1-2) after Brantley doubled home Kipnis from first and Swisher drove in Brantley with a double of his own.

Trailing 3-2, Zach Walters' RBI single tied the score in the top of the fourth. An inning later, Swisher gave the Indians a 5-2 lead with a two-out, two-RBI single.

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Cardinals 2, Indians 1: Thursday's One Last Thing on 'The little things'

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015
BournOut

The Indians lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Thursday.

The loss dropped the Indians to 12-21 this season. It also means they haven't won back-to-back games since the second and third games of the season in Houston more than a month ago.

Trevor Bauer was terrific, throwing 7 1/3 innings pitched and leaving with a 1-0 lead. He also struck out 10 compared to only three walks.

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Indians’ faulty base running, bullpen lead to 2-1 loss to St. Louis Cardinals

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015

The Indians were on their way to winning back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month. Three base-running blunders and four pitches from the bullpen, though, were enough to sink the Indians in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.

The Indians’ lone run of the game came off the bat of Michael Brantley, who hit a solo home run in the sixth inning off of Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. There could have been more production, but the Indians ran themselves off the bases.

In the second inning, Michael Bourn tripled to center field. Jose Ramirez tried to bunt to the right side to score him, but it was fielded by Wacha just off the mound. Bourn had already broke for home and was thrown out by several steps.

In the sixth, just after Brantley gave the Indians a 1-0 lead, two of the next three outs were mostly at the Indians’ own doing.

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Indians manager Terry Francona agreed with decision to pull Corey Kluber after eighth inning

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015

After the conclusion of Corey Kluber’s 18th strikeout, which marked the end of the eighth inning Wednesday night, he stood at 113 pitches thrown. Indians manager Terry Francona had been ejected, so the decision was bench coach Brad Mills’ to make. He chose to keep in mind the long-term view for Kluber and decided that the team was better served not pushing the ace any further and bringing in the closer, Cody Allen. Allen recorded a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout.

Francona said he would have done the same thing and defended the decision.

“I didn’t send word up to Millsy what to do. I would have done the exact same thing and I think for very sound reasons,” Francona said. “For him to try to finish, you’re going to ask a guy to amp up for extra at 125, 100-something pitches. As a manager, you have to think of those things. If you could promise me he could have a six-pitch inning, yeah go ahead. … This was too easy a decision. I wasn’t down there but I never thought he was going back out.”

When Allen came out of the bullpen, the fans in attendance at Progressive Field booed, wanting to see Kluber finish the game and possibly reach 20 strikeouts.

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See what Indians GM Chris Antonetti had to say on Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Yan Gomes, more

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015
Antonetti

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti met with reporters to discuss top prospect Francisco Lindor’s readiness, Jose Ramirez’s struggles, Danny Salazar’s success, Yan Gomes’ absence and more.

Here are highlights of what he had to say.

On Ramirez:

“I'm encouraged by the way Jose continues to work, both offensively and defensively, to try to improve his performance. But, it's been a struggle for him. He's a young player that's going through an extended struggle in the Major Leagues in an environment where there's high expectations for team success. So, it's been a difficult thing for him to handle.

“[Last year] he was just playing the game with such joy and enthusiasm and carefree in some ways. I don't think we've seen that side of Jose as much, so maybe that’s some signal that it is weighing on him a little bit.”


On Lindor:

“There are a couple things with Francisco, as I've shared with you before. He's continuing to progress in Triple-A in some ways that are apparent to people on the outside, when you look at how he's performing and doing against the competition level that he's at, which he's holding his own, which is an encouraging sign for a young player. He's not yet to the point of dominating that level and that pitching, but he's progressing well in that respect. In terms of the other things and his development plan, and things that maybe aren't as readily apparent to people externally, he's made great strides in his mindset and his approach and his work and some of the other fundamental areas that he's working on in his game. He's progressing.”

“At some point, we still expect him to be a very good player for a very long time. The only question is when that will happen, and that timing isn't now.”


