Cleveland – 6
Anaheim – 3
Short and Sweet:
The last time Mike Clevinger faced the Angels, he lasted just 4.1 innings, for his worst outing of his 2017. Over those four innings he gave up six runs, five earned, two home runs and struck out five. The Angels complained to the umpires that Clevinger’s glove was too light colored and could pose as a distraction to the bats. In tonight’s game, Clevinger came out with a darker-colored glove, but wore his bright-white “sunshine” cleats, ready to show his dominance
Getting the better of lefty starter Tyler Skaggs, Cleveland managed to grab the lead in the fourth inning. Edwin Encarnacion scored from a two-out Jay Bruce double off the right field wall.
Catcher, Roberto Perez, went “oppo” to right/centerfield off a fastball from Skaggs. The pitch before, Perez showed bunt before pulling back. Behind him and his solo, two back-to-back, two-out singles from Austin Jackson and Jose Ramirez, pushed the Angels’ pitcher north of 80 pitches before a ground out to the middle of the fifth inning.
Bruce came up in the sixth to face the Angels bullpen pitcher Jose Alvarez, and hit his second triple of the season to right with one out. Anaheim went back to their pen after the hit, to try and match righty Blake Wood with the bottom of the Indians order. Rookie Yandy Diaz lined one to the right field corner, scoring Bruce from third. Diaz pushed for a double, and was tagged out at second for the second out. Wood struck out Jason Kipnis for the third out in the top.
The Angels tonight were held to zero hits until the bottom of the fifth inning, where they finally broke through with back-to-back hits for Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons. Clevinger caught a break when Simmons was picked off in a rundown between first and second, though the pitcher ended up walking the batter, Louis Valbuena, on a full count. The Angels did score in the inning, with Calhoun stealing home in an attempted double-steal that ended the fifth inning.
Manager,Terry Francona, went to the bullpen in the seventh, calling for southpaw Andrew Miller, who made his third appearance since returning from the DL. Miller had a 1-2-3 inning, with a fly-out, a groundout and a struck out Calhoun on a foul tip. In the eighth, Bryan Shaw took over on the mound, struck out the first two bats, before putting two on for back-to-back singles. Brandon Philips singled to center to score C.J. Cron. Shaw was able to get Mike Trout to ground out for the second time on the night to end the eighth.
With Angels reliever Bud Norris on the mound, the Indians added three more runs to the board. Jackson hit his fourth single of the evening, scoring Greg Allen from second, and later with the bases juiced, Encarnacion battled through an eight-pitch at bat, shooting a base hit that scored SS Francisco Lindor and Jackson with two outs. The Angels put their seventh arm on the mound, Fernando Salas, to close out the top of the inning.
Cleveland’s closer Cody Allen gave up a solo-home run to Justin Upton, inching the Angels closer to the Indians lead. Allen shutdown the rest of the Angels’ bats, but it was the sensational catch by the other Allen in center to end the game that got the credit for the final out, giving Clevinger his 11th win on the season. This is also the Indians third win in a row, and 12th consecutive road win. With the LA Dodgers losing their third straight today to the Phillies, Cleveland creeps closer to the best record in baseball.
Side note: Tonight’s game was also a possible experiment for the Indians, putting former starting second baseman, Jason Kipnis, in centerfield. This isn’t the first time Cleveland moved an infielder to the outfield, as we have seen Lonnie Chisenhall make the move and even every once in a while Carlos Santana. Kipnis was drafted as an OF and played a bit in the outfield in the minors, though this would be the first time in his major league career at this position. Francona wanted to ease Kipnis back into things after coming off the DL, both defensively and at the plate. Kipnis went 0 for three before rookie Greg Allen took over in center after five innings.
Tribe Top Three:
1. Mike Clevinger – SP – 47%
Clevinger came out to do his job, and outdo his last start against the Anaheim Angels. Back on July 25th, Clevinger only went 4.1 and gave up six runs after the Angels complained to force him to change is “light-colored” glove. Tonight, Clevinger put in six innings of work, with just three hits, a single run, two walks and six strikeouts. He kept the Angels from getting a hit into the fifth inning before giving up back-to-back singles, and worked out of it with just a single earned run scoring.
2. Jay Bruce – RF – 44%
Since coming to Cleveland, there is one type of Jay Bruce we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. He went three for four with a single, a double and a triple on the night, just a home run shy of the cycle. His one-out triple in sixth was the scoring run to push Cleveland to the 3-1 lead – Bruce’s 95th RBI of the season.
3. Roberto Perez – C – 6%
In the month of September, Perez now has four home runs, 11 hits, three doubles, three walks and ten RBI in 35 at bats, for a .314 BA. Like last season, Perez is heating up right around the time of the playoffs, which is exactly what Cleveland needs him to do.
In tonights game he went two for four with a single and a solo homer in the fifth inning to extend the Indians lead over the Angels.
Giovanni Urshela turned a flawless 5-4-3 double play to end the sixth off the bat of possible MVP candidate OF Mike Trout. Also, OF Austin Jackson deserves a mention after going four for five with four singles tonight, his fourth scoring an insurance run for Cleveland in the top of the ninth inning.
Tribe Time Tomorrow:
Tomorrow is yet another late game for Cleveland fans, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:07 at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin will pitch opposite Anaheim’s righty Ricky Nolasco.