Bragging about never having lost four in a row this season would have seemed mighty weak if the Indians had been so immodest to point out that obscure fact a week ago.
It looked a lot better entering Friday night’s game as the team appeared to be in the middle of a summer power outage.
Corey Kluber came to the rescue and the previously feeble Indians batters followed his lead a bit later in a 12-1 victory Friday night at Arlington, Texas.
Tribe hitters started scoring in the third inning on an RBI double by Jason Kipnis. But Kluber had already set the tone of the game by blanking the Rangers from the start and giving every impression that he was at the top of his game. The only concern was that his pitch count was building as a result of disciplined, but unproductive Ranger at bats.
Kluber, a Texan, proved durable in the Arlington heat, which we were told was moderate in registering only in the 80s. Kluber lasted six sweat-stained innings, leaving after allowing only one run on a homer by Adrian Beltre.
Bryan Shaw pitched a strong seventh inning, followed by Cody Allen who skated through the eighth. With a 12-1 lead, the Indians leadership felt confident to let Zach McAllister pitch the ninth.
Fans might scoff at praise for Indians’ hitters after their pathetic performance in the previous four games that only produced three runs. Nonetheless, wouldn’t it be fair to point out that Roberto Perez chopped and chipped his way to four hits? That propelled him to a .146 batting average and offered hope they won’t rename the Mendoza line after him.
And if Perez gets credit, it must be noted that Carlos Santana and Abraham Almonte also collected three hits. Further praise goes to Brandon “The Bruise Collector” Guyer, who finagled two times on base by allowing pitches to hit him in non-essential parts of hits body. He also got a hit and scored four runs.
Francisco Lindor picked a fine night to go 0-for-5. Rajai Davis also was 0-for-5 but did contribute a run batted in.