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Indians 7, Rays 2: August Fagerstrom's final thoughts on the Indians future

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 28, 2014

August Fagerstrom’s final thoughts following the Indians 7-2 victory over Tampa Bay in Sunday’s season finale.

1.) Well, that’s all she wrote. The Indians finish the regular season with a record of 85-77. Despite missing the playoffs, I’d say that’s a pretty successful season. This marks the first time since 2000-01 that the Tribe put together consecutive winning seasons.

When you consider the loss of Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir to free agency from last year’s team, the fact that Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera provided little to no value before being shipped off at the trade deadline, that Danny Salazar was sent to the minors after eight horrid starts to begin the season, that Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn and David Murphy all dealt with injuries throughout the season that limited their production, and that Ryan Raburn and Jason Giambi were unable to provide the sparks they did last year, it’s pretty impressive what the Indians were able to accomplish this year.

Indians manager Terry Francona seems to agree.

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Indians 1, Rays 0. August Fagerstrom's final thoughts on Corey Kluber's sensational season

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 27, 2014

August Fagerstrom’s final thoughts following the Indians 1-0 victory over the Rays on Friday night:

NOTE: This will be a special Corey Kluber-only edition of final thoughts! Enjoy.

1.) Well, that’s it. Corey Kluber has done all he can to make a case for the American League Cy Young Award this season. All that’s left now is for Seattle’s Felix Hernandez to make his final start of the season Sunday night against the Angels and for the voters to decide who will take home the hardware.

Two weeks ago, if I had the honor of casting a vote, I would have given it to King Felix. Before tonight, I was leaning towards Kluber. After tonight, not only is it hard to see an argument against Kluber, but frankly I can’t fathom what Felix could do on Sunday to make up the ground.

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Indians 1, Rays 0: Corey Kluber makes his final, convincing argument for the AL Cy Young Award

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 26, 2014

Your move, King Felix.

With the Indians all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention this year, all eyes were on Corey Kluber during Friday night’s final series opener against Tampa Bay.

Kluber was making the final start of his historic season and each pitch he threw seemed to inch him closer and closer to a potential American League Cy Young Award victory over Seattle’s Felix Hernandez.

Kluber struck out 11 through eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits and two walks as the Indians (86-74) won by a final score of 1-0.

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Rays vs. Indians lineups

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 26, 2014

Here are the lineups for the first game of the final series of the year between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Indians in Cleveland:

 

Cleveland

Bourn CF

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Indians 6, Royals 4: Marla Ridenour's final thoughts

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 25, 2014

Final thoughts as the Indians find some offense and stave off elimination, at least for  a few more hours.

1. The Indians have played 30 games in 30 days and their post-season fate could be decided on their off day. A victory by the Oakland A's, who open a four-game series in Texas Thursday, or by the Kansas City Royals, who start a four-game set in Chicago against the White Sox Thursday, will end the Tribe's wild-card hopes.

2. After Wednesday, Oakland and Kansas City were 86-72 and tied for the two AL wild card spots. The Seattle Mariners were three games out, the Indians 31/2. The Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays Friday through Sunday with only a flicker of hope. They need to win all three games and hope the Royals and A's lose out.

3. "I've said all year long as long as we have life we're going to keep battling and that's exactly what we did tonight," said Indians right fielder David Murphy, whose sacrifice fly in the sixth brought home the final run. "We've had some good moments, we've had some bad moments this season. Hopefully we're going into the last series of the season still alive. Both those teams play tomorrow? We'll see what happens. You don't like it to be in a situation where there are things out of your control, but we did what we could tonight."

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Wednesday's Indians, Royals lineups

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 24, 2014

Game: 7:10 p.m. at Progressive Field

ROYALS

Alcides Escobar SS

Nori Aoki RF

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Royals 7, Indians 1 - Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on 2 sides of Salazar & an absent offense

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 24, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians disheartening 7-1 loss to the visiting Royals, leaving the Tribe’s playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

1) Oh how much things can change from season to season. And for the Indians, that’s not a good thing this year.

This time last season, the feisty Indians surprised all of baseball as they reeled off a 10-game winning streak over the final week and a half of the regular season to force a one-game Wild Card playoff game with the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first time they’d returned to the post season since 2007. Forget the fact that they lost that game. Getting to that point after so many baseball folks had written them off for dead was what mattered most.

2) The Tribe's attempt at a late run this season has fallen flat thanks to a second consecutive loss to the visiting Kansas City Royals that has the Indians postseason hopes hanging by a thread – a very thin, frayed thread at that. 

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Indians offense snaps 19-inning scoreless streak, but Salazar implodes in 7-1 loss to Royals

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 23, 2014

Good pitching may dominate in October, but it takes some offense in September to get there first.

