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Late home run squelches Indians’ chance of rally in 6-2 loss

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Teoscar Hernandez went deep in the 8th and the Jays’ bullpen kept the door shut.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Former Indians’ farmhand Thomas Pannone handed his old organization a loss as he recorded his second win in the Major Leagues. Home runs by Francisco Lindor and Brandon Barnes resulted in the only runs for the Indians before the Blue Jays’ bullpen held them at bay the rest of the way. One bright spot? Jose Ramirez joined the 30-30 club.

The Indians fall to 81-62 on the season with nineteen games remaining.

What I’m saying is this: they could totally still win 100 games, you guys.

On the Mound

Mike Clevinger struggled with control early despite touching 96 on the radar gun throughout the day. As is common for a start by a Indians’ pitcher, we find ways to be concerned when many other teams would be pleased because of how accustomed we are to their brilliance. Clevigner left the game after six inning while striking out eight, walking two, and allowing three runs. Something something quality start, gave the team a chance to win, general dismissive tone about how we’re fine if that’s an iffy start for our guys, and so on. If you’ve been around here before you know the drill, and if you haven’t you’re already using the subject line down in the comments.

The problem with a start like that is this: you give the team a chance to win.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, reliever Jon Edwards allowed a lead-off double. He then erased the lead runner thanks to a fine throw to third on a ground ball by Erik Gonzalez. With a chance to escape the inning he induced another grounder that Yandy Diaz snared and fired to second. At the very least the lead runner should have been cut down again; at best, Jose Ramirez could have fired a bullet to turn two. The ball skipped off of the heel of Ramirez’s glove and everyone was safe thanks to the error. Teoscar Hernandez hit the next pitch out of the park for three runs and put the game to bed. The Indians put two runners on base in the top of the ninth, but with two outs already recorded they couldn’t string together the hits to come back.

At the Plate

Cleveland’s offensive woes changed for a moment in the second half of the game, although it wouldn’t change the final result. Tyrod Taylor scored a touchdown to cap a drive on which Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb blasted through the right side of the line for consistent gains. Then, in the fourth quarter, he lobbed a pass to the front pylon that Josh Gordon somehow — —

Whoops, wrong game.

Or maybe I’m just trying to steal a couple of clicks back from the Browns.

What did give the Indians a little offensive boost? A gorgeous moonshot by Brandon Barnes. Pannone tried to sneak a fastball inside, but Barnes cleared his hands sent the ball on a tour of the Rogers Centre roof and second deck. As noted, the encouraging boost did not last.

Other than that, we can celebrate another Francisco Lindor home run, along with two nice hits by Michael Brantley. Edwin Encarnacion, Yan Gomes, and Brandon Guyer also drew one walk each.

That’s about all there is to write about the Tribe offense today. Some games that kind of output is enough to put you over the top. For example, the Blue Jays had but six hits and two walks. For the Indians’ today the hits didn’t happen in the right order.

Tribe Tidbit

  • Randal Grichuk took a stool to the face in the top of the fourth inning. No, a bar fight did not break out at the Rogers Centre (though I wouldn’t put that past Jays fans). He tracked a fly ball into foul territory, then slid to make a catch. The security person on that side of the field didn’t move away quickly enough and tried to bail at the last second along with his stool. One of the legs struck Grichuk on the left side of his face, around the eye orbital. It did not look pretty, and after a few minutes on the ground he walked off the field with the help of two trainers, face buried in a towel.

No injuries are fun, but I hope he doesn’t miss any significant time or feel any lasting effects from such a preventable and freakish accident.

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The Tribe make their way down to Tampa to take on the Rays. Tomorrow night Corey Kluber faces off against... well, someone. You can’t really be sure with the way the Rays are managing their staff.