On the timing of Lindor’s promotion:

“I think we've seen it in the past where there's been times where we and other teams may have been expedient in that and maybe brought players before they were ready, and that may have set them back in their development timetable where, you bring them up for whatever reason and then they come up here, fail and then have to go back to the Minor Leagues for an extended period of time. Obviously, that wouldn't be ideal, either.”

On other options:

“Once Mike Aviles gets back, that'll continue to provide us a more reliable and veteran Major League player that's had success in that role. Maybe he can absorb a few more of those at-bats and playing time when he returns, which we're hopeful will be at some point on the road trip.”

On Lindor looking up, Ramirez looking down:

“It's possible. I think it would be human, if that were the case, where he was thinking about those things. But, that's part of being a professional player. That's part of learning. [If] you're in Triple-A trying to ascend to the Major Leagues, you have to figure out a way to compartmentalize that and still be able to perform. On the flipside, when you’re in the Major Leagues, there's going to be a guy in Triple-A waiting to take your spot, too. At some point in their development, every player in our Major League clubhouse has had to deal with those anxieties. Every player in Triple-A has had to deal with those anxieties.”

On Salazar:

“First off, Danny's as consistent or maybe more consistent than he's ever been with that work leading up to this start. What his focus and intensity is in his bullpen sessions, weight room, strength and conditioning, all of those things that don’t get readily seen, but that's what prepares people for success, I think that's been the foundation for Danny when he's come back to the Major Leagues. He's been incredibly consistent with that and that's led him to be able to do some of the things on the mound that he was trying to accomplish, specifically the way he's attacking the strike zone. He's able to execute his fastball more consistently to different quadrants in the strike zone when he wants to pitch down, and pitch down and away for instance for a strike to a right-handed. He's able to do that now.”

On the loss of Gomes:

“I think it's had an impact. Any time you lose a player of Yan's, not only the caliber of performer he is, but what he means to the team, his leadership on the field and in the clubhouse, it has an impact, no matter who you have to come in and replace him. It's been a loss, but every team goes through difficult situations and has to overcome them. We were fortunate that we have a very capable player and replacement in Roberto. And I think by and large, while he's still developing, i think he's done a very good job of that.”

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Indians 2, Cardinals 0: Wednesday's One Last Thing on Corey Kluber's historic night

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015
KluberBeacon

Indians ace Corey Kluber had a historic night in a 2-0 win against the Cardinals Wednesday night.

He struck out 18, allowed only one hit and walked none in eight innings.

Wednesday's One Last Thing: A look at Corey Kluber's night and his progression with catcher Roberto Perez.

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Indians ace Corey Kluber has historic 18-strikeout, 1-hit performance in 2-0 win against St. Louis

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 13, 2015

Indians ace Corey Kluber found his Cy Young form and then some Wednesday night in an 18-strikeout, one-hit, zero walk performance against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In doing so, he added his name to some of baseball’s all-time best.

Kluber was dominant after entering the game with a 5.05 ERA in 2015 and being winless this season. Had he not registered a win, he would have set a record for the most starts (eight) without a win the season after winning the Cy Young Award.

He reminded everyone, at the Cardinals’ expense, that there is a good reason he was named the American League’s best pitcher a year ago.

Kluber’s only base runner allowed until late in the seventh inning came when he hit Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday in the first inning. Then the strikeouts came in bunches.

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Indians C Yan Gomes could DH in rehab assignment Friday; Bruce Chen to start Friday against Texas

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 13, 2015
Gomes

Indians catcher Yan Gomes has continued his quicker-than-expected progress in his rehab from a sprained right knee sustained April 11 against Detroit.

Gomes, per Indians manager Terry Francona, might be able to begin a rehab assignment as a designated hitter this Friday. If all goes well, he’d likely beat his original 6-8 week time table.

“I want to talk to our medical people just to see what’s the best way to do this,” Francona said. “They’ve been so good about not holding him back, but also trying to use some common sense. We’ll continue to do that, but he’s doing amazing.”

Roberto Perez, in Gomes’ absence, is hitting .161 with three home runs entering Wednesday.

