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Indians 2B Jason Kipnis is still hitting, proving Terry Francona right

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 24, 2015

Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is still hitting.

After enjoying a historic 51-hit, 30-run May, Kipnis hasn’t slowed down and could win his second straight American League Player of the Month Award in June.

He’s hitting .394 this month with a .476 on-base percentage entering Wednesday’s game and now owns the AL’s highest batting average this season at .354. And with a single in the third inning Wednesday against Detroit, Kipnis extended his current hitting streak to 19 games, the longest such streak of his career, and his home hitting streak to 28 games, the longest in the Progressive Field Era.

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Indians manager Terry Francona and Outshine Fruit Grape Bars: A true love story

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 24, 2015

Indians manager Terry Francona revealed Wednesday that he has quite the affinity for the low-calorie fruit Popsicles available around the team clubhouse and on the plane when traveling.

It might be a borderline addiction. As it turns out, the Popsicles in question are Outshine Fruit Bars, in grape, made by Nestle.

Francona was asked how many he had the other night. Here’s his full answer, and the full tale of their love story.

“I had 17 the other night. No, that’s not a lie. They’re healthy, so if one’s good, 17’s gotta be real good. I woke up in the middle of the night and I was like borderline, like it was coming up. But I was so tired that I just laid there for about an hour and I was like, ‘Don’t throw up, don’t throw up, don’t throw up.’ I I should have got up and threw up. And then I woke up in the morning and I was like, ‘****’. So I started counting the sticks. They’re so good. Obviously I don’t get tired of them. They’re so ******** good.”

“Because Brandon took over nine boxes and there’s six in each box. There’s one box left. So I don’t know what I’m going to do tonight. They’re good, man. And they have them on the plane, too. When the lady comes by with a basket I just grab the basket like, ‘I’ll handle this.’

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Tigers 7, Indians 3: Tuesday’s One Last Thing on the Tigers holding down the Indians

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 24, 2015

The Indians finally—finally—got Miguel Cabrera to hit a ball weakly instead of over the fence in a key situation. With the game tied 1-1 and the bases loaded in the fifth, Cabrera tapped a ball back to Danny Salazar instead of hitting a grand slam. It should have been an easy inning-ending double play.

Except, the ball slipped out of Salazar’s hand, and everyone was safe. Three batters and three hits later, a tied game was turned into a 7-1 Tigers lead. The Tigers cruised to a 7-3 win.

And so the story goes for the Indians.

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Indians let opportunity slip away, lose to Detroit Tigers 7-3

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 23, 2015

The Indians finally had Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers right where they needed them. In a key situation, they finally got Cabrera to hit the ball softly and right where they wanted, instead of hard and over the fence.

And they let it slip right through their hands, eventually losing 7-3 Tuesday night.

Cabrera came up to bat in a tied game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning. All season, that situation—or really any involving him and an Indians pitcher—would have spelled certain doom. This time, though, Danny Salazar induced a weak tapper back to the mound, which with Cabrera running, looked like a certain 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning with the game still tied 1-1.  

Except as Salazar went to throw it to catcher Roberto Perez at home, the ball slipped out of his hand, sailing backward, allowing everyone to be safe and the go-ahead run to score.

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Indians recall RP Austin Adams, DFA RP Scott Atchison

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 23, 2015

The Indians on Tuesday recalled relief pitcher Austin Adams and designated for assignment Scott Atchison.

Adams this season has a 2.38 ERA in seven appearances across a couple of stints in Cleveland. He and lefty Kyle Crockett have made several trips up and down I-71 between Triple-A Columbus and Cleveland.

Atchison, meanwhile, hasn’t been the same pitcher he was last year. He owns a 6.86 ERA in 19 2/3 innings thrown this season after posting a 6-0 record and 2.75 ERA in 2014.

Atchison was a veteran presence in the clubhouse, though. Indians manager Terry Francona said it was a tough conversation to have.

“We've kind of always said we're always going to do what we think is in the best interest of our ballclub,” Francona said. “That doesn't mean those don't hurt, because that's a tough one. … He means so much to everybody. And I probably go back farther with him than anybody, but everybody in our organization respects and cares about Atch. So, that's a hard one.”

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Tigers 8, Indians 5: Monday’s One Last Thing on the Detroit Tigers’ hitters (allegedly) being human

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 23, 2015

The Tigers, again, jumped out to a lead and held it to beat the Indians 8-5 Monday night at Progressive Field. A run in each of the first three innings and four runs in the fourth forced Trevor Bauer to hit the showers early.

The Indians fell to 2-8 this season against Detroit and 14-34 since 2013.

Monday’s One Last Thing: The Detroit Tigers (allegedly) are just hitters.

Against the rest of the league, the Tigers are a borderline .500 team. Against the Indians this year, they’re the 1927 Yankees.

Miguel Cabrera this year against the rest of the league is hitting .297. Against the Indians? He’s at .649, which would be the greatest season of any one hitter against any one team in history with at least 30 at-bats.

Bauer was roughed up to the tune of seven runs in three-plus innings Monday night. He says they’re just hitters. They make outs. They’re not perfect.

Even if so far, they’ve been close to perfect against the Indians.

“Obviously he [Cabrera] is a good hitter but he’s a hitter and I think against the rest of the league he hits .290 so it’s not like he hits .750,” Bauer said, before correcting himself, “I mean he does against us, but you can clearly get him out because the rest of the league does it. So to me, it’s him or Victor or Iglesias or Gose or whoever, they’re all just hitters. They all get out more often than they get hits. You just go at them, you attack them. As the game wore along and the innings got long, all those hits fell in and I wasn’t able to attack them as efficiently as I would like to. They’re just hitters. Good ones, but they’re just hitters.”