Unfortunately for the Indians, even mustering the littlest bit of offense has become too much to expect.

The Indians scoreless inning streak reached 19 before it was snapped in the eighth inning Tuesday on a double-play ground out that allowed pinch runner J.B. Shuck to cross unfamiliar territory at home plate via an unearned run.

It was the Indians first score since the sixth inning of Sunday’s game at Minnesota. Yet it mattered little in a 7-1 thud of a defeat.

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Tuesday's Indians and Royals starting lineups

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 23, 2014

Here are the Indians and Royals starting lineups for Tuesday’s game at Progressive Field:

Indians

CF Michael Bourn

SS Jose Ramirez

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Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco issues apology for critical comments after Monday's loss

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 23, 2014

Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco quickly began back tracking Tuesday, issuing a statement of apology for his critical comments about the club’s defense the previous night in the Tribe’s 2-0 loss to the Royals.

Carrasco’s five-sentence apology, issued through the Indians, was emailed to the media:

“It was a terribly immature and foolish thing to say. I know better and I apologize for saying it. I have made some terrible pitches in my career and position players could have questioned what I was doing. No one wants to be criticized when making their best effort. I will apologize to everyone and it won’t happen again.”

Carrasco was understandably frustrated Monday night following the loss to the visiting Royals with the Indians scurrying to make up ground in the American League wild card race during the final week of the regular season. Just as he has done since returning to the Tribe’s starting rotation, Carrasco pitched more than well enough to win.

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Indians 4-0, Royals 3-2: Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on unconventional doubleheader split

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 23, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians unconventional split with the Royals Monday.

1) The Indians had the opportunity to make up 2 ½ games on the Kansas City Royals in the American League’s second wild card race Monday night at Progressive Field. In the end, they neither fell behind nor made up any ground on an evening that began on a high note by completing a game that began in Kansas City three weeks ago with a 4-3 win, but ended in disappointment when the Tribe was shut out 2-0 in a second full game featuring many lost opportunities.

2) Normally, a split in a double header isn’t a bad thing. But with five games remaining in this final week of the regular season, the Tribe simply can’t afford to let any opportunity to get by them. As utility man Mike Aviles said very well after the Indians first trimmed their deficit to the Royals to 2 ½ games only to fall back to where they started the evening at 3 ½ games behind: “No one wants to be sitting around hoping other teams lose so we can get in.”

Yet, with five games left on the Tribe’s slate, that’s exactly the position the Indians will soon be if they don’t sweep the final two games of this crucial early-week three-game set.

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Indians shut out in Monday's regularly-scheduled game to Royals 2-0, drop to 3 1/2 games behind KC

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 22, 2014

Monday marked Royals starter Danny Duffy’s first start in three weeks after being shut down with left shoulder tightness. Unfortunately for the Indians, he didn’t appear to be very rusty.

The left-hander tossed six shutout innings, scattering six hits and striking out five, leading the Royals to a 2-0 win over the Tribe that gave back Kansas City the game they lost a couple hours earlier in the completion of a suspended game played before the evening’s regularly-scheduled contest.

That means the teams will face off again Tuesday at Progressive Field with the visiting Royals maintaining a 3 ½ game lead in the race for the American League’s second wild card. That, with the Tribe down to five regular-season games in which to accomplish a repeat of last season’s late run.

The missed opportunity could loom large for the Indians, who could have made up two games and trim their deficit to 1 ½ games with a sweep. Especially considering Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco (8-6) practically matched Duffy (9-11) in effectiveness during the crucial game. However, the right-hander failed to get two important things from his teammates: run support and sound defense.

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Indians top Royals 4-3 to finish suspended game; pull to within 2 1/2 games of KC in wild card race

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 22, 2014

It took three weeks to get back to action.

But once the Indians and Royals resumed their suspended game Monday night at Progressive Field, the Tribe had wrapped up the final three outs in nine minutes – the 4-3 victory inching them a game closer in the American League’s second wild card race.

The Indians now sit 2 ½ games behind Kansas City with six games remaining in the regular season, including Monday’s originally scheduled 7:05 game that begins a crucial three-game series.   

Indians manager Terry Francona seemed to already be in postseason managerial mode, pulling the old switcheroo in an effort to help claim the much-needed victory. Three hours before the game began, the veteran skipper said rookie Kyle Crockett would “start” the game. Instead, he gave the ball to veteran Scott Atchison.

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Indians ace Corey Kluber named AL Player of the Week

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 22, 2014

For anyone who follows the Indians or is a fan of the club’s ace pitcher, it came as little surprise Monday that Corey Kluber was tabbed as the American League Player of the Week, his second such honor this season.