TJ House, recovering from left shoulder inflammation, will be in Lake County Friday night to pitch three innings as part of his rehab. Gomes might end up joining him there.

As House continues to work his way back to the starting rotation, Bruce Chen will be given his second start Friday night against Texas. Danny Salazar will then throw on Saturday.

The Indians wanted to give Chen a second outing after he was hit for six runs in four innings in his team debut against the Minnesota Twins.

“Bruce, we wanted to give him another start,” Francona said. “I don’t want to say it’s do or die, because I don’t think that’s fair. But when a guy exhibits all the things Bruce does, as far as being a teammate, a leader, yeah, you want to give him every benefit of the doubt. … From little things like, on a day when he’s giving up a lot of hits and a lot of runs, someone’s out their making a defensive play, he’s out there waiting for the infielders. Just things that don’t go unnoticed.”

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Indians INF Mike Aviles' daughter diagnosed with leukemia; Team tells him to take his time returning

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 13, 2015
Aviles

Indians infielder Mike Aviles has been on the medical emergency list for several days dealing with a family issue. On Wednesday, Aviles was back in Cleveland and Indians manager Terry Francona met with reporters and shared the terrible news that Aviles had been dealing with during his absence.

Aviles' 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, was diagnosed with leukemia last week. She is currently being treated at the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s heartbreaking to anyone who has children and I don’t even think you need to have children [to understand how he might be feeling],” Francona said. “She’s in good hands. She’s getting treatment. She’s doing very well—prognosis is good. But as you can imagine, being a parent, it’s pretty tough.”

As Francona said when Aviles first left the team to be with his family, he repeated Wednesday that Aviles has the team’s blessing to return when he is ready. He won’t be asked to return at a certain time.

“Mike understands that he has our blessing to come back and play when he is completely comfortable and wants to and feels like he’s where he should be,” Francona said.

Aviles took some ground balls with the team before Wednesday’s game. He could potentially join the team, per Francona, this weekend in Texas.

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Cardinals 8, Indians 3: Tuesday's One Last Thing on Jason Kipnis' message, Jose Ramirez's struggles

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 13, 2015
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The Indians fell to the Cardinals 8-3 Tuesday night.

It involved seven men left on base and three strikeouts for Brandon Moss. It also included a costly error by Jose Ramirez that led to four runs that came a half-inning after the Indians battled back to cut the Cardinals' lead to 4-3.

Tuesday's One Last Thing: Jason Kipnis says the Indians need to start showing up every day, and Jose Ramirez is really hurting the team.

(Yes, that's two last things, but oh well.)

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Indians can’t take advantage of opportunities, error comes back to bite in 8-3 loss to St. Louis

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 12, 2015

The Indians’ offense couldn’t come away with a timely hit early in the game and lost a chance at coming back later due to a costly Jose Ramirez error in an 8-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Progressive Field Tuesday night.

The Indians couldn’t do much of anything against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (2-3) but came back against the Cardinals’ bullpen. Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Jason Kipnis (3-for-4, two doubles, a walk) continued his torrid month of May with an RBI double to left field to score Jose Ramirez. Two batters later, Michael Brantley (2-for-4, walk) hit in Kipnis with a double to left field of his own, making it 4-2.

Facing left-handed Cardinals relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist, Ryan Raburn came on to pinch hit for Brandon Moss, who had struck out three times earlier in the game. Raburn came through with an RBI double to bring the Indians to within one run and put the tying run on second.

Nick Swisher popped up to second base and David Murphy hit a ground ball to first base to end the inning with the Cardinals still leading.

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Catcher Yan Gomes has 'biggest test so far' in rehab from right knee sprain

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 12, 2015

Catcher Yan Gomes went through his most strenuous day yet in his rehab from a right knee sprain sustained April 11, per Francona.

Gomes did some work at catcher squatting and did base running work. The team will see how he feels Wednesday and go from there. It’s possible Gomes could begin a rehab stint as a designated hitter soon, assuming he feels OK.

