Earlier in the season, Brian Shaw and Cody Allen struggled to close out potential victories, clutch hits were difficult to come by, and wins were elusive for the Tribe. All of that is in the past, as the Indians closed out an impressive homestand with a 5-1 record following a 5-4 Sunday afternoon win against the reigning World Series champion Royals. After a 3-game sweep of the Tigers earlier in the week, the Tribe took two of three from Kansas City to catapult their record to 10-4 against AL Central Division foes.
Josh Tomlin–owner of a perfect 5-0 record in his first five starts–pitched into the seventh inning and overcame an Eric Hosmer 2-run bomb early to settle in and allow his offense to battle back. Let’s take a look at some key stats and diamond notes:
Streak Stopper: Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Tomlin is a masterful 12-0 when pitching in games following an Indians loss.
Santana Aces Wild: For the second time in this young season, Carlos Santana hit a leadoff home run to ignite the Tribe offense…The first one came off of Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander, while today’s blast gave the Indians a 1-0 lead against Royals ace Edison Volquez.
A Total Team Effort: The Tribe got two hits apiece from Lonnie Chisenhall and Marlon Byrd, as the bottom of the lineup came up huge in the comeback victory.
SHAWshank Redemption: After some early season struggles, Brian Shaw has been rock solid in his last seven appearances. Shaw would enter the game in a crucial scenario in the 7th inning and induce an Alcides Escobar 4-6-3 double play, then stay in the game to pitch a scoreless 8th inning and earn the hold.
Strike ’em Out, Gun ’em Down: Yan Gomes made a huge play to kill a Royals rally, gunning down yet another baserunner on a strike-him-out ,throw-him-out double play to end the 8th inning.
Center of it all: Lonnie Chisenhall would start in center field for the first time in his major league career and play a clean game on three fielding opportunities. With the Indians looking to keep Michael Brantley in left field coming off of his injury and Tyler Naquin sent back to Triple A Columbus, look for Chisenhall to get plenty of time in center field on days when Rajai Davis gets a rest.
Houston, You Have a Problem: The streaking Tribe now hits the road for a 3-game series with the underperforming Houston Astros. Corey Kluber will toe the rubber for the Wahoos, coming off of his complete game shutout against Detroit.