On a gorgeous afternoon in downtown Cleveland the Indians thumped the Baltimore Orioles 8-0. The Indians took control early but Melky Cabrera hit his fourth career grand slam in the fourth inning to blow the game open. The Indians have now won seven consecutive series against their opponents and own a record of 13-4 in August.
Yandy Diaz opened the scoring for the Tribe with an RBI double in bottom of first. Hit the base of the wall at the 375 mark in right field. For a moment I thought it was going out, and I deeply regretted the fact that I was in line on the other side of the stadium at Build-A-Burger.
In the second, Roberto Perez laid a sac bunt to move Kipnis to third after a lead off double down the line. Since Perez is pretty much an automatic out, it might as well be a productive one, right? He almost bunted for a hit on the first try but it rolled foul. Erik Gonzalez lined out, but Allen poked a single to center field to stretch the lead to two.
The game really got out of control in the fourth. Eleven men batted in the inning, starting with Erik Gonzalez, who legged out an infield single. He then reached third on a successful hit and run with Greg Allen. Brantley doubled down the line in left, scoring Gonzalez and putting runners on second and third with no outs. When the count went 3-0 against Jose Ramirez, Showalter elected to put Ramirez on rather than give him up to three chances to go yard. Unfortunately for the Orioles, Diaz worked a full count walk and earned his second RBI of the I’m game.
Melky Cabrera officially blew the game open with a 407 grand slam into the left field bleachers. This one was a no-doubter from the moment of contact, and the place went nuts. If the Indians manage to put together inning like that in October than Progressive Field is going to be a month-long party.
On the mound, Clevinger didn’t look dominant. The good news is that the box score doesn’t care. He tossed six shutout innings while striking out seven and walking one. He evened out his performance with a fine stretch of innings toward the end of his outing. Early on, though, he benefitted from a successful pickoff at first and a double play to navigate out of trouble. Dominance is great, but if all of his games looked like this afternoons’s I would be perfectly happy with that.
Tidbits of the Tribal Variety
- Greg Allen is riding a 12-game hitting streak after going 2-4 today.
- The Indian’s lead the American league with 13 shutouts after today’s combined effort.
- Francisco Lindor finally got a day off today, and Erik Gonzalez did fine filling in at shortstop. The only real fielding miscue today came courtesy of a Jason Kipnis overthrow.
Tomorrow night the Indians start a four game series against the Boston Red Sox in what might end up being a preview of the ALCS.