The original estimate of 6-8 weeks for his return suggested an early-June return, if all went well. There's a chance, at least, that Gomes could be back in the lineup earlier than that.

“This is his biggest test so far," Francona said. “And he’s really done miraculously well with everything. But we’ll want to see not only how he handles today but how he bounces back tomorrow [Wednesday]. But today's a big day for him.”

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Indians vs. Cardinals series probables May 12-14, Tuesday's lineups

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 12, 2015

If there's one thing the Indians didn't need right now, it was to face the National League's top team and one of the best teams in baseball.

That's what they'll get in the St. Louis Cardinals, as the Indians and Cards start a three-game set in Cleveland tonight.

Tuesday and Wednesday night's games will be the final two 6:10 p.m. starts.

Here are the probable's for the second and third games of the series, followed by Tuesday's lineups.

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Indians 8, Twins 2: Sunday's One Last Thing on Jason Kipnis in the leadoff spot of a new order

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 10, 2015

The Indians' offense came together and Danny Salazar was just about perfect after a first-inning mistake in an 8-2 win against the Minnesota Twins Sunday.

Salazar allowed a lead-off home run to Brian Dozier and then retired the next 21 batters he faced, 11 by strikeout, tying a career high.

Offensively, Jason Kipnis had three hits and was a home run away from the cycle, Carlos Santana had two hits and three RBI, David Murphy had four hits and Lonnie Chisenhall hit a three-run home run.

Sunday's One Last Thing: Jason Kipnis has been the spark plug for the offense in the leadoff spot, and he says he feels better than he did during his torrid June of 2013. 

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Indians’ offense comes alive, Danny Salazar perfect after first-inning mistake in 8-2 win

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 10, 2015

The Indians’ offense finally had the type of game they had been waiting for Sunday and Danny Salazar was essentially perfect after the first inning in an 8-2 win at Progressive Field.

Jason Kipnis went 3-for-5 and was only a home run short of the cycle, David Murphy went 4-for-4, Carlos Santana drove in three runs and Lonnie Chisenhall ripped a three-run home run to lead offensively.

The Indians (11-19) tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first, as Kipnis doubled and scored on a Santana single. In the fourth, the Indians scored five runs against Twins starter Trevor May (2-3), capped by Chisenhall’s home run.

Salazar (4-1) allowed a home run to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier to lead off the game and then retired the next 21 batters in order, including 11 of them by strikeout, tying his career high. At one point, Salazar struck out six consecutive Twins (18-14).

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Video: Nick Swisher after his 4-for-4 day and Indians' 7-4 loss to Minnesota Twins

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2015

Indians DH Nick Swisher went 4-for-4 Saturday night, with three singles and a double in the 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

It was Swisher's fifth four-hit game of his career, and the first since September 19, 2013 against Houston.

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Twins 7, Indians 4: Saturday's One Last Thing on the Indians struggling in the first inning

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2015

The Twins beat the Indians 7-4 Saturday night. The Indians again fell behind, this time by seven runs, and had two comeback attempts fall short.

Saturday night's One Last Thing on the Indians' pitching woes in the first inning.

The Indians only allowed one earned run in the first inning Saturday, but it was the first of seven unanswered runs by the Twins that led to a lead the offense couldn't overcome.

The Indians are now 3-16 this season when opponents score first. Nick Swisher Saturday night said it's hard to play from behind. Indians manager Terry Francona has talked about how things become so much tougher when you're always behind.

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Indians’ rally comes up short in 7-4 loss to Minnesota Twins

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2015

The Indians fell to the Minnesota Twins 7-4 Saturday afternoon in Bruce Chen’s first start with the team.

Chen (0-1) was hit hard, as he lasted only four innings and allowed six earned runs.

The Indians’ offense couldn’t muster much of any offense against Twins starter Phil Hughes (2-4) until the seventh inning, already trailing 7-1.

Nick Swisher (4-for-4) doubled and scored on a Michael Bourn double. David Murphy then hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run to center field to make it 7-4.

