It’s been a rough homestand for the Tribe, who entered the night having lost four of five games since returning to Cleveland. But the offense woke up against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, as the Indians rolled to a 5-3 victory, which really wasn’t as close as the final score thanks to two 9th-inning runs by Texas.
The highlight of the game was undoubtedly the top of the order, as Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion combined to go 8-15 and drove in four of the Tribe’s five runs.
The top of the order, especially Kipnis and Lindor, have been struggling for the entire month of June and a breakout performance like this was much needed.
It was especially encouraging to see the Tribe hitters break out against Darvish, the ace of the Rangers staff. The Tribe is now 2-0 when facing Darvish this season, including their Opening Day victory in Texas.
Other thoughts and notes…
Cody Allen pitched for the third straight day and fourth time in five days, despite the Tribe entering the 9th with a four-run lead. It was a baffling and completely unnecessary decision to overwork Allen—who is undoubtedly overworked at home these days as well, having just welcomed a new baby to the family.
Last year the Indians gave Allen at least three days off each time he pitched on three consecutive days. But thanks to Saturday’s doubleheader, the Tribe has four games in the three days and will almost certainly need to rush Allen back out there. This was really not a very well thought-out plan by Francona.
Andrew Miller picked up his 17th hold of the season. The franchise record is 36, set by Vinnie Pestano in 2012. He’ll need to keep up this impressive pace to get there, but he will likely become just the third Indians pitcher to reach 30 holds, joining Pestano and Rafael Betancourt (31 in 2007).
Bradley Zimmer went 1-3 with a walk, raising his on-base percentage to .366. I think it’s safe to say he’s locked into the centerfield job for the next six years or longer. Tyler Naquin was critical to the Tribe’s success last summer, but we can probably assume he’s on the trading block now and could be dealt in a package for some pitching at the deadline.