Oh, how a baseball game can change in a blink! Kansas City starter Jason Hammel was perfect through 6.1 innings on Saturday night. Sixteen up and sixteen down for the Tribe. Then, suddenly, Bradley Zimmer hits a single and Roberto Perez homers, and the bottom of the Indians batting order shines again to spark another win, 4-0.
Bradley Zimmer backed up stellar pitching with an even more spectacular catch to save a run in the fifth
Those runs would be all the Tribe needed as their injury-plagued pitching staff hurled a Majors-leading 14th shutout for the season. Indians starter Mike Clevinger was solid, going six innings and tying a career high with 9 strikeouts. Clevinger was aided by a season-highlight catch from Zimmer, sprinting and diving straight toward the center field wall to snag a run-saving catch off a laser shot from Lorenzo Cain. Clevinger also helped himself by pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth without giving up a run.
Offensively, Cleveland added two more runs on solo shots by Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion. For Double E, his dinger marked the sixth consecutive season of reaching 30 home runs or more … which is exactly why the Indians coughed up some big bucks to get him.
Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero and Cody Allen pitched one scoreless inning each to nail down another goose egg against their opponents this year.
On Sunday, the Tribe goes for the sweep against the division rival Royals. Despite the DL parade, the Indians seem deep enough to stay on board the train bound for the 2017 playoffs.