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Boston Red Sox hire Carl Willis as pitching coach

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2015

The Boston Red Sox have hired Carl Willis as their pitching coach, per multiple reports.

The Red Sox obtained permission to talk with Willis, 54, who was the Indians’ pitching coach in Triple-A Columbus, this week.

The Indians knew Willis wouldn't likely last long below the major-league level.

"I think we all felt like we probably were the recipient of a break. By that I mean he's a Major League pitching coach," Francona said. "I thought it was really cool, the way he handled--a lot like Bruce Chen in Triple-A-- Carl all spring felt like it was an opportunity and he treated it that way. He made a lot of people better."

Willis was a pitching coach in the Indians system from 1997-2009 and worked with current Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was the director of player development from 2001-2006.

Willis went with Eric Wedge to the Seattle Mariners for four seasons but was fired, along with Wedge, after the 2013 season.

For now, the Indians will set up a bit of a rotation of coaches acting as the pitching coach at the Triple-A level. Tim Belcher and Charles Nagy will likely be among those in that rotation.

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Indians purchase contract of Bruce Chen, designate for assignment Anthony Swarzak

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2015

The Indians on Saturday officially purchased the contract of Bruce Chen and called him up from Triple-A Columbus. He'll start Saturday against the Minnesota Twins.

That part had been known for a few days. It wasn't known who would be the odd man out on the 40-man roster. That turned out to be relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak, who was designated for assignment. He was acting as the eighth man in the bullpen.

Swarzak had a 3.38 ERA in 13 1/3 innings pitched this season.

"We explained to [Swarzak] that it wasn't an indictment on him," Francona said. "It was circumstances that happen when things like this come up."

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Twins 9, Indians 3: Friday's One Last Thing on losing in the AL Central

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 8, 2015

The Indians lost to the Twins 9-3 Friday night in a game that was more of the same this season.

The pitching struggled—Trevor Bauer allowed five runs in five innings and the bullpen wasn't any better.

The defense struggled—Carlos Santana's error on a bunt in the sixth led to three unearned runs.

And the bullpen struggled as well—the biggest blow being Torii Hunter's three-run, bases-clearing double with two outs to extend the Twins' lead to 8-2 and put the game out of reach.

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Indians fall to Minnesota Twins 9-3; Pitching, hitting, defense all struggle

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 8, 2015

The Indians lost to the Minnesota Twins 9-3 at Progressive Field Friday night in a game that was a pretty accurate representation of the team’s first 28 games this season.
The pitching struggled, it was made worse by some poor defense and it wasn’t helped by a slumping offense.

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (1-2) was roughed up, allowing a run in four of the five innings he pitched. Three of those run-scoring innings started with a double. The fourth run was courtesy of Torii Hunter, who went 4-for-4 with four RBI. After Bauer threw a pitch hight-and-tight, Hunter crushed the next one for a solo home run to left field.

Bauer allowed only two earned runs in his first 19 innings pitched this season but since getting food poisoning in Detroit has allowed 14 runs in his last 15 1/3 innings pitched.

Once Bauer left the game following a double by Kurt Suzuki to open the sixth inning, the bullpen was unable to do much better. Nick Hagadone entered the game with the Indians trailing 4-2. Kennys Vargas singled and Eddie Rosario struck out. Jordan Schafer bunted and Indians first baseman Carlos Santana bobbled it, allowing Suzuki to score to make it 5-2. Hagadone then walked Danny Santana to load the bases with one out.  

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Indians place Mike Aviles on medical emergency list, recall Zach Walters from Triple-A

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 8, 2015

Indians infielder Mike Aviles has been placed on the medical emergency list and utility man Zach Walters has been recalled from Triple-A, the team announced Friday.

Aviles can remain on the medical emergency list for 3-to-7 days. He is hitting .288 this season with two home runs and four RBI in 18 games.

The Indians did not disclose any details into Aviles’ situation other than to say he has their support.

