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Indians beat Toronto Blue Jays 4-2, win sixth straight game

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 31, 2015

One of the front runners for the American League MVP award was up to bat representing the winning run, but closer Cody Allen and the Indians escaped with a 4-2 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Pillar and Ryan Goins each singled with one out, putting the tying run on base. Allen (28 saves) got Ben Revere to pop out in foul territory and then faced Josh Donaldson, ultimately striking him out with a curveball in the dirt to end the game.

This was the sixth straight win for the Indians (64-66), as they pull to within 4.5 games of the Texas Rangers for the second Wild Card spot (Texas plays San Diego late Monday night).

Starting pitcher Danny Salazar (12-7) allowed two runs on six hits and strikeout 10 in seven innings.

The Indians, facing Blue Jays (74-57) ace David Price (13-5), took an early 1-0 lead. Jason Kipnis opened with a double (37th this season) and later scored on a double-play ball off the bat of Michael Brantley.

Trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, Carlos Santana walked and scored on a score-tying single by Ryan Raburn. Jerry Sands later gave the Indians the lead with an RBI single to left field. In the ninth, Lonnie Chisenhall singled home Yan Gomes to add an insurance run.

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UPDATE: Indians President Mark Shapiro joins Toronto Blue Jays front office

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 31, 2015
Shapiro

It had been widely reported that Indians President Mark Shapiro had been in discussions with the Toronto Blue Jays to join that organization in a similar role for roughly two weeks. And with the Indians traveling to Toronto Monday for a three-game series, it was clear that this week would be the most likely time to make an announcement, should Shapiro be leaving.

That time has now come, as the announcement has arrived that Shapiro is joining the Blue Jays as President and CEO, replacing Paul Beeston, who is reportedly retiring soon.

Shapiro, a two-time Sporting News Executive of the Year, was in his 24th year with the Indians organization. Most notably in that span, he served as General Manager for nine seasons (2002-2010) and the last five as President.

"Through my twenty four years as part of the Cleveland Indians, I have developed a deep emotional and civic attachment to the Indians organization and the Cleveland community," Shapiro said in a statement. "The root of those ties is in the personal relationships that my family and I have built. While weighing those bonds carefully and seriously, I feel the unique and compelling nature of the Blue Jays President/CEO position warranted my consideration. This position represents a unique opportunity for me and one that I felt was the right new challenge to undertake. With mixed emotions, I will assume the Toronto Blue Jays CEO position upon the conclusion of the 2015 season. As the Indians organization moves forward, I am confident the current leadership represents a strong foundation to field a championship caliber team moving forward. The relationships we have enjoyed here will be lifelong bonds and will ensure that I will always be a fan of the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians organization."

As GM in Cleveland, Shapiro oversaw the Indians’ rebuild following the success of the teams in the 90s, maneuvering between a young roster following the trades of several key names and ever-present salary cap restrictions. It included two 90-plus-win teams and most notably a run to the American League Championship Series in 2007, which ended bitterly in an ALCS loss to Terry Francona’s Boston Red Sox, the eventual World Series champions.

It is without question that for much of Shapiro’s 24 years with the Indians, he was one of the key orchestrators for what went on both on and off the field. Now, he is moving North of the border, and his tenure in Cleveland has come to an end.

Indians owner Paul Dolan, in a statement, thanked Shapiro for his work and also said that he will not be seeking an outside hire to fill the void that he is leaving.

"Given the person that Mark is, the significant leadership and values that he has brought to the organization and with everything he has helped us accomplish, it will be extremely difficult to see him leave," Dolan said. "However, I hope that this new challenge brings happiness and fulfillment for Mark and his family. As we move forward, I will not be seeking an external replacement for Mark and will continue to rely on the existing strong leadership group to guide us forward. Mark and I are confident that moving forward through this transition, we have a very strong foundation in place to build championship level success on and off the field."

This move does leave Francona open to using an opt-out clause in his contract, which gave him some leeway if Shapiro or Antonetti were at any point no longer with the organization. Francona, though, has said that the clause was included more-so if the team decided to go in a completely different direction without those two at the helm. He also said that he wouldn’t use this clause as leverage for another job, as that wasn’t it’s intended purpose.

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Indians 9, Angels 2: Sunday’s One Last Thing on the Indians gaining steam but not ground

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 30, 2015

The Indians hit another grand slam and completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 9-2 win Sunday afternoon.

Abraham Almonte hit the Indians’ second grand slam in as many days, and Josh Tomlin improved to 3-1 with another quality start.

Sunday’s One Last Thing: The Indians are certainly gaining steam, but they’re not gaining ground in the American League Wild Card race.

This was a key series for the Indians, a three-game set against one of the leading contenders for the second AL Wild Card spot. The Indians took care of their own business. The problem is that they also need help from some other teams, and they aren’t yet getting it.

Basically, this weekend, the Indians gained ground on a few of the Wild Card contenders, but not the right one.

As of this typing, the New York Yankees (72-57) own the first WC spot by a 4.5 game margin. The Texas Rangers (67-61) hold the second spot. The Minnesota Twins (67-63, 1 game back), Angels (65-65, 3 games back) and Tampa Bay Rays (64-66, 4 games back) are all ahead of the Indians.

After Sunday’s win, the Indians are 63-66 and, with the Rangers winning 4-0 in the eighth and about to complete a sweep of Baltimore, are about to go back to five games back of the postseason, exactly where they were entering Friday.

The Indians gained ground specifically on the Angels and Orioles, but not the Rangers. They began an important three-game set five games back, and they’re still five games back.

More: Indians owner Paul Dolan reportedly looking to add minority owner in effort to increase salaries; Mark Shapiro decision could come Monday 

It’s roughly the same predicament the Indians found themselves in 2013 entering September, which ended with them snagging the second Wild Card spot but falling to the Rays in the Wild Card Game.

The good news for fans is that this team is clearly playing better and with a better energy. It’s undeniable. After the trade deadline deals and especially after the Nick Swisher/Michael Bourn trade, the team has played as if a weight was lifted off its shoulders. The Indians are now winners of their past five and are 15-12 in August.

It’s an especially stark contrast from how the team was playing in April.

“Oh boy, there’s no getting around it. It was tough,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We were spinning our wheels, however you want to say it. We were frustrated, things weren't going the way we wanted them to. And the one thing was, even when we were frustrated, at least we were fighting to figure out why. Not that we always had the answers, but the more I felt like I’d sit down with the core group like Gomes and Brantley and Kip and those guys, I always came away feeling better, like we’re going to get better. And then after that day at the trade deadline when we met with all of those guys and then the younger guys, it just seemed like from that point on the energy’s been really good and consistent. That was something we had been fighting for all year and we weren’t getting it.”

But will it matter?

The Indians are playing better heading into a tough series with Toronto and the crucial month of September. A five-game deficit isn’t insurmountable. But it’s also not an easy task, especially with so many teams ahead of them. If one gets hot, a tough road just got tougher.

