Cleveland – 3
Oakland – 5
Short and Sweet:
Once again the Indians provide very little run support for Cory Kluber, and waste a solid performance by the Tribe ace. Kluber worked 7.1 innings giving up five hits, 3 runs, and striking out 12. In the bottom of the third Cory Kluber gave up only his 9th home run of the year to rookie Matt Chapman for the first of his big league career, putting Oakland ahead 1-0. In the top of the fourth Michael Brantley drew a lead off walk followed by an Edwin Encarnacion two-run home run to left to put the Tribe back on top 2-1.
In the bottom of the 5th Kluber gave up back to back hits to the number eight and nine hitters to pull Oakland back even with Cleveland at two runs a piece. In the top of the sixth Carlos Santana scored Encarnacion from third for his 48th RBI on a ground out with runners on the corners. In the top of the 8th manager Tito Francona decided to bring Kluber back out to pitch instead of going to the bullpen, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Matt Chapman led off the inning and took Kluber’s first pitch deep to dead center for his second homer of the night. Excluding Chapman, Oakland was only 2-24 off of Kluber with two singles, so even with Miller and Allen in the bullpen, in a one run game, I can see why Tito brought Kluber back out. He couldn’t have predicted Chapman would have a career night off of one of the best pitchers in the game. To lead off the 9th, Andrew Miller walked the lead off hitter which proved to be the winning run as Khris Davis hit a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth.
Tribe Top Three:
1. Corey Kluber – SP – 68% of Twitter vote
Kluber had his usual great stuff for all but two at bats against the A’s. Unfortunately both of those at bats were by Matt Chapman. Had Kluber not been brought out to start the 8th, the game could have ended much differently for the good guys.
2. Edwin Encarnacion – DH – 29% of Twitter vote
Encarnacion has struggled to this point in July. Hopefully this HR, 2R, 2RBI game can lead to better things for Encarnacion who has struggled in the first half of July.
3. Carlos Santana – 1B – 3% of Twitter vote
Santana was one of the few Indians to take advantage of base runners with his RBI in the 6th inning giving the Tribe a 3-2 lead. Santana’s 48th RBI of the year has him third all-time for Indians switch hitters behind Carlos Baerga.
Tribe Time Tomorrow:
The Tribe looks to avoid the sweep in Oakland tomorrow along with the potential of ending their streak of three consecutive losses or less since 2015. First pitch is scheduled later than normal but early for a west coast game at 4:05 as Trevor Bauer (7-7, 5.24 ERA) faces Sean Manaea (7-5, 3.76 ERA)