“It’s a personal, family, very serious matter that we found out about [Thursday],” Francona said. “He certainly has our blessing—not only our blessing, but our assistance in taking care of what he needs to take care of.”

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Indians sign RHP Carlos Marmol to minor league contract

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 8, 2015

The Indians on Friday signed right-handed relief pitcher Carlos Marmol to a minor league contract.

Marmol, 32, has a career 23-35 record, 117 saves and an ERA of 3.57 in nine seasons.

He was an All-Star in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs, when he led the National League with 38 saves.

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Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber fall to Kansas City Royals 7-4

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 7, 2015

The Kansas City Royals put Corey Kluber and the Indians in a hole early in a 7-4 loss Thursday afternoon.

Kluber allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched and took the loss. He is now 0-5 this season.

The Indians scored two runs on back-to-back walks with the bases loaded off Royals starter Edinson Volquez to make it 4-3 in the third inning. Later, while trailing 5-3 Carlos Santana added a solo home run to bring the Indians to within one. The Royals got to the Indians bullpen in the bottom of the seventh for two insurance runs to pull away. Royals closer Greg Holland recorded his fifth save of the season.

The Indians fall to 10-17 this season while the Royals improve their record to 18-10.

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Cleveland Indians pile on Kansas City Royals in 10-3 road win

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 6, 2015

The Cleveland Indians supplemented four runs in the first two innings with a four-run seventh inning and defeated the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on the road Wednesday night.

Facing left-hander Danny Duffy, the Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a wild pitch. In the third, the scoring was their own doing, and there would be plenty to follow.

Lonnie Chisenhall drove in Nick Swisher—who recorded his first hit of the season, a single— with a double, and Brett Hayes and Jason Kipnis each followed with RBI singles to make it a 4-0 lead.

Entering the top of the seventh inning leading 5-3, the Indians (10-16) broke the game open against Royals (17-10) relief pitcher Franklin Morales. Ryan Raburn continued his hot start with an RBI double and Brandon Moss doubled home two more runs. Mike Aviles capped the inning with a single to right field to score Moss to make it 9-3.

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Cleveland Indians offense runs dry in 5-3 loss to Kansas City Royals

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 5, 2015

The Indians' offense got off to a great start Tuesday night but later stalled in a 5-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

Facing the Royals' Jason Vargas (3-1), Indians (9-16) left fielder Michael Brantley hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, his second of the season. The Royals (17-9) and Eric Hosmer responded in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run home run off of starting pitcher Danny Salazar, and the Indians trailed the rest of the game.

Down 4-2, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall hit a solo home run off of Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera in the top of the eighth inning. It was Herrera's first home run allowed in 105 1/3 innings pitched, the longest active streak in baseball.

Salazar (3-1, 3.81 ERA) allowed four earned runs on five hits and struck out nine in seven innings.

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Cleveland Indians activate OF Nick Swisher from disabled list; Swisher to DH tonight against Royals

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 5, 2015

The Cleveland Indians have activated outfielder Nick Swisher from the disabled list and optioned down Tyler Holt.

Swisher will act as the designated hitter tonight against the Kansas City Royals.

He is making his 2015 debut after having surgeries on both knees last season. Swisher played in back-to-back games with Triple-A Columbus twice last week and was in Cleveland Sunday to speak with Indians manager Terry Francona. He batted .375 with a home run in 24 at-bats at Triple-A.

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Cleveland Indians to activate OF Nick Swisher from disabled list Tuesday, per report

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 4, 2015

The Cleveland Indians will activate outfielder Nick Swisher from the disabled list on Tuesday, per a report from MLB.com.

Swisher has been rehabbing in Arizona and with Triple-A Columbus after having surgery on both knees last season. Swisher spoke with reporters last week, saying he just needed to continue to build up his stamina.

Swisher played in back-to-back games with Triple-A Columbus twice this week and was in Cleveland yesterday to speak with Indians manager Terry Francona. He batted .375 with a home run in 24 at-bats at Triple-A.

And it now appears Swisher and the Indians feel he is ready to return to Cleveland.