It’s something the Indians might not be able to afford in the final month of the season, better energy or not.

The Indians will have to add many more W’s than L’s in September. And they’ll eventually have to start watching that scoreboard, even if they say they haven’t yet.

“Absolutely not. One game at a time,” Brantley said. “You can't look too far ahead. If you look too far ahead, you start putting pressure on yourself and not playing good baseball. You've got to take one game for what it is—good, bad or indifferent—and the next day you have to do the same thing over and over. Then, once you get towards the end, then you can start looking a little bit. You can peek. Not look. Peek.”

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Indians grand again in 9-2 win against Los Angeles Angels to finish three-game sweep

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 30, 2015

The Indians hit another grand slam to break a game open and Josh Tomlin turned in a terrific outing to take down the Los Angeles Angels 9-2 and finish a three-game sweep.

The Indians (63-66) entered the fifth inning holding a modest 2-0 lead against Angels starter Jered Weaver (6-10). Michael Brantley singled and Carlos Santana followed with a double that fell after Angels (65-65) right fielder Kole Calhoun lost it in the sun, the second time an Angels outfielder lost a fly ball off Santana’s bat and let it drop.

Lonnie Chisenhall, in a similar situation as Saturday night, was intentionally walked to load the bases. In that Saturday night 8-3 win, Chisenhall was intentionally walked and followed by Yan Gomes, who crushed a grand slam to put the game away.

It happened again, only this time it was Abraham Almonte who came up with the second grand slam in as many days, pushing the Indians’ lead to 6-0.

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Yan Gomes' grand slam lifts Indians to 8-3 win against Los Angeles Angels

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 29, 2015

The Indians grounded the Los Angeles Angels late in the game for the second straight night in a 8-3 win Saturday at Progressive Field. This time, the major blow came against a former Indians teammate. And this time, it came with an explanation point.

The Indians (62-66) entered the eighth inning in a 3-3 tie when the Angels (65-64) called on relief pitcher Joe Smith. It didn’t turn out to be a good homecoming.

Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley each singled to open the inning. Carlos Santana then ripped a double to right field, scoring Lindor and giving the Indians a 4-3 lead. Smith intentionally walked Lonnie Chisenhall to bring up Yan Gomes, who has struggled mightily recently.

On Smith’s first pitch, Gomes crushed a grand slam to dead center field to blow the game open, sending the crowd at Progressive Field to a decibel level unreached in quite some time. It was Gomes’ first career grand slam, and it cleared the center-field wall with plenty of room to spare.

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Indians 3, Angels 1: Friday’s One Last Thing on another milestone for the starting rotation

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 29, 2015

The Indians scored three runs in the seventh inning to take down the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Friday night.

Trevor Bauer threw eight innings, allowed one run and struck out seven to improve to 10-10 this season.

Friday’s One Last Thing: The Indians’ starting rotation now has four pitchers with at least 150 strikeouts this season, adding another line to their strong 2015 resume.

Bauer’s seven strikeouts put him at 152 for the season. He joined Corey Kluber (213 strikeouts), Carlos Carrasco (173) and Danny Salazar (162) above the 150-K plateau.

It’s the first time in club history (since 1901) the Indians have had four starters reach that mark.

More: Indians manager Terry Francona won't use the opt-out clause in his contract as leverage for another job.

It’s a consistency of K’s uncommon in baseball, even in today’s pitching-heavy world. Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar and Bauer are all in the top nine in the American League in strikeouts, and that’s in a league that includes Chris Sale, Chris Archer, David Price and Felix Hernandez.

“I’m kind of bringing up the rear,” Bauer said Friday night. “I have to look up to everybody else like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll get there, too.’ No, it’s great, though. Obviously, you talk about a staff with really good stuff all around. We have four guys but the guy that steps in the fifth spot, whether it’s [Josh] Tomlin or Cody Anderson or some of the other guys we’ve had pitch, they’ve got pretty good stuff too and they don’t get talked about a whole lot. I think top-to-bottom our pitching has been really good. It’s fun to kind of compete with those guys. You have a good outing and then the next guy goes out there and tries to have a better outing. It breeds healthy competition.”

Kluber is the known ace. Carrasco and Salazar have taken steps forward (and some back) in the last 12 months. Bauer has been a hot-and-cold work in progress. Together, they’re missing bats at a very high rate.

The real positive sign in all of this: All four could be under team control through the 2020 season.

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Indians rally from quiet start to take down Los Angeles Angels 3-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 28, 2015

The Indians began a key three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels Friday night, one of the leading teams in the crowded American League Wild Card race.

Although it seemed to take the Indians’ offense most of the night to show up, it finally did to support starting pitcher Trevor Bauer in a 3-1 win at Progressive Field.

The Indians entered Friday night five games out of the second Wild Card spot still needing to jump half a dozen teams. The Angels, which entered the night only a half-game out of Texas for the final spot in the post season, represent one of biggest hurdles.

It was a quiet night until the seventh inning, when the Indians (61-66) got into the Angles’ bullpen, but they eventually did their part in gaining some ground.

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Indians' Terry Francona won’t use opt-out clause as leverage for another job if Shapiro leaves

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 28, 2015
TitoAnderson

Terry Francona left ESPN’s studios to manage the Indians, in large part, due to his relationship with and confidence in General Manager Chris Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro.

With Fox Sports reporting recently that Shapiro is considering taking a similar role with the Toronto Blue Jays, that trio could be broken up. Francona on Friday confirmed to MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that he does have an opt-out clause in his contract that he could exercise if Shapiro or Antonetti were to leave.

Speaking with local media later, Francona said he wouldn’t use that to his advantage as leverage for another job if something were to happen, as that wasn’t the intent of the clause.

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Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall lead Indians to 6-2 win against Milwaukee Brewers

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 26, 2015

Indians manager Terry Francona had said the Indians would like to see more of a balanced offensive approach. He got a resemblance of it Wednesday night in a 6-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers at Progressive Field.

The top third of the lineup, which powered the Indians to an 11-6 win Tuesday night, produced again and got some additional help.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the bottom third of the order—Abraham Almonte, Jerry Sands and Jose Ramirez—went single, walk, walk to load the bases with two outs against Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson (10-10). Jason Kipnis, at the top of the order, then made it count, ripping a double down the left-field line that thanks to an error by Brewers left fielder Khris Davis allowed the bases to clear, giving the Indians a 3-1 lead.

Lonnie Chisenhall doubled to left field in the third inning, moved over on a ground-out off the bat of Yan Gomes and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1. An inning later, Francisco Lindor walked, stole second base (his third steal in the first four innings to give him six stolen bases this season) and scored on Chisenhall’s single up the middle.

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Indians 11, Brewers 6: Tuesday’s One Last Thing on the Indians’ top of the lineup

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 26, 2015

The Indians thrashed the Milwaukee Brewers 11-6 Tuesday night.

