CLEVELAND: The Indians celebrated Memorial Day with an artillery exhibition of sorts, pounding the Oakland A’s with three home runs en route to a 5-3 win at Progressive Field.
Facing A’s starter Daniel Mengden, Austin Jackson put the Indians up 1-0 with a solo home run to right field, his second of the season. An inning later, Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion belted back-to-back, no-doubt home runs to extend that lead to 3-0.
Santana’s home run, his sixth of the year, was estimated to travel 413 feet. Encarnacion dwarfed it a few pitches later, launching an estimated 451-foot shot to dead center field that appeared to be on line for the newly unveiled Frank Robinson statue in Heritage Park beyond the trees in the center-field area. It was Encarnacion’s 10th of the season and the longest home run he’s hit as a member of the Indians.
“It feels good. It’s something that our team needs,” Encarnacion said of the production from the middle of the lineup through a team translator. “They need to know that we’re doing our work and that we can do that work that’s necessary to help us win a game.”
The Indians continued to pile on Mengden in the fourth. Jose Ramirez followed the back-to-back home runs with a double and scored on Yan Gomes’ RBI-single back up the middle. Bradley Zimmer then lined a ball off Mengden’s leg, eventually stopping in left field to give Zimmer a double. Jackson nearly drove his second home run of the day to center field but had to settle for a sacrifice fly to score Gomes and put the Indians on top 5-0.
Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco cruised for the first six innings, allowing no runs and only two hits, before A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso and designated hitter Ryon Healy hit back-to-back home runs to cut the lead to 5-2 in the seventh. Carrasco struck out seven in the victory.
Though, it came with a struggle in the ninth. With closer Cody Allen on the mound, Khris Davis drove a solo home run to left field, making it 5-3. Healy and Stephen Vogt, with two outs, hit back-to-back singles to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the form of Trevor Plouffe, who Allen struck out to improve the Indians’ record to 26-23 and secure his 14th save.