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See how Cleveland Indians rank among highest percentages of soft, hard contact rates in baseball

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 4, 2015

FanGraphs has come out with some numbers based on calculating how often a pitcher gives up or a hitter gets hard or soft contact.

For pitchers, these numbers are essentially saying how often opposing hitters are squaring up the ball when making contact. And for hitters, it shows how often they are making good or bad contact.

And for the Indians, there's some good and bad news.

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has the second-best percentage of soft-contact induced in baseball among qualified players at 30.8 percent. Only the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels, at 31.7, has been better.

Offensively, Brandon Moss has a 44.2-percent rate of hard contact being made, which is eighth in baseball. He also has a third-lowest Batting Average On Balls In Play among the top 15 in hard-hit contact percentage, which could point to him being a bit unlucky this season. However, his line-drive percentage of 19.2 percent isn’t terribly high, so much of that could be off-set. Essentially, when Moss hits the ball, it's been hit a long way.

The Indians have three hitters among the league leaders in soft contact made. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has the fifth-highest rate in the game with a 28.6 percent rate. Shortstop Jose Ramirez is 11th, at 25.4 percent. And first baseman Carlos Santana is 19th with 23.5 percent.

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Cleveland Indians rally after defensive miscues to beat Toronto Blue Jays 10-7

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 3, 2015

The Cleveland Indians made a number of defensive mistakes that led to a big inning for the Toronto Blue Jays but found enough offense to rally for a wild 10-7 win Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Indians (9-15) starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (3-0) cruised through the first three innings until a couple of mental errors in the field led to a six-run fourth inning for the Blue Jays.

With runners on the corners and one out, Ryan Goins hit a sharp ground ball to Carlos Santana at first base. Instead of throwing to second to start the double play that could have ended the inning, Santana caught Kevin Pillar off third base. Santana ran across the diamond right at Pillar—Indians manager Terry Francona said after the game that was the textbook decision—but he never threw the ball, and Pillar beat Santana back to third. On the next play, Ezequiel Carrera topped a ground ball to Bauer, who looked toward home before throwing to first, but it was too late, costing the Indians another out.

Instead of the inning being over and the score tied 1-1, or at least having two outs, the Blue Jays (12-14) had the bases loaded with only one out and a 2-1 lead. Second baseman Devon Travis, up next, made it really hurt by crushing a grand slam to left field to blow open the game 6-1.

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Blue Jays 11, Indians 4: Saturday's One Last Thing on Corey Kluber and keeping hitters honest

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

The Indians took another hard loss, this one at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, 11-4 on Sunday.

Corey Kluber was roughed up, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts in just five innings. He’s now 0-4 this season with a 4.62 ERA.

Saturday’s One Last Thing: Corey Kluber thinks he isn't keeping hitters honest enough.

Kluber hasn’t yet been at the same level last last season, and he’s still searching for his first win in 2015.

Through April, it didn’t seem to be much of a concern, as his numbers in the first month of the season compared to those from last April were almost identical (4.14 to 4.24 ERA, 37 to 34 innings pitched, 35 to 36 strikeouts).

So it appears as though Kluber starts slower than he finishes. That trend isn’t an issue in and of itself, but it’s magnified right now simply because the Indians aren’t winning or hitting.

Lately, each start has been a little rougher than the last for Kluber. He said after the game tonight he think it’s because he isn’t sequencing his pitches correctly.

“Not doing a good job of keeping guys honest,” he said. “For the most part, guys are hanging out over the plate. When they’re doing that, you’re kind of eliminating one half of the plate and when you do make a mistake, it’s magnified.”

Kluber added that he doesn’t think hitters have really changed their approach against him and that everything physically is feeling fine. He just isn’t doing enough to mix things up, whether it be pitch type, order or location.

Kluber was asked if his fastball command was where he wanted it to be—Indians manager Terry Francona cited that as maybe the biggest reason for Kluber’s tough night Saturday. Kluber said he’s thought the command has been OK but added, “It hasn’t been unbelievable but the biggest thing is not working both sides of the plate, not keeping hitters honest.”

