The Indians are looking like they are starting to click, and that could be bad news for the rest of the AL Central.
Both teams tonight did their damage early. Corey Kluber (7 INN/5 H/2 ER/6 SO/2 BB) shook off some early troubles to look every bit of the former Cy Young winner his is. His lone major blemish being to Jackie Bradley, Jr., who crushed his eighth homer of the season to dead center, which ran Bradley’s MLB-high hit streak to 25 games. From that point on, however, the KLUBOT was rebooted and he mowed the hot Boston lineup down with little resistance.
Boston’s 2-0 lead was quickly erased in the top of the third. Jason Kipnis lined a game-winning three-run homer down into the short right-field seats of Fenway off of struggling Sox starter Clay Buchholz (6 INN/5 H/4 R (3 ER)/3 SO/4 BB). Jose Ramirez tacked on a sacrifice-fly insurance run, scoring Francisco Lindor, who made a brilliant slide to avoid a Bradley strike from centerfield. Considering Buchholz’ struggles coming into tonight where he carried an ERA of 6.11, Buchholz looked pretty strong.
The game had a bit of controversy as well. In the fourth inning, Rajai Davis appeared to get knicked pretty hard on the finger, to which he rightfully headed to first base. Home plate umpire Chad Fairchild initially awarded Davis the base and then inexplicably called Davis out. This lead to a ten minute conference only to have Davis ruled out. Luckily, Kluber flummoxed the Red Sox hitters so the umpires’ flub didn’t come back to haunt the good guys.
After the offensive bonanza against the Reds, this might have felt a bit boring to some, but a win is a win. And with the Royals taking care of Chicago this evening, the Tribe suddenly find themselves just a game and a half back of the White Sox. A great night for the Indians all in all.
W: Corey Kluber (3-5); L: Clay Buchholz (2-4); S: Cody Allen (10)