The right-hander has been solid all season, save for a three-start hiccup from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1 in which his mechanics got of whack and needed a tweak. But as soon as the slight flaw was identified, Kluber (17-9, 2.53 ERA) picked right up where he left off and has been flat out dominant in his four consecutive wins since.

Last week’s stats were particularly eye-popping, even by Kluber standards: He went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA while racking up 28 strikeouts over 15 innings as he continues to make a compelling case for strong consideration for the A.L. Cy Young award.

With the Indians trying to make a late run to sneak into the postseason, Kluber led the way on the mound last week. In his first start at Houston, he struck out 14 in seven innings to lead the Tribe to a 4-2 victory. In his second start of the week Sunday at Minnesota, Kluber again piled up 14 punch outs over eight innings to not only lead the Indians to a 7-2 rout of the host Twins, but save the club’s bullpen as well.

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Indians and Royals lineups for Monday's originally scheduled game at 7:05 p.m.

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 22, 2014

Here are the Indians and visiting Royals lineups for tonight’s originally scheduled game that kicks off a crucial three-game series at Progressive Field Monday.

Please note that the teams will first complete a suspended game from Aug. 31 in Kansas City before the second game begins at 7:05 pm or a half hour after the first game ends if after 7:05.

INDIANS

CF Michael Bourn

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Tigers charge from behind again, take Shaw deep for second straight game to cap sweep, 6-4 Sunday

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 14, 2014

Bryan Shaw mumbled to reporters when they approached him following Saturday night’s loss, saying he hadn’t been approached all season and now the media wanted to talk to him.

The statement wasn’t exactly true, although Shaw probably hasn’t had more than a handful of interviews all season. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of being a reliever. Few notice you until you don’t do your job.

Shaw was at the center of attention for the second consecutive game Sunday against the division-rival Tigers. Just like in Saturday’s loss, with the Tribe clinging to a one-run advantage, he gave up another two-run homer. This time it was to Ian Kinsler with no outs in the seventh inning to once again hand the Tigers a one-run lead late.

But Sunday’s 6-4 Indians loss that clinched the weekend series sweep by the host Tigers wasn’t solely on Shaw. He exited the game after allowing the two runs, but with the Indians still in striking distance, facing just a one-run deficit.

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Kipnis and Indians fan have interesting Twitter exchange after Saturday's loss

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 14, 2014

Not long after the host Tigers rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday night for a come-from-behind 5-4 victory, some of the team’s fans took to social media to voice their frustrations.

Professional athletes are always best to ignore anything negative from fans. But when one tags them directly on Twitter with their negative comments, sometimes it’s just too tempting not to fire back in the heat of the moment.

That’s what happened to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis late Saturday evening when a disgruntled fan Tweeted at Kipnis and the Indians accounts: “And we wonder why only 9,000 people show up to Indians game in September. This team is pathetic.”

To which Kipnis soon responded:

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Indians and Tigers lineups for Sunday's series finale at Comerica Park

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 14, 2014

Here are today’s lineups for the Indians and Tigers series wrap up game at Comerica Park:

INDIANS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Jose Ramirez

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Tigers rally in eighth inning on Avila two-run homer in 5-4 win over Indians

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 13, 2014

If the Indians were into moral victories, Saturday might have felt a little like one.

But going from Friday’s five-run blowout at the hands of the host Detroit Tigers to taking a one-run lead into the bottom of the eighth inning still ended the in the same result – a Tigers victory that further pushed the Indians hopes of making a late run to get into the playoffs even less of a possibility.

With the feisty Tribe leading 4-3 and veteran eighth-inning set-up man Bryan Shaw on the hill to face the dreaded heart of the Detroit lineup, the Tigers rallied. Shaw issued a walk to leadoff man Miguel Cabrera but then quickly recorded the next two outs after Ezequiel Carrera came on to pinch run at first.   

But just when it seemed Shaw was out of danger, .221-hitting Alex Avila worked a full-count before sending a ball to deep to right field and over the wall for the go-ahead and ultimate game winning two-run homer. The long ball was the 11th of the season for Avila, and handed the Tigers a 5-4 victory that kept Detriot in first place in the American League Central Division by a half game.

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Indians to skip a turn in rotation for rookie pitcher House

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 13, 2014

It wasn’t for lack of production, but instead lack of sunshine that will cost pitcher T.J. House a start in the Indians rotation when the team’s current road trip continues early next week in Houston.

As much of a shame as that is given that House has matched ace Corey Kluber’s effectiveness over his last three starts with a stingy 0.86 ERA, the juggling of the rotation stems from Wednesday’s rainout and Thursday’s ensuing doubleheader.

“We wanted to stay right-handed against Houston,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Then in Minnesota, we’ll insert T.J. (back into the rotation). Rather than push guys back that don’t need to be pushed back, we’ll let (House) pitch against a team that maybe matches up better against him.”

