Game 78: Indians 6, Diamondbacks 1
Tribe improves to 38-40
After three shaky starts to begin the month of June, Corey Kluber seems to be back on track. Friday night against Detroit he went 7 innings allowing only 2 runs while striking out 6. Tonight in Arizona he went 7 innings again, this time while striking out 8 (including superstar Paul Goldschmidt three times) and not allowing any runs. In fact, no one got as far as third base against him all night, or as far as second base base after the third inning (his dad would be so proud).
Kluber lowered his ERA to 3.09 while raising his strikeout total to 122 (which ranks third in the American League behind only David Price and Felix Hernandez), as he picked up his seventh win of the season.
There was a small amount of drama in the 9th, when Marc Rzepczynski walked a pair and allowed a single that ended the shutout, but Cody Allen and struck out Aaron Hill to end the threat and give the Indians a split of the brief two-game series.
On the other side of the things, there were a number of strong offensive performers for the Tribe:
- Michael Bourn had 3 hits for the first time in a game in over a month. Two of those hits were triples, which made him the first Indian with multiple three-baggers in a game since Ezequiel Carrera in 2012. Josh Barfield and Omar Vizquel (twice) are the only other Indians to do it in the 2000s. You know who did it once back in 1995? Jim Thome. I'm not sure who was playing the outfield for the White Sox that night, but I hope they buried those corpses before the smell got too bad. I digress...
- Yan Gomes homered in the 2nd inning, his first long ball since June 7. That extended his hitting streak to 7 games, two shy of his career best.
- Michael Brantley went 2 for 4, including his 12th home run of the season, tying him with Carlos Santana for the team lead. Brantley now had 53 runs scored and 51 RBI on the year, which means he is more than halfway to reaching 100 in both categories. The last Indian to do that was Travis Hafner in 2006.
- Jason Kipnis had a pair of hits, both doubles. He's been having a very disappointing year, and still hasn't homered since April 21, which was also the last time he had two extra-base hits in the same game before tonight. He's also now got multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time all season. Fingers crossed for him to break out of his slump something like the way Santana has, because that could push the offense back near the top of the league.
The Indians are still two games below .500, 6 games back of Detroit in the Central and 3.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot, but this was a really nice win. The team gets its second day off of the week on Thursday, before starting a series in Seattle Friday night, a series which will conclude the first half of the Tribe's schedule. Hopefully it concludes on a high note, maybe even with a four-game winning streak that began tonight.
Win Expectancy chart:
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