After a fairly successful 5-5 road trip, the Cleveland Indians had an opportunity to move back above .500 as they returned to Progressive Field tonight to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. On the plus side, the Tribe came into the game with the best home record in the American League at 21-11, and had won nine straight at home. Unfortunately, they were facing Jered Weaver, a great pitcher who has been absolutely dominant at Progressive Field in his career. Something had to give, and luckily for the Indians, it was Weaver.
The game followed an early pattern of the Indians scoring first and the Angels immediately tying the game. The Tribe struck quickly when Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the first inning with a single to right field and Asdrubal Cabrera followed up with a home run to left to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. Los Angeles came right back in the top of the second inning when Chris Ianetta hit a two-run double off Indians starter Trevor Bauer to tie the game. The Indians scored again in the bottom of the third inning when Michael Brantley singled home Bourn to make it 3-2, only for the Angels to come right back in the top of the fourth inning when former Indian John McDonald (of all people) hit a sacrifice fly to score Raul Ibanez and tie the game at three. However the Indians came right back in the bottom of the fourth when Carlos Santana hit a solo home run to give the Tribe a 4-3 lead, which stood for the rest of the game.
Bauer was not very sharp, allowing eight hits and four walks in six and two-thirds innings. He did battle though and was able to earn the win. Carlos Carrasco was absolutely dominant in two and one-third innings of relief. The Tribe starter-turned-reliever allowed no hits, one walk, and struck out four while earning his first save of the season. Carrasco seems like one of those guys who is simply better out of the bullpen and his performance their over parts of the last two seasons suggest he can be a highly effective reliever.
With this win the Indians have now won ten straight at home and their home winning percentage of .667 is the best in the Major Leagues. As this is being written they are 2.5 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers in the Central Division, and two games behind the Angels and Kansas City Royals for either wild card spot. With their next six games at home against the Angels and Tigers, the Indians have a great chance to make a big move in the playoff picture. Hopefully by this time next week we are looking at a team that is currently occupying a playoff spot.