Michael Brantley hit two home runs and he, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor all had three hits to support Josh Tomlin.

Tuesday’s One Last Thing: The Indians received a snapshot of what the top third of their order can do.

The Indians have had a litany of offensive issues this season. They’ve had more walks with the bases loaded than hits, which is a fairly crazy thought. Carlos Santana, in some respects, has been an underrated offensive performer but hasn’t come through in many key spots. Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes spent time on the disabled list.

Brandon Moss entered a severe slump before being dealt. Michael Bourn never turned it around much after a poor start—before also being dealt, along with Nick Swisher, who never got his season off the ground in Cleveland. Michael Brantley hasn’t had the MVP-Finalist type season that he had in 2014.

But Tuesday night, one of the real bright spots on the roster moving forward displayed what the Indians would like to see as often as possible.

More: Carlos Carrasco headed to disabled list, Cody Anderson to start Wednesday in his place

The top of the lineup, Kipnis-Lindor-Brantley, was lethal as a unit at least for a night. Those three totaled nine hits, drove in nine runs and scored seven. Kipnis hit the ball the other way with authority (his calling card), Lindor slapped a couple of hits and bunted when needed and Brantley drove them in. For three of the most important long-term pieces on the roster, that’s what it’s supposed to look like.

"It's fun,” Brantley said. “We swing the bats well, guys are getting on base at the top of the lineup, creating havoc. It’s just fun to be a part of. … It's just creating more opportunities to score runs. Obviously, the more runs you score, the better chance you're going to have to win the baseball game. The two guys in front of me are doing a great job, so is the bottom of the order, getting on base for them as well. Hitting is contagious. Hopefully we'll just keep swing the bats well. Hopefully it keeps trickling down the order.”

Of course, Indians manager Terry Francona was encouraged with the top of the lineup’s production.

“Kip came back. You saw it tonight,” Francona said. “When he’s hitting that ball to left field with authority, he’s a different hitter. He gets so dangerous. And Lindor just looks like he’s gaining confidence by the day. We gotta get him to realize he’s not invisible out there on the bases, but he’s swinging the bat really well. And then Brantley is just Brantley. That was impressive.”

The next step for the Indians is, like Brantley said, get that to trickle down to the rest of the lineup. That means Santana and Gomes. It means getting contributions from guys like Chris Johnson, Lonnie Chisenhall, Giovanny Urshela and others.

“To be a good team, you can’t give teams innings off, so we’re going to need balance all the way,” Francona said. “I think on nights, like tonight, the top of the order can carry you, but over the course of the season you’re gonna have to get contributions all over the place.”

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Carlos Carrasco heading to disabled list, Cody Anderson to take his spot in rotation

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 26, 2015

Prior to the Indians' game Tuesday night against Milwaukee, it was reported that Cody Anderson would be coming off the disabled list for Wednesday's start and Carlos Carrasco could possibly be facing his own stint on the DL.

After Tuesday's game, an 11-6 Indians win, Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed that Carrasco will be heading to the disabled list. This means that when Anderson is activated on Wednesday, he and Carrasco will simply be swapping spots on the roster instead of having a start pushed back and someone else—likely Jerry Sands or Jose Ramirez—being optioned down to Triple-A.

 

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Indians, Michael Brantley get offensive in 11-6 win against Milwaukee Brewers

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 25, 2015

The Indians’ offense poured it on the Milwaukee Brewers with an 11-6 win Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

The Indians (59-66) scored twice in the first, second and fourth innings and then added three more in the fifth for good measure, as starting pitcher Josh Tomlin received plenty of run support in his third start back from the disabled list.

Jason Kipnis led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and later scored on a Carlos Santana double to right field, tying the game 1-1 after Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a rocket of a solo home run off Tomlin in the top half of the first. Lonnie Chisenhall followed a few pitches later with a single up the middle to give the Indians’ a 2-1 lead.

The Brewers (53-73) added a second home run in the second inning, this one by Domingo Santana, again tying it.

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Indians' Cody Anderson to come off DL, Carlos Carrasco dealing with sore shoulder

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 25, 2015

The Indians are about to see some shifting in their starting rotation, as Cody Anderson is slated to come off the disabled list Wednesday and start in place of Carlos Carrasco, who is battling shoulder soreness.

Anderson has been on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with a left oblique strain. He said he felt the oblique tweak during a particular pitch in his last start, a 10-9 loss to Minnesota on Aug. 7.

Even prior to that pitch, Anderson had been trending downward this season. He was superb in his first four starts in the big leagues, combining to throw 30 1/3 innings and allowing only three earned runs. In the process, he became the first pitcher in baseball’s modern era to throw at least 6 2/3 innings and allow no more than one earned run in each of his first four starts.

But in his last four starts were disastrous, allowing 20 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings pitched. Anderson will likely end up somewhere in the middle of those extremes. The Indians will start to find out where on that spectrum on Wednesday.
“Everything is good. No set-backs,” Anderson said. “Threw a bullpen [session] Friday and then [Monday] in Lake County, I threw a bullpen. Everything’s feeling good. Ready to get back out there.”

Carrasco, meanwhile, could be heading to the disabled list. Carrasco felt a little sorer than normal following his Aug. 21 start against New York and underwent an MRI on Tuesday. Indians manager Terry Francona said it looks as though Carrasco is dealing with bursitis (a type of inflammation) in his shoulder.

Per Francona, the MRI came out clean, a good sign that this won’t be something that lingers. The team will look at Carrasco again Tuesday night and make a determination of how to move forward after that. Carrasco could either be placed on the disabled list or simply have his next start pushed back a few days.

“He felt it a little bit more this time,” Francona said of Carrasco after his last outing. “And he was really good about communicating with us. … I was glad they did the MRI. Sometimes when you give MRIs to pitchers, you have to be careful because everybody that’s thrown a baseball can have something wrong in there. But his was very clean. We were thrilled.”

Anderson and Carrasco could potentially switch places on the disabled list on Wednesday. If Carrasco only has his start pushed back, the Indians will have to make a corresponding move, likely optioning Jerry Sands or Jose Ramirez down to Triple-A.

Carrasco this season is 12-9 with a 3.53 ERA, 2.79 FIP and 173 strikeouts in 158 innings pitched. His FIP and K/9 rate are both fifth in the American League.

Spiderman

Chris Johnson continues to rehab after being placed on the disabled list Aug. 18 with a swollen and infected hand that is believed to be the result of a spider bite while the Indians were in Minnesota.

Francona said Tuesday that the team still can’t be 100-percent sure that a spider was the culprit. Either way, Johnson can’t return until the end of the month.

“CJ hit off the tee today,” Francona said. “He’s doing much better.”

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Yankees 8, Indians 6: Thursday’s One Last Thing on one word of frustration from Trevor Bauer

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 13, 2015

The Indians lost to the New York Yankees 8-6 Thursday night, snapping a four-game winning streak.

