The Rays took some mighty hacks at some of Kluber’s pitches, if broken bats are any indicator of a strong swing. Kluber caused at least three broken bats, and I’m not sure I didn’t miss one or two more.
The Indians scored all the runs they would need in the bottom of the third inning. Yan Gomes led off with a single and made it to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two out, Jason Kipnis hit a single to center. Desmond Jennings, playing center field for the Rays, tried to field the ball on one hop, but it got by him and rolled all the way to the wall. Gomes scored easily, and Kipnis kept on choogling with his head down until he slid into home plate head first, seconds before the throw got to the plate. He was given credit only for a single, but it was a little league home run, and he should be deservedly proud of the hustle he displayed to score on the play.
Lonnie Chisenhall drove in another run in the sixth with a one-out single, and back-to-back homers by Jose Ramirez and Juan Uribe in the eighth inning accounted for the other three Tribe runs. Uribe has now homered in each of his last four games.
The victory puts the Tribe at 40-30, ten games over .500 for the first time since late 2013. They have won five straight. The White Sox also won on Tuesday, so the Indians keep one game ahead of the Sox for first place in the AL Central. The Indians can sweep the Rays with a series-ending win on Wednesday.
It’s fun to watch the Indians when they win. Obviously. But we need to remember to enjoy these games as they unfold. This could be a most gratifying summer.