Maybe? That’s an understatement. In three starts against the Twins, the rookie House is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA. With that in mind, Francona said he doesn’t want to use the left-hander out of the bullpen in the meantime.

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Indians and Tigers lineups for Saturday night's game

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 13, 2014

Here are tonight’s starting lineups for the Indians and Tigers for Saturday Night’s game at Comerica Park – the second contest of the three-game series.

Indians

CF Michael Bourn

SS Mike Aviles

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Tigers 7, Indians 2 - Stephanie Storm's final thoughts

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 13, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 7-2 blowout loss to the Detroit Tigers Friday at Comerica Park.

1) With the regular season dwindling to 15 games over the next two weeks, every game played by the Indians has morphed into a must-win. If the Tribe is going to make a run similar to last season’s 10-game winning streak that vaulted them into a one-game American League Wild Card playoff game, there’s little – if any - time left to waste.

2) The Indians lost that game to the Tampa Bay Rays, bringing an abrupt halt to the building excitement that playing in the postseason for the first time since 2007 brought to the fans and the city of Cleveland. Yet, just getting to the “post season” was not only cause for celebration, but also brought with it hope that the 2013 season would be one to build on.

3) As late as two months ago, I didn’t see another run like that by the Tribe happening. At the point, they simply weren’t getting consistently solid performances out of their starting pitchers not named Corey Kluber.

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Tigers blow out Indians 7-2 Friday to open weekend series in Detroit

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 12, 2014

The Indians got the good David Price. The Tigers, the not-so-good Carlos Carrasco.

And when it comes to the respective teams’ starting pitchers, that brief synopsis can only end in bad news for the Tribe, who kicked off the crucial weekend series against the division-rival Tigers by absorbing a 7-2 blowout defeat Friday night at Comerica Park.

The loss dropped the Indians to four-and-a-half games behind the Tigers in the American League Central Division and second A.L. wild card with 15 regular-season games to left.

The game started well for the Indians. They jumped out to an early lead against the left-handed Price, who has had his share of troubles since joining the Tigers in a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, coming from Tampa Bay where he’d been the Rays ace.

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Indians and Tigers lineups for Friday's weekend series opener at host Tigers

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 12, 2014

Here are tonight’s lineups for the Indians and Tigers series opener Friday at Comerica Park.

Indians

CF Michael Bourn

SS Jose Ramirez

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House deals as Indians sneak by Twins 2-0 in Game 2 victory to sweep Thursday's doubleheader

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 11, 2014

Left-hander T.J. House matched his predecessor Corey Kluber with another sterling starting pitching job for the Indians Thursday in the second game of the Tribe’s doubleheader sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Following Kluber’s 8 1/3-inning 8-2 Game One victory, House (3-3) dealt seven shutout innings and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts to lead the Indians to a 2-0 win that clinched the sweep.

The victory put House in distinct company, as he became the only pitcher in Indians history to throw at least seven innings, limit the opponent to one run or less and not issue a walk over his last three starts.

But after the Indians offense let loose with eight runs on 10 hits in the opener, Twins starter Ricky Nolasco promptly turned the Tribe’s bats back into the twigs they’ve been most of the season. The right-hander’s only mistake was dishing up a solo home run to Carlos Santana. But what pitcher hasn’t lately?

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Corey Kluber and Indians offense cruise to 8-2 Game 1 victory over Twins

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 11, 2014

Whomever was masquerading as the Indians offense Thursday afternoon in the first game of a traditional doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field sure laid it on pretty thick.

Really, how believable did they think it would be for the Tribe to cruise to an 8-2 victory? With ace Corey Kluber on the mound, no less?

Ha. Very funny.

It had been five games since the under-performing Indians offense had mustered more than three runs for its over-achieving pitching staff. They’d been even stingier most of the season with Kluber on the mound.

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Indians and Twins Game One lineups for Thursday's doubleheader

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 11, 2014

Here are the lineups for Game One of the Indians and Twins doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.

LINEUPS:

Indians

CF Michael Bourn

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Jose Ramirez making most of starting job at shortstop with Asdrubal Cabrera gone

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 10, 2014

When the Indians handed young reserve Jose Ramirez the starting shortstop job after veteran mainstay Asdrubal Cabrera was traded at the July 31 deadline to the Washington Nationals, no one was entirely sure what the Tribe had in the pint-sized infielder.

If nothing else, the second half of the season would give the Tribe brass the opportunity to access Ramirez’s strengths, weaknesses and future potential. At worse, he’d keep the position warm for two months until the Indians No. 1 prospect and former first-round pick, Francisco Lindor, was ready to resume his rightful place in the Indians everyday plans next season.