Trevor Bauer was hit hard, allowing six runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Thursday’s One Last Thing: Trevor Bauer’s frustrations have been pounded into one simple word, and he’s tired of being asked about it.

Bauer allowed two more home runs Thursday night, a three-run shot in the first inning by Brian McCann and a solo homer in the second by Stephen Drew that put the Yankees up 4-0.

Bauer has now allowed a home run in 13 of his last 15 starts and multiple home runs in four of his last six. It's clearly a problem.

When asked if he could attribute those struggles to anything in particular, Bauer sat in silence for a couple moments and then only offered one word: “Nope."

More: Mike Aviles' twin daughters throw out ceremonial first pitch in special moment

Bauer was then asked if he was having issues with his location, as that’s what Indians manager Terry Francona had thought.

His response: “Like I said, I don’t know. So you can ask me, keep asking me about it, but that’s the answer. I don’t know. I’ll figure it out at some point but right now I don’t know, so it doesn’t make any sense to keep asking me about it.”

He then told the local media to write about the offense, saying, “I thought the team did a really good job today battling back. So write about that. Write about the guys that went out there and scored runs on a tough pitcher and were down really big early and battled, played well. Write about that. Don’t ask me about giving up home runs and personal stuff when it doesn’t matter. I gave up six, who cares how they scored? We lost.”

Francona said he sees Bauer as going through a learning process. In a way, it’s knowing where to “miss,” if it’s going to happen.

“Yeah, he’s given up a lot,” Francona said. “I think the one thing that stands out is when he doesn’t execute his pitches he has been leaving it in the wrong place. A lot of times, pitchers have to know there is a place to bail out. If you miss, can it be a single? And with Trevor that is an ongoing process with him. I don’t think we’re all the way there but there’s improvement.”

Thirteen of his last 15 starts—that's tough to ignore.

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Indians, Trevor Bauer hit hard in 8-6 loss to New York Yankees

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 13, 2015

Trevor Bauer’s home run issues continued and The Bronx Bombers certainly lived up to their name early on, as the Indians were thumped by the New York Yankees 8-6 on Thursday night at Progressive Field.

The Indians were facing a multi-run deficit only five batters into the game. Yankees centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury singled, left fielder Brett Gardner walked and after a few pop-ups, catcher Brian McCann made them count with a three-run home run to right field.

The second inning brought another home run, this one from Stephen Drew, to push the Yankees’ lead to 4-0. This outing, which required three trips from pitching coach Mickey Callaway in the first four innings, came after Bauer (9-9) quietly allowed three home runs in the Indians’ 17-4 win against the Minnesota Twins. He’s also now allowed at least one home run in 13 of his last 15 starts and multiple home runs in four of his last six starts.

The Indians (53-60) got a few of those runs back in the bottom of the third inning against Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi (12-2). Giovanny Urshela walked, Jose Ramirez singled and Francisco Lindor got a sacrifice bunt down to put two runners in scoring position. Michael Brantley drove in one with a sacrifice fly to center field and Carlos Santana brought the other home with an RBI-single to right field, making it 4-2.

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Mike Aviles’ twin daughters throw out ceremonial first pitch in special moment (with video)

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 13, 2015

In a touching moment that reminded us all that baseball isn’t the most important thing in the world, the twin four-year-old daughters of Mike Aviles—Adriana and Maiya—threw out the ceremonial first pitches to their father prior to Thursday night’s game against the New York Yankees.

Adriana was diagnosed with Leukemia in early May. Aviles has twice been placed on the Family Medical Emergency List as he’s tended to his family.

After hearing of her diagnosis, players in the Indians clubhouse began, one-by-one, shaving their heads in support of Adriana. It reached the front office, media relations staff and even the owner of the team, Paul Dolan. The team has also been wearing “Team Adriana” T-shirts. It wasn’t been relegated to the Indians’ clubhouse, either. Players from opposing teams, such as the Kansas City Royals, have been seen coming up to Aviles during batting practice to offer their support.

On Thursday, the Indians and the Aviles family were able to take part in a special moment as a four-year-old girl continues to fight something that no four-year-old should ever have to face.

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Indians 2, Yankees 1: Wednesday’s One Last Thing on Cody Allen’s 5-out save

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 12, 2015

The Indians topped the New York Yankees 2-1 Wednesday night.

Danny Salazar threw 7 1/3 innings, allowed one run on four hits and struck out eight.

Wednesday’s One Last Thing: Cody Allen enjoys coming in before the ninth, and just tallied his first career 5-out save.

Cody Allen isn’t much for the traditional role of the closer, in which a manager must wait until the ninth inning to get to him. Indians manager Terry Francona isn’t locked into that title either, saying multiple times that if the right situation called for it, he’d go to Allen outside of the ninth inning.

It’s an argument of saving someone for the ninth or bringing in your best pitcher for the game’s most high-leverage situations. On Wednesday night, it wasn’t quite as simple as that, but it was another case of Allen coming through to get more than three outs.

With one out in the eighth, Salazar walked back-to-back batters that put him at 110 pitches and brought Alex Rodriguez to the plate. Because of the 16-inning marathon last night, Francona didn’t want to get somebody up for the eighth that they might not use, and instead told Allen an inning before that he might check in sooner than normal.

“It’s familiar territory. He called down in the 7th, Tito always does a good job of communicating there,” Allen said. “He called down in the 7th and said this might be one of those spots, just giving you a heads up. Was up when Danny went out for the 8th and was ready to go right there.”

More: Indians announce second phase of stadium renovations to include club behind home plate

This just happened to line up with a high leverage situation, but it was mostly Francona not trying to over-tax the bullpen. Still, though, Allen enjoys entering a game in those kinds of spots.

“Everybody likes pitching in big spots,” Allen said. “It’s a big momentum part of the game. If you get a big out it gives your offense a little boost going into the dugout. Give up a big hit right there, it kind of gives their guy a little momentum coming out for the [next inning]. It was a momentum, leverage spot. Those are fun times to pitch.”

He induced a ground-ball that turned into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, one of the key moments of a tight one-run game. In the ninth, he had to work around a wild pitch that put the tying run on first even after a strikeout, but Allen earned his 23rd save and first of the five-out variety.

Allen was hit hard in two outings in April and has been paying for it with his season perception for several months. But he’s also been one of the league’s best relief pitchers, and on several occasions has shown the ability to pitch outside of the traditional closer’s role.

On Wednesday night, it didn’t just save the game for the Indians, it saved the other guys in the bullpen as well.