More: Indians looking for ways to handle Tigers' lineup; Yan Gomes sits again

Francona simply said that the Tigers aren’t where they want to be in the standings, but the Indians seem to bring out the best in them.

No kidding.

The Royals have established themselves as, currently, the best team in the division. But the Indians are still looking up at the big, bad Tigers. It’s a tough hill to climb.

There isn’t much the Indians can do beyond run head first into the buzzsaw that is the middle of the Tigers’ lineup.

The bad news? David Price is on the mound tomorrow. And a steep climb keeps getting steeper.

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Trevor Bauer hit hard in Indians’ 8-5 loss to Detroit Tigers; Indians fall to 2-8 against Detroit

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 22, 2015

Indians fans had to endure another drilling by Detroit’s powerful offense, as the Tigers thrashed Trevor Bauer in a 8-5 win Monday night at Progressive Field.

The Tigers pecked at Bauer in the first three innings, scoring a run in each, before landing the knockout blow in the fourth.

The Indians haven’t been able to handle the middle of the Tigers’ order well this season, particularly in the first few innings, and that trend continued Monday.

With two on, the Tigers’ Yoenis Cespedes struck first, driving in a run with an RBI double that hit the chalk along the right-field line. It could have been worse, as Miguel Cabrera originally scored from first on the play. The Indians challenged, and replays revealed that the ball hit the railing of the stands, resulting in a ground-rule double and only a 1-0 lead.

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Indians 1, Rays 0: Sunday’s One Last Thing on the emotions of a major-league debut

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 21, 2015

The Indians won in walk-off fashion against Tampa Bay 1-0 on Sunday.

David Murphy hit a sacrifice fly just deep enough to score Roberto Perez from third to win the game. Prior to the ninth inning, the Indians had just one hit.

Sunday’s One Last Thing: Cody Anderson went through quite the range of emotions in his major-league debut.

Anderson threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed six hits and struck out four. He became just the fourth Indians pitcher since 1914 to throw at least 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his debut, joining Scott Lewis (2008), Luis Tiant (1964) and Ray Benge (1925).

Not a bad way to start your career (or spend Father’s Day). He also dealt with adrenaline, leg cramps and basically, some general numbness.

MORE: Change is a must in All-Star Game voting

To start the game, Anderson was obviously amped up, throwing 95 mph regularly and hitting 97. After the first inning, he sat in the lower 90, as usual.

“I couldn't really feel my body. I couldn't feel the ball,” Anderson said. “I just knew I had to throw strikes and that's what I was mainly focused on, was pounding the strike zone. Eventually, I was able to settle down and start working the bottom of the zone.”

In his final 2-3 innings, he began to experience leg cramps. Except he didn’t tell the trainers. He just kept pitching. Indians manager Terry Francona said he likes the toughness. But he’s allowed to get some treatment, too. It is the big leagues, after all.

“Mickey [Callaway] asked him, 'Well, did you tell the trainers?' He goes, ‘No,’” Francona said. “I guess part of that I like, but I wanted him to make sure he knows that he can get help. We have fruit drinks and stuff, or whatever we give them.”

Anderson started the game throwing almost all fastballs to establish his command from there, used it to get ahead of hitters. That was perhaps the best from a day full of positive signs.

“There wasn't anything to not be encouraged about,” Francona said. “We're always looking for a reason to be encouraged, but that was pretty impressive on a lot of levels. Again, you see the stuff. That's there, but his poise and things like that. And, all the things we talked about probably either this morning or yesterday, about how he had worked to get himself to this point. He looks like a different person. I think he was here for the winter development [program] two winters ago and he was a big, burly [guy]. He kind of looked like that lumberjack. Now, he looks very athletic, and it's because he worked his ass off.”

Francona said that there’s no real initiative to settle the fifth spot in the rotation, though Anderson obviously made a strong case today.

Especially since now he knows he can get a juice box when needed.

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Indians walk off against Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 on David Murphy sacrifice fly in ninth

By Ryan Lewis Published: June 21, 2015

The Indians didn’t get a lot of offense Sunday but did enough in the ninth to secure a 1-0 walk-off win against Tampa Bay at Progressive Field.

The Indians loaded the bases with one out for David Murphy against Rays reliever Kevin Jepsen. Murphy, on a 3-1 count, drove Jepsen’s offering to center field, deep enough to score Roberto Perez from third on a close play at the plate. Rays catcher Curt Casali couldn’t handle Kevin Kiermaier’s throw as Perez slid into home.

Rookie starting pitcher Cody Anderson was terrific in his major-league debut, throwing 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball while allowing six hits and striking out four.

The Indians were held without a hit by Rays starter Alex Colome until the sixth inning, when Michael Bourn singled on a sharp ground ball to the right side that Rays first baseman Jake Elmore couldn’t handle.

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Rays 4, Indians 1: Saturday’s One Last Thing from Michael Beaven

By Michael Beaven Published: June 20, 2015

CLEVELAND: Yes, the Indians lost to the Tampa Bays 4-1 for the second consecutive night at Progressive Field.

And yes, Indians hitters continue to struggle against anyone who steps onto the mound for the opposition.

Saturday night’s game started in frustrating fashion for Indians ace Corey Kluber who gave up a three-run home run to Evan Longoria.

“Obviously lead off walk [to Kevin Kiermaier] is no good,” Kluber said. “After that, I mean, I guess you get a well executed hit-and-run – [Joey Butler] hits a dribbler where the guy was covering – and then I just didn’t really execute the pitch to Longoria. We were trying to go fastball in and it kind of stayed over the middle.”

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