Instead, the consistent playing time has allowed Ramirez to settle in comfortably with the Indians. Not only has his active defense left very few missing Cabrera’s limited range (as expected), but his bat has become a consistent source of offense for the Tribe over the last month (not expected).

In 34 games since taking over shortstop full time, Ramirez is batting .282 with six doubles, two triples, a home run and nine RBI. More recently, the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder from the Dominican Republic has three three-hit performances over his last seven games.

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Indians and Twins rained out, scheduled as part of traditional doubleheader Thursday

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 10, 2014

Wednesday night’s Indians game against the visiting Twins has been postponed due to inclement weather. It is scheduled to be made up as part of traditional doubleheader Thursday, beginning at 12:05 p.m.

Thursday’s pitching match ups are slated to be Indians right-hander Corey Kluber versus Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson in Game One. After a half-hour break, Indians left-hander T.J. House is scheduled to face Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco in Game Two.

According to the Indians, Wednesday’s ticket holders must exchange their tickets for a future game of their choice. Exchanges can be made at the Progressive Field ballpark ticket office beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Wednesday’s postponement marks the first time in Progressive Field’s 20-year history that the Indians have had to play three traditional double headers. During the 2009 season, there were two. 

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4-batter sequence in 1/3 of an inning costs Bauer & Indians in 4-3 loss to Twins

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 9, 2014

Take away a 1/3 of an inning from Trevor Bauer’s eight-inning outing Tuesday night against the visiting Minnesota Twins, and the performance would have counted as one of the best of his young career.

Heck, take away four hitters and the game would have been completely different.

Problem is, during that four-batter span coming with two outs in the fourth inning, the right-hander’s command deserted him. The result was all four of the Twins runs on four consecutive hits – three of the extra-base variety for a 4-3 victory.

Bauer’s momentary lapse was all the window the Twins needed to claim the first games of a three-game set at Progressive Field, as the punchless Indians offense scored two runs early, but only one more in the eighth inning as their late rally came up short.

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Indians suspended game in Kansas City last month to be made up Sept. 22

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 9, 2014

The Indians suspended game from Aug.31 against the Kansas City Royals will be picked up Sept. 22 at Progressive Field where it was left off in the bottom of the 10th inning at 6 p.m. Gates will open to the public at 5 p.m.

The Indians hold a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the 10th inning before rain postponed the game. Left-handed reliever Kyle Crockett had just taken the mound to pitch.  

The host Royals tied the game with two runs in the ninth inning on an Alex Gordon home run against Indians closer Cody Allen, sending the game into extra innings. But the Tribe retook the lead, 4-2, on pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall's two-out, two-run double.

Both 10th-inning runs were unearned after Royals first baseman Billy Butler fumbled a one-hopper off the bat of Jason Kipnis. Chisenhall followed by driving a 0-2 pitch from closer Greg Holland off the right-field wall to score both runs.

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Indians and Twins lineups for Tuesday's game

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 9, 2014

Here are the starting lineups and pre-game notes for Tuesday night’s opening contest of a three-game series between the host Indians and Twins at Progressive Field.

LINEUPS:

Indians

CF Michael Bourn

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"Tired" Salazar pounded in Indians 12-3 loss to Angels in Monday's make up game

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 8, 2014

The Los Angeles Angels look nothing like a club coasting into the playoffs over the final three weeks of the season Monday as they methodically disposed of the Little-Engine-That-Could-Indians during afternoon’s make-up game at Progressive Field.

The visitors entered the game that was initially rained out June 18 in Cleveland leading the American League West Division by seven games. Then they quickly showed why they’ve been so dominating, pummeling an assortment of Tribe pitchers for a combined 16 hits in a 12-3 blowout that was all but over after five innings.  

Indians starter Danny Salazar saw his 21-inning scoreless streak come to an end in a big way in his brief 4 2/3-inning outing. The right-hander dished up six runs on eight hits – including two fifth-inning homers that accounted for five of the inning’s six runs over 4 2/3. Against the Tribe bullpen the Angels added a pair of runs in the seventh and closed the game with four-run exclamation point that featured two homers by Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick in the ninth.

“I think I just missed a couple pitches,” Salazar said. “I was just leaving everything up. I was doing pretty good going away. I just came inside just a few times. I have to come more inside.”

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Indians release 2015 season schedule; highlights include trips to Wrigley & PNC

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 8, 2014

Here is the Indians press release for next season's schedule:

In conjunction with Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians announced the club’s 2015 schedule, which begins on the road in Houston Monday, April 6.

The Indians open the home portion of the slate, the team’s 114th as a charter member of the American League, on Friday, April 10 vs. the Detroit Tigers.