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Danny Salazar lifts Indians to 2-1 win against New York Yankees

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 12, 2015

The Indians’ offense didn’t do a great job of converting its scoring opportunities, but they didn’t have to with Danny Salazar on the mound in a 2-1 win against the New York Yankees Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

It was another game, another quality effort from an Indians starting pitcher. Salazar threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits to go with eight strikeouts. The Yankees’ lone run Wednesday game came courtesy of Yankees catcher Brian McCann, who got ahold of a Salazar offering in the second inning and deposited it into the seats in right field for a solo home run. Aside from that pitch, the Yankees were off balance for much of the night.

The Indians (53-59) gave Salazar (10-6) enough run support, but it certainly could have been more against Yankees (61-51) starter and former Indians ace CC Sabathia (4-9). The Indians had at least one runner in scoring position in five of the first six innings but couldn’t get a run across until the fifth inning.

Trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Roberto Perez and Mike Aviles each singled. Jose Ramirez moved both over with a sacrifice bunt and Francisco Lindor tied the score 1-1 with a single to right field. Chris Johnson continued his poor night with an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, killing any chance of the Indians taking the lead.

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Indians announce second phase of renovations this winter, includes new club behind home plate

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 12, 2015
Concourse

The Indians on Wednesday officially announced plans for renovations to Progressive Field that will take place this winter.

These changes will act as the second phase of renovations after Progressive Field underwent a facelift prior to this season. The team is working with Gateway Economic Development Corp., city leaders and other stakeholders on the final stages of approval.

The proposed renovations are two-fold. First, the Indians are looking to expand on one of the bigger areas of improvement from the first phase, that being the local restaurant additions in the Right Field District area. The team, along with Delaware North Sportservice, is adding local restaurant stands to join Melt, Barrio, Sweet Moses, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Dynomite Burgers, which were included this past winter.
Specific restaurants that could be included haven’t been identified, though the team is looking to continue to feature local establishments.

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Indians 5, Yankees 4: Tuesday’s (Wednesday’s) One Last Thing on 16 innings of baseball

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 12, 2015

They needed 16 innings and more than five hours, but the Indians finally took down the New York Yankees 5-4 at Progressive Field in a game that started on Tuesday and ended Wednesday morning.

In the 16th inning of a tied game, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor each singled to put the winning run in scoring position for Michael Brantley, who grounded a single into right field to win the game.

Tuesday’s (Wednesday’s) One Last Thing: There’s too much to cover for One Last Thing, so here’s a bunch of quick ones.



* After Brantley’s game-winning hit, he sprinted into right field to avoid the bomb of teammates chasing after him. Said Brantley, “Absolutely, you do something good, you get beat up for it. I don’t understand how that works, so I was trying to spread it out so they all didn’t attack me at once.”

* In the top of the ninth, Yan Gomes nailed Brett Gardner trying to steal second base. It was one of Gomes’ best throws of the season, and without it, this game might have ended two hours earlier. Said Indians manager Terry Francona, “He seems to save his quickest and best throws for when we need them. I think it shows you that a guy that enjoys the moment, because we’ve seen him do that. Those are when his best throws are, it seems like he reaches back and he’s quick and he doesn’t try to do too much. He doesn’t have to. Gio didn’t swing the bat tonight, but he made an unbelievable play at third.”

More: Jason Kipnis' rehab is going well, could return to team in Boston

*And about that play by Giovanny Urshela, which looked like the kind of play that Derek Jeter made famous, only he made it from the left side of third base, Francona brought up another defensive great, saying, “That kind of looked like that Brooks Robinson [play] way back. That was a heck of a play. Especially with Brett Gardner running. That was some kind of play.”

* Perhaps the biggest unsung hero of the night was Ryan Webb, who threw three hitless innings. Said Francona, “That saved us. To think that somebody could go three and not really push it, that really kept everything in line.”

* And, finally, to illustrate this 16-inning, five-hour game, when asked about Carlos Carrasco’s performance, Francona jokingly said, “Who?”

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Michael Brantley single propels Indians to 5-4 win against New York Yankees in 16-inning marathon

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 12, 2015
APTOPIX Yankees India_DeMa

They needed 16 innings and more than five hours, but the Indians finally took down the New York Yankees 5-4 at Progressive Field in a game that started on Tuesday and ended Wednesday morning.

In the 16th inning of a tied game, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor each singled to put the winning run in scoring position for Michael Brantley, who grounded a single into right field to win the game.

The Indians led for most of the night but the Yankees fought back with two solo home runs to force extra innings. It included a crazy 10th inning in which both teams scored twice.

In a 2-2 game in the top of the 10th inning and with the bases loaded, Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw went down in the count 3-0 against Yankees (61-50) pinch hitter Chase Headley. He battled back to bring the count full, but Headley finally got the best of Shaw with a two-RBI single to right field to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead, their first of the night.

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Jason Kipnis’ rehab going well, could return to Indians in Boston

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 11, 2015

All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis is doing well in his rehab and could return to the team during its upcoming road trip.

Kipnis went on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 3 with right shoulder inflammation, though it was retroactive to Aug. 2. The Indians, following their three-game home stand against the New York Yankees, travel to Minnesota, Boston and New York. It’s in the middle portion against Boston that Kipnis could be activated again.

So far, the team is pleased with his progress.

“There’s a chance, maybe, depending on how he’s doing, we could maybe DH him a couple of days and then start playing him at second,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We’ll talk to him to see how he feels, too. With all the at-bats he had, as long as he feels OK, and if he wants to go play in a game, we could certainly do that. We’ll probably sit with [General Manager Chris Antonetti] and Kip and see what’s best for him. But the good part is that he’s doing really good.”

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Corey Kluber takes no-hit bid into seventh as Indians cruise past Minnesota Twins 8-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 9, 2015

Corey Kluber took yet another bid for a no-hitter deep into a game and the Indians’ offense again fired on all cylinders in an 8-1 win against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field on Sunday afternoon.

Kluber (7-12) was as strong as he’s been all season, throwing a complete game and allowing one run on three hits to go with 10 strikeouts. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, when Joe Mauer ended the bid with a single to left field with two outs.

The Indians’ offense beat up Twins (55-56) starter Phil Hughes (10-8). Carlos Santana gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a double off the wall in right field that missed being a home run by a few feet. In the second, Jose Ramirez brought two more home with a bloop single down the left field line after Jerry Sands had singled and Chris Johnson, making his first start with the Indians, had doubled.

In the third inning, the Indians turned a three-run lead into a rout. Francisco Lindor walked and Michael Brantley doubled to start the inning. Santana made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly to left field and Yan Gomes’ double to left field pushed it to 5-0. On the next pitch, Abraham Almonte hit his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot to center field.

Almonte became the first Indians player to hit a home run in his first two games with the team since Kevin Kouzmanoff did it on Sept. 2-3 of 2006.

The Indians (51-59) have now scored 34 runs in their past three games.

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Indians 17, Twins 4: Saturday’s One Last Thing on Abraham Almonte’s four-hit debut

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 9, 2015

The Indians crushed the Minnesota Twins 17-4 Saturday night.

