Indians improves to 37-30
Well, that was fun.
The Indians jumped all over the Chicago White Sox and their starting pitcher James Shields, scoring eight runs in the first two innings, and coasting to a 13-2 Saturday evening victory.
Many Cleveland players had big nights, but a few deserve special recognition. First, Tyler Naquin just keeps impressing and making his huge Spring Training numbers seem a bit less flukey. The center fielder had a huge night, going 3-3 with two walks, a home run, and four RBI’s. Through 41 games, Naquin is slashing .320/.375/.553 and has an extremely impressive 151 w/RC+.
Not to be outdone, Francisco Lindor racked up three hits, stole his 11th base, and made a few more slick plays at shortstop (becoming very normal). His sneaky great catch in the fifth inning in foul territory really highlighted just how fast he is.
The Tribe got off to a great start, plating five in the first, with RBI’s from Lindor, Mike Napoli (three run smash to right field), and Naquin. The good guys would add three more in the second inning, driving Shields from the game.
Some thought Shields was the veteran presence the White Sox would need to bolster their starting pitching, but that has been just a little bit wrong. The right-hander owns an absurdly bad 24.62 ERA over his last four starts, giving up 31 earned runs (?!?) in just 11 1/3 innings. Please keep sending him out every fifth day Chicago.
The Tribe’s starting pitcher, Danny Salazar, wasn’t extremely sharp, but was plenty good enough to earn his eighth win of the year. Salazar allowed two earned runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. It was good to see only one walk from Salazar, after struggling recently with allowing too many free passes.
One other positive note was the great crowd at Progressive Field. I mean, how good does an almost full ballpark look (and how spoiled were we in the 90’s)? Over 31k folks turned out for the ballgame and there were even some fans in the third deck seats in right field. Good on you Cleveland!
The Tribe will look for the sweep Sunday, sending Carlos Carrasco and his 3.40 ERA to the mound. The White Sox counter with young left-hander Carlos Rodon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET. Let’s Go Tribe!