* Other 2015 schedule highlights include:The Tribe and Reds will play in Cleveland on a weekend for the first time since 2011.
* The Indians will play at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2009 and the Pirates at PNC Park for the first time since 2010.
* The Indians will play at Progressive Field on six weekends from June-August: vs. Baltimore (June 5-7), Tampa Bay (June 19-21), Oakland (July 10-12), Chicago White Sox (July 23-26), Minnesota (August 7-9) and Los Angeles Angels (August 28-30).

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Indians and Angels lineups for Monday's make up game

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 8, 2014

Here are this afternoon’s lineups for the Indians and Angels make up game Monday at Progressive Field.

INDIANS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Jose Ramirez

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Indians 2, White Sox 0 - August Fagerstrom's final thoughts

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 7, 2014

August Fagerstrom's final thoughts following the Indians' 2-0 victory over the White Sox to complete a three-game sweep:

 

1.) With Justin Masterson and Danny Salazar's struggles to begin the season, who would have thought the Indians starting pitching would be this good? Here are some mind-boggling statistics that show just how good the Indians starting pitchers have been lately:

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Indians 3, White Sox 1 - Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on the return to form of ace Corey Kluber

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 7, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 3-1 win over the White Sox Saturday led by ace pitcher Corey Kluber’s return to form.

1) The numbers were once again Kluber-like Saturday: a complete game, no earned runs, no walks, eight strikeouts and 14 ground outs.

Another more light-hearted indication that after back-to-back sub par outings by Kluber, he ought to be back in the mix for Cy Young Award consideration is that in addition to his stuff, the Klubot’s dry humor has also returned. Listen in to this short exchange between Kluber and Tribe pitching coach Mickey Callaway minutes after wrapping up his third complete game of the season.

As the pair made their way through the tunnel that runs from the third-base dugout to the home clubhouse, Kluber looked at Callaway and dead panned: “Man, I’m tired.” Stunned that the master of non-emotion would admit such a thing unprompted, Callaway replied: “Really?” Kluber: “Naw, just joking.” 

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Kluber cruises to complete game as offense gives ace 2 late runs in 3-1 win over Chisox

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 6, 2014

The often offensively-challenged Indians threatened to waste another sterling starting performance by Corey Kluber Saturday night, having scratched out just one run over the first six innings against the visiting Chicago White Sox.

But the Tribe’s batsmen held on long enough to outlast Sox starter Jose Quintana to get into the American League’s second-worst bullpen, scoring two late runs for their much-deserving ace.

With Kluber back to his usual stingy form after making a mechanical adjustment following back-to-back losses (in which he gave up a combined six runs), it was all the right-hander needed to cruise to a 3-1 victory.

And with the third-place Tribe being the only team in the A.L. Central Division to win Saturday, they pulled to within five games of the division-leading Kansas City Royals and trimmed the deficit behind the second-place Detroit Tigers to three games. Entering Saturday, the Indians trailed the Seattle Mariners by 4 1/2 games for the league’s second Wild Card spot.

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Saturday's Indians and White Sox lineups

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 6, 2014

Here’s tonight’s lineups for Saturday’s game between the Indians and visiting Chicago White Sox:

INDIANS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Jose Ramirez

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Indians 2, White Sox 1 in 10 innings: Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on walkoff

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 6, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s Final thoughts on Tribe Good Guy David Murphy and the Indians American League-leading 11th walk-off victory Friday - a 2-1 victory in 10 innings over the Chicago White Sox.

1) Although Indians outfielder Murphy had been activated from the 15-day disabled list before Friday’s series opener against the visiting Chicago White Sox, he was the last guy most people might have expected to deliver a pinch-hit, bases-loaded, game-winning single to centerfield in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Consider this from manager Terry Francona pregame when asked about Murphy’s status for Friday: “As long as he’s comfortable where he’s not hurting himself physically and he thinks he’s got a shot to get a hit, I think we’re OK.”

2) Murphy’s teammate Jason Kipnis knows full well this season that most oblique injuries suffered by baseball players don’t fully heal until baseball activities have finally halted - in the off season. A month of rehab while on the disabled list (like Murphy) helped his right oblique strain plenty. But he wasn’t 100 percent and probably won’t before month or two. Some two, three months after Kipnis came back from his late-April oblique strain, he still admitted to being limited.

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David Murphy's pinch hit single sends Indians to 11th walk-off win of season -2-1 win over White Sox

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 5, 2014

The race was on Friday night at Progressive Field, as the Indians not only found themselves looking to outlast the visiting Chicago White Sox in extra innings, but also outrun the eminent threat of a heavy rainstorm rumbling towards Cleveland.