The 17 runs were a season high, and the most runs scored by the Indians since a 17-7 win against Texas on June 9, 2014. It’s also the most runs they’ve scored at Progressive Field since beating the New York Yankees 19-1 on July 4, 2006.

Saturday’s One Last Thing: Expectations weren’t particularly high, but Abraham Almonte certainly announced his arrival in Cleveland.

When Almonte was acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski, it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster deal. Almonte had some major-league experience but had never stuck for long. But, he was a pretty good fielder and athlete and perhaps could develop into a serviceable hitter. He’d been an OK prospect who hadn’t yet put it together.

More: Ryan Lewis: Indians' trade of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn shows they weren't content with waiting

The Indians had said they were looking to give younger players some playing time in the final two months of this season. The deals at the July 31 deadline brought Abraham to Cleveland, and the Michael Bourn/Nick Swisher trade on Friday gave him the opening he needed.

One game doesn’t change his outlook, but he certainly looked good in his Indians debut.

More: Newly acquired Chris Johnson could play three positions

Almonte ripped the first pitch he saw in Cleveland for a double to center field. He later added another double and a single. In the eighth, he capped his night with a two-run home run to the bullpen area to finish 4-for-5.

Per STATS, he became the first Indians player since at least 1914 to have four hits, three of them for extra-base hits, in his team debut.

“That was great,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And I know one game doesn’t define somebody’s career. But at the same time we’re looking for reasons to be excited about guys and encouraged. If you can’t be encouraged watching that … he’s got really good hitter’s hands. And shoot, man, we’re looking to have guys help us. That was exciting.”

Almonte also did it in the middle of a fast-paced 24 hours. Friday night, he got word that he was being called up and Tyler Holt was being optioned down. He arrived in Cleveland and less than 24 hours later put together one of the best team debuts in franchise history.

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Indians crush Minnesota Twins 17-4

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 8, 2015

The Indians’ offense had another great night, only this time they made it count for something in a 17-4 thrashing of the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field Saturday night.

On Friday night, the Indians scored nine runs but it was all for nothing in a 10-9 loss. Saturday’s outburst told a different story.

The Indians scored eight runs in the first three innings and then highlighted it with a grand slam in the fifth, as a lineup with some new faces put together one of its best offensive nights of the season.

Nearly every hitter in the lineup had a productive night, led by Jose Ramirez (3-for-5, three RBI, two runs), Francisco Lindor (2-for-3, two RBI), Michael Brantley (3-for-4, one RBI), Jerry Sands (1-for-2, four RBI) and Abraham Almonte (4-for-5, two RBI, three runs), who was making his Indians debut after being acquired before the July 31 deadline from the San Diego Padres in exchange for relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski. Almonte was called up Saturday to replace Tyler Holt and was quickly inserted into the lineup. He made the most of it, trying his career high with four hits, three of them for extra bases.

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Newly acquired Chris Johnson could see time at three positions for Indians

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 8, 2015

The Indians acquired infielder Chris Johnson from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and a reported $15 million in cash on Friday.

Now the question is how he’ll fit into the Indians’ every-day plans.

Johnson, 30, has primarily played third base in his career but has experience at first base as well. The Indians currently have Giovanny Urshela playing every day at third and Carlos Santana entrenched at first, so they might have to get creative to find enough at-bats for all three.

Aside from a time-share at those two spots, Johnson and the Indians both brought up the possibility of his moving to the outfield at times.

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Indians place Cody Anderson on 15-day DL; Tyler Holt optioned to AAA; Almonte, Armstrong up

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 8, 2015

The Indians on Saturday made a series of moves, highlighted by the placement of No. 5 starter Cody Anderson on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Anderson said he felt something pull on his left side during a pitch in Friday’s 10-9 loss to Minnesota.

“Just reached back to get a little extra on a fastball and kind of felt a little tweak in my side,” Anderson said. “It was just one pitch [Friday]. … It’s frustrating. At the same time, it’d be good too, to be able to work on stuff, I guess, hopefully get back out there as soon as possible and keep working.”

Anderson was terrific in his first four starts, combining to throw 30 1/3 innings and allowing only three earned runs. In part due to command issues with his fastball, Anderson had struggled in his last four starts, allowing 20 earned runs in 17 1/2 innings pitched. He’s now headed to the disabled list, and the Indians haven’t yet set a time-table for his return.

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Twins 10, Indians 9: Friday’s One Last Thing on the Indians waiting to see the real Cody Anderson

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 7, 2015
TitoAnderson

The Indians rallied from a six-run deficit but ultimately lost a 10-9 slugfest to the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field Friday night.

The loss came hours after the Indians pulled off a major salary-shredding deal, sending Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and a reported $10 million to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for infielder Chris Johnson.

Cody Anderson was roughed up again, allowing six earned runs in only 2 2/3 innings pitched.

Friday’s One Last Thing: In the good and in the bad, it’s unlikely the Indians have yet to see the real Cody Anderson.

Anderson was nothing short of dominant in his first four career starts this season. He lasted at least 6 2/3 innings and allowed no more than one run in each start, becoming the first pitcher in baseball’s modern era to do that.

His last four starts since that stretch have been a polar opposite. He hasn’t gotten out of the third inning in two of them and in all four, he’s allowed at least three runs.

Anderson’s first four starts: 30 1/3 innings, three earned runs.
Anderson’s last four starts: 17 2/3 innings, 20 earned runs.

That’s an ERA difference of 0.89 to 10.19.

Anderson can't be as good as his first four outings, and he can't be as bad his last four.



The difference, and what will likely prove to be the deciding factor to where Anderson lands on this spectrum, has been his command. More specifically, it’s been his inability to keep his fastball down in the zone.

It’s gotten him into trouble more than once, and it cost him again Friday night.

“Just staying focused and keeping the ball down during games,” Anderson said when asked about the common theme. “You kind of tend to get in a rhythm and you tend to not notice the ball going up and you don't make the adjustment in time. I need to work on keeping the ball down and putting some emphasis on off-speed pitches and keeping us in the game.”

Indians manager Terry Francona has said he often doesn’t see a common theme between outings for pitchers. But for the most part, he agreed with that sentiment and added that Anderson’s breaking ball hasn’t always ended up where he’s meant it to, either.

“I think it was just inconsistent,” Francona said. “Couple balls that were up to the wrong guys, to the right-handed hitters. That’s what they do. He got the one base hit that cost him two runs that went right by Gio and Lindor, kind of a seeing-eye single that capped off the night for him. That hurt. Just a little bit inconsistent in what he’s doing, still working on the breaking ball to the right-handed hitters that needs to get off of guys that cover the plate. That’s still a work in progress.”

Baseball is a game of adjustments, and Anderson’s needed change seems to be right there in front of him.

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Indians can’t out-punch Minnesota Twins in 10-9 slugfest

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 7, 2015

The Indians battled back from a six-run deficit but ultimately couldn’t go punch-for-punch with the Minnesota Twins in a 10-9 loss at Progressive Field Friday night.

