Mike Clevinger had an outstanding outing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday night, allowing just 1 ER on 3 hits over 6 innings pitched.
During tonight’s television broadcast on STO, Matt Underwood and Rick Manning discussed how Mike Clevinger was frustrated last spring when he missed making the rotation on opening day. Even though he ended up disappointed back in April, that disappointment may be gone come October. Because Clevinger has pitched well enough to be a key member of an Indians postseason rotation.
On Tuesday night against the Angels, Clevinger threw 6 innings, allowing 1 ER on just 3 hits. And that one run he surrendered was a pretty cheap one, when Kole Calhoun scampered home as Luis Valbuena was caught stealing second in the bottom of the fifth. To explain the situation in a bit more detail – the inning began with back-to-back singles by Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons, which left runners at first and third with nobody out. It looked as if Clevinger may be in a bit of trouble, but he ran into some luck as Simmons was caught into a rundown trying to steal second. A Luis Valbuena walk put runners back at first and third, but C.J. Cron struck out for the second out of the inning. With Martin Maldonado at the plate, Valbuena broke for second. Perez immediately threw to second, rather than holding Calhoun at third. Calhoun managed to scamper home before Valbuena was tagged for the third out.
Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen each surrendered a run in relief, but it didn’t even matter. Because every time the Angels seemed like they were about to creep a bit closer to tying the game, the Indians’ offense then padded the lead. They were up 2-0 when Anaheim scored their first run in the fifth, and came right back in the top of the sixth to make the score 3-1. When Shaw let the score creep to 3-2, the Indians put up 3 runs in the top of the ninth to take a commanding 6-2 lead. A solo home run by Justin Upton off of Cody Allen in the ninth did no real damage, and the final score was 6-3.
The offense saw huge nights from Jay Bruce and Austin Jackson, with Bruce narrowly missing hitting for the cycle. Bruce singled in the second inning, doubled in the fourth inning (knocking in the Indians’ first run), and then tripled in the top of the sixth inning (and later scored the Indians’ third run). He came back to the plate in the top of the eighth inning in need of a home run, but unfortunately struck out. Jackson went 4 for 5 with an RBI, while Edwin Encarnacion and Roberto Perez each had two hits. Perez got an RBI on a solo home run, while Encarnacion singled home two runs in the ninth.
The Jason Kipnis experiment continued in center field tonight, and was pretty uneventful (thankfully). Kipnis went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, and obviously needs more time to try and regain his stroke at the plate. He was removed for Greg Allen, who made a fantastic diving catch to end the game on a line drive from Simmons.
Tuesday night’s game marked the 12th straight road win for the Indians. The last time they earned that many consecutive road wins, it was 1922. A season of historic moments marches on for the Indians.