One swing of the bat by David Murphy took care of both problems, as Murphy’s walk-off single into shallow center field was enough to snap a 1-1 tie in a game that had been deadlocked since the third inning, handing the Tribe a 2-1 victory some 15 minutes before the rains came pouring down and lightning lit up the sky.

"With all the things we talked about leading up to it, about (Murphy) being a teammate and all the things like that, that was pretty fitting to watch him come through there," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

With the their bats having gone silent since a first-run, the Indians offense was sparked back to life in the bottom of the 10th inning when Yan Gomes led off with triple that banged off the bottom of the left field wall.

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Tigers 11, Indians 4 - Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on Trevor Bauer's 1st inning, bullpen's last

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 5, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on Trevor Bauer’s maddening first-inning woes, Victor Martinez’s continual paybacks and a Scott Atchison for MVP vote following the Indians 11-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers Thursday at Progressive Field.

1) I know full well that a game decided by seven runs (all coming in the top of the 11th) in extra innings might make the four runs given up by the starting pitcher seem irrelevant in most cases. Thursday’s game might have been one of the few instances where it’s not. That’s because I can’t help but wonder what might happen if Trevor Bauer were to begin each of his outings in the second inning.

You know, instead of Bauer starting the game and having a relief pitcher come in so many innings later, perhaps the Indians could start a reliever for an inning and have Bauer’s outing begin in the second? Sound a bit extreme? I’m betting that while the Indians brass would never admit it publicly, something to the effect has probably crossed their minds as well at some point this season.

2) Why all this fuss over when Bauer starts? Because first innings are killing Bauer – and the Tribe.

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Tigers rally for seven runs in 11th inning to top Indians 11-4 in series finale

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 5, 2014

The Detroit Tigers scored first and they scored last in Thursday’s four-game series finale at Progressive Field, each time piling on runs on in bunches.

It was a mere moral victory that the pesky Indians held the explosive lineup scoreless for the nine innings in between. But in the end all that did was delay the inevitable – giving the Tribe time to catch up and play into extra innings, only to lose 11-4 in 11 innings.

It took four hours and 32 minutes, but Detroit’s seven-run 11th inning finally did what its four-run first couldn’t – squash the Tribe’s spirit.

By the time the host came up to bat for the final time in the bottom of the 11th inning, they faced a steep, seven-run deficit and went down quietly as the Tigers won the series three games to one.

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Indians and Tigers pre-game notes and lineups for Thursday's series finale at Progressive Field

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 4, 2014

Here are Thursday’s starting lineups and pre-game notes for the final game of the four-game series between the host Indians and Tigers at Progressive Field.

Lineups:

INDIANS

CF Michael Bourn

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Indians Aviles has a concussion from dive in Monday's game

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 4, 2014

Add concussion-like symptoms to the whiplash that Indians utility man Mike Aviles is suffering from following his ill-advised dive for a ball in right field while trying to make a catch during Monday’s loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers.

Aviles banged his head hard on the ground in the first inning during the attempted diving catch, but stayed in the game for two more innings. But by the time he’d misplayed a fly ball in the third inning that led to three runs, Aviles was beginning to display concussion-like symptoms. He exited the game by the fourth inning and was replaced by Tribe newcomer Zach Walters.

Although Aviles initially passed early concussion tests Monday and Tuesday, he was diagnosed with whiplash. By mid-week, team physicians determined more concussion-like symptoms were becoming evident.

“(Aviles is) still a little foggy,” Indians manager Terry Francona said Thursday. “He’s been coming into the ballpark and getting checked and we’ve actually been sending him home.  Depending on how he feels today will (determine) how long he stays.”

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Indians 7, Tigers 0: Marla Ridenour's final thoughts on Danny Salazar and his wicked slider

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 4, 2014

Nineteen final thoughts after a night to remember for Indians right-hander Danny Salazar at Progressive Field.

1. Indians catcher Yan Gomes could tell the effect Salazar’s changeup was having on the Tigers’ hitters when two-time defending American League MVP Miguel Cabrera struck out in the sixth inning. “He was like, ‘Holy crap, what was that?’” Gomes said of Cabrera.

2. What Cabrera saw what Salazar’s off-speed pitch becomes when his fastball is sizzling. It was Wednesday, even into the ninth inning, when he was still hitting 97 and 98 on the radar gun.

3. “When he’s locating his fastball and attacking like he usually was last year, even a couple times this year, his changeup completely changes,” Gomes said. “I don’t even think it’s a changeup. It’s a split-knuckleball thing. It’s tough to catch it; it’s coming in in the mid-80s with a filthy drop to it.”

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Tigers at Indians: Pregame lineups; Giambi starting

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 3, 2014

Jason Giambi is in the Tribe lineup at designated hitter for the first time since June 11. Recently activated from the 60-day disabled list after suffering left knee inflammation, Giambi pinch-hit on Monday.