Kluber might be a habitually slower starter, but the Indians will need him to figure things out sooner rather than later to right the ship. A lot of his advanced numbers are fairly similar as far as pitch selection, though he is giving up line drives at a higher clip (21.4 percent last year, 25.5 percent this season).

Perhaps it’s because he isn’t keeping hitters honest enough, as he says.

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Cleveland Indians routed by Toronto Blue Jays 11-4

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber again struggled to show the same sharpness from last season’s Cy Young campaign, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall made a costly error and the bullpen was roughed up in an 11-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Kluber (0-4) lasted only five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts. He entered the fifth inning with the score tied 2-2 but lost it after a single and back-to-back walks set up a two-RBI single by Blue Jays designated hitter Jose Bautista. Kluber was able to induce Edwin Encarnacion to ground into a double play and Russell Martin to ground out to end the inning and limit the damage.

In the sixth inning, though, the Blue Jays (12-13) didn’t go as quietly.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar opened the inning with a double to end Kluber’s day and bring in Marc Rzepczynski. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position. Former Indians outfielder Ezequiel Carrera hit a ground ball to Lonnie Chisenhall, whose throw to home plate beat the runner but was in the dirt, allowing the Blue Jays to take a 5-2 lead.

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Cleveland Indians CF Michael Bourn scratched from lineup with neck strain; Tyler Holt starting

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn has been scratched from Saturday's lineup due to a cervical (neck) strain.

Bourn, after losing his helmet while running, slid hard into home plate during Friday night's 9-4 win against Toronto and slammed his head on the ground. Bourn was called safe but after a Blue Jays challenge was determined to have been tagged.

He was 9-of-23 since being moved down to the No. 9 spot in the order and had collected a hit in five straight games.

Tyler Holt, called up Friday after TJ House was put on the disabled list, will start in center field and bat ninth Saturday. Jason Kipnis will lead off.

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Michael Beaven’s One Last Thing: Indians open May with 9-4 win over Blue Jays

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: It is May, and the Indians have a 1-0 record in the month following a 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Indians players and coaches left the ballpark feeling good following a frustrating April that concluded Thursday with a 7-14 record.

Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Brett Hayes each welcomed the new month by hitting a home run to lead the Indians on a night when Blue Jays starter and Mark Buehrle and Indians starter Carlos Carrasco each struggled to pitch effectively.

Friday night’s One Last Thing: Turning the page on the calendar and embracing a new month.

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Indians 9, Blue Jays 4: Kipnis, Brantley, Hayes hit home runs in victory to open May

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Indians welcomed the month of May with a potent offensive attack Friday night at Progressive Field.

Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Brett Hayes each hit a home run as the Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 before a crowd of 15,088.

The powerful hitting helped the Indians open May at 1-0 following a 7-14 April to begin a 2015 season full of high expectations.

Neither starting pitcher, Mark Buehrle for Toronto and Carlos Carrasco for Cleveland, was especially sharp, but the Indians offense allowed Carrasco (3-2) to get a win because they banged out 13 hits.

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Cleveland Indians place T.J House on 15-day DL; recall Tyler Holt from Class-AAA Columbus

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Indians placed left-handed pitcher TJ House on the 15-day Disabled List on Friday with left shoulder inflammation and recalled outfielder Tyler Holt from Class-AAA Columbus to fill the spot on the Major League roster.

House, 25, lost his fourth consecutive start Thursday night when the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Indians 5-1 at Progressive Field. House has posted a 13.15 ERA over his first four starts of the season over 13 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 hits, 19 earned runs and 12 walks. He has seven strikeouts.

Holt, 26, was hitting .328 (20-for-61) for the Clippers with 12 runs, two doubles, one triple and four RBI in 19 games. He is eighth in the International League in on-base pct. (.438) and runs scored (12), and is tied for sixth in walks (12). He has appeared in games at all three outfield positions for manager Chris Tremie.

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