The Indians polished off a six-game home stand with a bang on Sunday afternoon, using an eight-run third inning to highlight a 12-4 victory against the Mariners. After taking two of three against Houston earlier in the week and splitting the first two games of the weekend series against Seattle, the Tribe bats warmed up big time–along with the weather–on Sunday afternoon.
Josh Tomlin (2-3, 8.87) continued his early season struggles but did just enough to get through five innings and earn the win, despite giving up four runs on eight hits. Cleveland caught a break, as the Mariners sent rookie righty Chase De Jong to the hill, making his first major league start. De Jong would give up a lead-off home run to Carlos Santana, but survive several hard-hit balls and a high pitch count to give up just the one run through the first two innings. However, the third inning–and some very sloppy Seattle defense–would doom the rookie pitcher, as the Tribe sent 11 men to the plate, en route to a season-best eight-run inning.
Let’s take a look at some game notes and key happenings for the Tribe:
- Rolling Your Way: The Indians’ 8-run third inning saw Michael Brantley lead off the frame with a single, then cap it with a 2-run home run. In this crazy inning, the Tribe also scored on a “sacrifice fly” to second baseman Robinson Cano in which Jose Ramirez exhibited some alert, aggressive base running when Cano fielded the ball with his back to home plate. Ironically, Edwin Encarnacion made two outs in the innings, striking out in both of his at bats.
- Coulda’, Woulda’, Shoulda’: The game could’ve been a lot closer, had it not been for Nick Goody’s “Houdini Act” in the sixth inning. With the Tribe up 9-4, Goody entered with the bases loaded and zero outs, only to strike out Motter and induce a line-drive 6-4 double play off the bat of Ruiz.
- Really Goody in Relief: Goody–called up in April, finishes the month with a 0.00 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, and 8 strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched to kick off his impressive start to the season.
- Smooth Operator: April is over now and Michael Brantley…is…hitting…and healthy! With a .308 average, 5 home runs, 17 RBI, and several off days for rest, Dr. Smooth is officially “back” and making a dynamic impact in the middle of the Tribe lineup. Just Brantley merely staying healthy–let alone hitting like an All-Star–has to have the Indians excited. Translation: Look out, American League!
- Rising up the Ranks: More April statistics: .309, 7 home runs, 17 RBI. Yes, Francisco Lindor keeps getting better. In addition to major impact on offense and defense, Lindor has emerged as the team leader and spark plug, and will quickly be looking to make his way into AL MVP conversations as the season plays on.
- Offense from Catchers: Clutch hitting from Cleveland catchers has been a bugaboo all season, but Roberto Perez went 3-4 with a double and three RBI to help ignite the offense.
- “Don’t Run on Yan”…or Roberto: Despite the offensive woes from Tribe catchers (until Perez’ breakout game Sunday) the duo has combined to throw out a stellar 52% of base stealers on the season. Bottom line: It’s getting to the point where teams are seldom bothering to even attempt to steal against the Indians.
- Only in Cleveland: Low temperature during Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 victory: 43 degrees. High temperature during Sunday’s 12-4 victory: 83 degrees. Only in Cleveland can we experience a 40-degree weather change in less than 24 hours.
- On Deck: The Wahoos kick off a three-city, 10-day, 10-game road trip Monday night with a four-game series against division rival Detroit, as Trevor Bauer (2-2, 6.26) takes on Daniel Norris (1-2, 4.71) in Motown. The road trip will also follow with three games in Kansas City and then a ALCS rematch in Toronto.