The Indians trailed 6-0 early and came back to lead 9-7, only to have it tied 9-9 entering the ninth inning.

Facing Bryan Shaw (1-2) with one out, Twins outfielder Torii Hunter clubbed a solo home run to right field, the decisive blow in a game teeming to the brim with big hits.

Indians (49-59) starter Cody Anderson, who had four terrific starts to begin his career followed by three poor outings, had another rough night. Anderson retired the first six batters he faced but had the wheels fall off in the third inning.

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See what Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn had to say after being traded by Indians (with video)

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 7, 2015

The Indians on Friday traded Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and cash to the Atlanta Braves in exchenge for infielder Chris Johnson.

Here are highlights of what both players had to say.

Swisher

[Did you see this coming?]

"It kinda caught me off guard. I was getting myself ready to play tonight. My first day back. Was really excited. It's been a long road. Now I'm healthy again. It's really nice to be able to go out there and know that I can do what I need to do.

They said hey, we traded you to Atlanta. I said great. What else am I going to say?"

[How do you view this season?]

"It's been a rough year and a half for me. Just health-wise and the whole thing. Now that I've got that behind me, I'm just really looking forward to the future. I guess going down to Atlanta, helping that ballclub out the best I can."

[On his time in Cleveland]

"I think more than anything, I'd like to thank the fans for everything they've done. The ones that supported me through all this time. This was the place it all started for me. It didn't exactly go the way I wanted it to, but baseball is a game. There's always moves being made. For myself, for Atlanta. For as bad as they wanted us, man I'll go down there. You always want to go where you're wanted."

[On being dealt]

"You could kind of tell from the moves that were being made. You kinda knew what was happening. You always never think it's going to be you. Then I came in here today and got the news. Now I'm just excited, packing up all muy stuff."


[On going to Atlanta with Bourn]

"Me and Bourny are gonna pack up our stuff and bounce out of here tomorrow morning and help that team win a championship. He's the mayor down there, bro. I'm excited. I've got somebody to show me around."

[On his injuries]

"It's been a long road. Doc said you'd probably start feeling back to normal about a year in. Coming up on that year, I had about two weeks off. Tried to come back early this year because we weren't playing well and thought I could bring some energy and leadership in this locker room. But I wasn't able to do it on the field. That's the biggest thing. Now Im ready to do it on the field. It just won't be here."

[Was it a good decision to go back on the DL?]

"Had to. It was one of those things where I was hitting at Triple A. Hitting at a 400 clip early. But I wasn't able to go out there and run around and be myself and have a good time. It is a little frustrating. Nut on the other side. i'm looking at how excited I am for the next chapter in my life. great city, great fans, great organization. Cant wait to be part of that."

Bourn



[On this being the business of baseball]

"Yea, man, I've been through it before. This is my second time doing this, so you know, second time going back to the same place, so I'm excited about it. Of course, things here didn't work out great. We didn't have a bad time. We played pretty good, but this year is not what we expected it to be."

[Were you disappointed in your performance?]

"I just continued to work. I know the first half didn't go like I wanted it to. I had spurts in the first half, but I like consistency as my big word in baseball pretty much. Of course, in the first half, I wasn't consistent. In the second half, I've been more consistent. I've been playing better. I like what I've done, just continue to do what I've been doing in the second half and go do it over there in the second half."

[Is there a comfort in returning to the National League?]

"I like that too. But I really enjoy playing in American League too. It's good competition. I like this competition. I feel like the American League Central is real good competition. Kansas City, Detroit, and teams like that. Things happen. Things happen for a reason. You can't control certain things in baseball. You've got to just continue to play and continue to go where you're going to go and have fun where you go."

[Was it frustrating to not build on 2013?]

"That's the most disappointing part about it. In 2014, we had a chance. We were in it for the most part until the last week. This year, we hadn't played over .500 baseball the whole year to me, so that's what happens in sports when it happens like that. You wish it didn't, but you see it happen all the time. They have some good pieces here in Brant and Kip, the pitching staff of course, they got young talent in Lindor and Urshela, so they're going to develop them. I think they're getting Chris Johnson back in the trade, so they'll still have pieces with what they already have. Good luck to them, unless they're playing against me."

[Was the deal a shock?]

"Yea, it surprised me. I had no clue. But I'm always ready in baseball, you know you never know what's going to happen. I've seen it happen before and I'll probably see it happen again, so with that being said, I just have it to take it one day at a time. I had a great time here from playing in the playoff game to just being in the race -- I love being in the race at that time because of the atmosphere, every day coming to the field is a joy. That's what I look forward to every day, especially in the last two months of the season, you hate playing games when you're out of it. This year, it's pretty much that. I just didn't think we were right out of it. We had a bad series against the White Sox, but you look at the standings, we were six or seven games out. I know we had a lot of teams to climb but we play a couple of those teams in the Yankees and Toronto, well they play Toronto now. They're looking in a different direction, we have to go in a different direction, and that's what I'm going to do."
 

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Indians trade Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and cash to Atlanta Braves for Chris Johnson

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 7, 2015
SwisherBourn

The Indians pulled off a major trade Friday afternoon that moved two of its more disappointing and highly-paid players off the books, agreeing to a deal that sent outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher, centerfielder Michael Bourn and cash to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for infielder Chris Johnson.

The trade, which reportedly includes around $10 million going from the Indians to the Braves, was able to be completed because all three players cleared waivers. The July 31 trade deadline is for non-waiver deals.

And for the Indians, it will add financial and roster flexibility.

Swisher and Bourn were the two highest players on the roster, though both had underperformed since being signed prior to the 2013 season for a combined $104 million over four years.
Swisher and Bourn were set to make $15 million and $14 million, respectively, which would make up more than one-third of the team's total payroll. Both players also had vesting options for 2017, though they are unlikely to reach the needed requirements.

“As we tried to look forward at the best way to shape our team, we felt this move allows us to do that,” said Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti. “It gives us some roster flexibility. It gives us an opportunity to play some young players here in the second half and learn more about ourselves and, as importantly, it gives us a little more clarity heading into the offseason as we look to build a championship team moving forward. And we feel this move helps us along that path.”

Johnson, 30, has largely been a disappointment in Atlanta as well, hitting .235 this season with two home runs and 11 RBI. He missed most of May with a fractured left hand. Last year, he hit .263 with 10 home runs, 27 doubles and 58 RBI. Since a strong 2013 season in which he hit .321, he hasn’t lived up to his contract.

Johnson has primarily played at third base in his career and has some experience at first base. The Indians have yet to determine his exact role, though it could include some work in the outfield as well.

Johnson will make $7.5 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. There’s also a $10 million club option for 2018.

The Indians and Braves found a match as two franchises trying to line up payroll at different times. The Braves saw it acceptable to take on more payroll now to clear room for the 2017 season, when they stand a better chance of competing. The Indians, meanwhile, clear a greater amount of space off their books heading into next year.