The Indians activated Josh Tomlin from the paternity list.

Game: 7:05 p.m. at Progressive Field

TIGERS

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Tigers 4, Indians 2: Stephanie Storm's final thoughts on Carrasco and the other Martinez

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 3, 2014

Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 4-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Tigers Tuesday that wasted an impressive start by right-handed starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco and another one of the few dwindling opportunities remaining to stay in the post season race. 

1) The Tribe may have dropped their second consecutive loss to the Tigers at the start of this four-game series at Progressive Field, but the visitor’s victory came late and surprisingly against closer Cody Allen, who dished up a three-run home run to the Tigers Indian killer that is Martinez -J.D. Martinez not only former Tribe catcher Victor Martinez

2) A cast off that the Houston Astros cut and the Tigers picked up off the scrap heap, J.D. Martinez has pummeled the Tribe lately as much as Victor has had a history of doing since the Indians shipped him to the Boston Red Sox in 200TK.

3) In 11 games versus the Indians to date this season, J.D. Martinez is hitting at a .349 clip with five home runs and 14 RBI. His late-inning heroics Tuesday were eerily reminiscent to his game-tying, ninth-inning longball – once again coming against Allen - nearly four months ago in May.

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Not Victor, but J.D. Martinez, continues his mastery of Indians pitching in Tigers 4-2 win

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 2, 2014

Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco sidestepped danger throughout his impressive 5 1/3-inning outing Tuesday.

Veteran relievers Scott Atchison and Bryan Shaw followed Carrasco’s lead of walking the tightrope of danger only to escape damage at each turn.

Unfortunately for the Tribe, closer Cody Allen couldn’t pull off the same Houdini act when he entered the game charged with further protecting a one-run lead. Instead, J.D. Martinez’s three-run home run with one out in the ninth resulted in a 4-2 Tigers victory, as the visitors have claimed the first two games of the important four-game series.

Before Allen’s collapse, Carrasco put on a display that showed just how far he’s come since the first month of the season. Four months ago, all the foot traffic that littered the bases during Carrasco’s start Tuesday would have ended in disaster.

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Scoring change aids Indians ace Kluber, subtracts from Tigers slugger Cabrera

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 2, 2014

A mini soap opera episode might be brewing between the division rival Indians and the Detroit Tigers following the Tribe’s Labor Day Massacre Monday at Progressive Field.

A day after the visiting Tigers opened the four-game series by crushing the host 12-1 - and chasing Tribe ace Corey Kluber after 2 2/3 innings - a scoring change benefiting the home team was made that shaved three runs off Kluber’s original season worst five-run outing.

But what makes the change by official scorer Chad Broski such a big deal is that not only did it make a third-inning hit become an error on Indians right fielder Mike Aviles, it took  away a hit away from Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. Thus, the move is likely to elicit an appeal by Detroit that would send the matter to Joe Torre - Major League Baseball’s executive vice president of baseball operations.

For now, Kluber’s ERA dropped from 2.72 to 2.58 and Cabrera’s batting average dipped to .304. But in the meantime, Aviles passed testing for a possible concussion after making an ill-advised dive for a ball in the first inning Monday. But he didn’t escape harm all together.

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Tuesday's Indians and Tigers lineups and pregame notes

By Stephanie Storm Published: September 2, 2014

Here are today’s starting lineups and pre-game notes for the host Indians and Tigers at Progressive Field Tuesday.

Lineups:

INDIANS (70-65)

CF Michael Bourn

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Tigers 12, Indians 1: August Fagerstrom's final thoughts on Corey Kluber struggles, fielding issues

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 2, 2014

August Fagerstrom's final thoughts following the Indians' 12-1 loss to Detroit in the first game of a four-game home series:

 

-Corey Kluber didn’t have his best stuff on the mound Monday. He didn’t have his best stuff in the clubhouse after the game, either. Despite a nearly three-hour cooling off period, Kluber was visibly agitated after the game. After a tense, brief one-minute interview in which he answered no question with more than 15 words, Kluber sarcastically told the media, “Good stuff today, guys.”

-Mike Aviles had a rough showing in the field and was removed after the third inning. It wasn’t necessarily because of his performance, though. The right fielder slammed his head on the ground while diving for a ball in the first inning and was experiencing concussion-like symptoms. He passed all initial tests and will be re-evaluated Tuesday. When asked if his dizziness played a part in Aviles’ second misplay, Indians manager Terry Francona said, “I sure don’t think it helped.”

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Tigers at Indians: Pre-game lineups and notes

By August Fagerstrom Published: September 1, 2014

Here are the lineups for the first game of a four-game series between the Indians and the Tigers at Progressive Field:

 

Indians

Bourn CF

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