Using prorated deals and the total money involved, the Indians will save around $9 million in total, though this will open up closer to $20 million in flexibility heading into next season.

Swisher in his two and a half years with Cleveland hit .228 with 32 home runs and 113 RBI in 272 games. Swisher had dual knee surgeries in August and has only appeared in 127 games since the beginning of last season, as he simply hasn’t been the same player and lately hasn’t even been able to stay on the field.

Bourn, over that same time, hit .257 with 97 RBI and 46 steals in 331 games. Prior to signing with the Indians, Bourn was averaging 51 steals per year in the previous five seasons. Like Swisher, Bourn was never the same player before coming to Cleveland, as he stole only 23 bases in 2013 and then was slowed by a hamstring injury in 2014.

In the short run, Tyler Holt will see more time in center field, though the Indians haven’t finalized any plans.

This deal marks the end of one of the Indians' most aggressive off-seasons, when they signed Bourn and Swisher to four-year deals worth a total of $104 million prior to the 2013 season.

“I think when we signed both guys, we were hopeful that they would help expedite our return to competitiveness,” Antonetti said. “And in the 2013 season, both guys were key contributors to us making the postseason. Unfortunately, since that time, things haven't played out maybe the way anyone would've hoped, and so that got us to today. At this point, we had to not necessarily dwell on the past, but figure out the path forward. We felt this move made sense for us and allows us that flexibility that would be helpful for us as we build our teams.”

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Cody Allen blows ninth-inning lead in 4-3 loss to Los Angeles Angels

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 5, 2015

The Indians took a two-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning but closer Cody Allen couldn’t hold onto it in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels Wednesday.

And it all came cashing down on a wild pitch.

Leading 3-1 with three outs to go, Allen gave up two hits and two walks to blow his third save of the season and earn his fourth loss. With the bases loaded and two out, C.J. Cron singled home two runs to tie it 3-3. A few pitches later, an Allen curveball got away from catcher Roberto Perez, allowing Taylor Featherston to score the winning run from third.

Indians (49-58) starter Danny Salazar allowed one run on only three hits in six innings and struck out seven.

Angels (57-50) relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian, who allowed the game-winning hit Tuesday night, earn his first win on Wednesday.

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Indians take down Angels in extra innings, 2-0

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 5, 2015

The Indians’ pitching staff didn’t need much offensive support Tuesday night. It took a while to get it, but the offense finally came around to beat the Los Angels Angles 2-0 in 12 innings.

Indians (49-57) starter Carlos Carrasco was terrific on the mound, delivering nine one-hit innings whiles striking out seven. Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister (3-3) and Cody Allen, who earned his 22nd save of the season in the 12th, all threw an additional scoreless inning.

The only scoring offense of the night, coming off the bat of Giovanny Urshela, who found some redemption for an easier mistake. In the 10th inning, Urshela doubled but then ran himself off the bases with a base-running miscue on a ball hit to the left side.

In the 12th, facing Angels (56-50) relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (2-3), Urshela launched a two-run home run to left field, finally breaking the scoreless deadlock.

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Donald Trump jokes about buying the Cleveland Indians

By Dan Kadar Published: August 4, 2015

Leading up to Thursday's Republican presidential debate, outspoken candidate Donald Trump joked about buying the Cleveland Indians.

Syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who is from Warren, Ohio, asked Trump if he would buy the Indians and "save them."

"Well, I'll tell you what, that's a great franchise there's no question about it, that's true," Trump said. "But I don't know. It's really is a fabled and great franchise."

Clearly Trump was joking around with Hewitt, saying that owning a professional sports team is "not an easy business" and you only make money when selling the team. Hewitt told Trump if he wants to win Ohio in the general election he should buy the Tribe.

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Indians, Corey Kluber can’t protect early lead in 5-4 loss to Los Angeles Angels

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 4, 2015

The Indians jumped out to an early lead and provided Corey Kluber with some quick run support, but that advantage couldn’t be held in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels Monday night.

Led by a 440-foot two-run home run by Yan Gomes, the Indians (48-57) built a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Angels starter Garrett Richards (11-8). From there, though, the offense was stagnant.

The Angels (56-49) chipped away in the fifth inning, making it 3-2, and then took a 4-3 lead on a two-run home run by Conor Gillaspie in the sixth.

In the top of the ninth, down 5-4, Michael Bourn singled and stole second, putting the tying run in scoring position. Angels closer Huston Street, with two outs, induced a pop-out to center from Jose Ramirez to end the game.

Kluber (6-12) allowed five runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out four.

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Indians place 2B Jason Kipnis on DL; Kyle Crockett, Jose Ramirez called up; Michael Roth demoted

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 3, 2015

The Indians on Monday made a series of moves, led by the placement of All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis on the disabled list.

Kipnis, hitting .326 this season (.401 on-base percentage) with 31 doubles, six triples, six home runs and 39 RBI, is being placed on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to August 2.

Pitcher Michael Roth is also being optioned down to Triple-A Columbus.
In their places, relief pitcher Kyle Crockett and infielder Jose Ramirez are being called up from Triple-A.

Crockett this season has a 3.00 ERA between three stints in Cleveland. Ramirez has split time between Cleveland and Columbus. He struggled in Cleveland, hitting .176, but recently he’s played well at Triple-A, hitting .293 in 44 games.

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Indians fall to Oakland A’s 2-1 in 10 innings

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 2, 2015

Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray dueled evenly, but the Indians’ bullpen blinked first in a 2-1 loss to the Oakland A’s on Sunday.

Bauer (6 2/3 innings) and Gray (7 innings) each allowed one earned run, as neither offense could get anything going.

In the 10th inning, the A’s (47-59) finally got to Indians (48-56) closer Cody Allen (1-3). With two outs, Sam Fuld singled up the middle and Mark Canha won it with a double to left field, scoring Fuld from first base.

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Indians fall to Oakland A’s 5-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: August 1, 2015

The Indians’ offense faltered and a defensive miscue didn’t help those struggles in a 5-1 loss to the Oakland A’s Saturday night.

The Indians struggled against A’s starter Aaron Brooks (1-0) with the lone exception being a solo home run by Lonnie Chisenhall, his fifth of the season.

Cody Anderson (2-3) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs—three earned—on six hits and striking out four. This start was an improvement on his last two outings but still wasn’t quite as solid as his first four.

In the fifth inning of a 1-1 game with two runners on, and one play after Chisenhall gunned down a runner at the plate from right field, Sam Fuld singled to right, giving Chisenhall another chance to throw out a runner at home. Carlos Santana, though cut off the throw and threw to third to try and nab the tail runner. His throw sailed into foul territory, giving the A’s a 3-1 lead.

The Indians fell to 48-55 this season and the A’s improved to 46-59.

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