The Cleveland Indians continued their season-long dominance of the Los Angeles Angels, battering the Halos for eight runs on Tuesday night in a 8-0 victory to move to 5-0 this season against the City of Angels’ American League team.
Jordan Luplow, making his first back-to-back starts since returning from the IL, got things started, as he is wont to do against left-handed pitching. With Jose Suarez on the mound and Yasiel Puig at first after being hit by a pitch, Luplow lined a two-run shot into the left field bullpen to spot the Indians a 2-0 lead in the second inning. When the bases were loaded with two outs the following inning, it was Luplow who battled back from a 1-2 count to draw the walk and bring in a run.
But it was Franmil Reyes who stepped to the plate and blew the game open with a two-out, bases-clearing double on the first pitch from Suarez, opening up a 6-0 lead for the Tribe.
Francisco Lindor launched his 30th home run of the season in the seventh inning, a solo shot that extended the Indians’ lead to 7-0. But the homer was worth a bit more than an extra insurance run for Lindor, who became the fourth player in franchise history to record three consecutive 30+ home run seasons, joining the ranks of Albert Belle, Jim Thome, and Manny Ramirez.
The Tribe loaded the bases again after Lindor’s solo shot in the seventh, setting the table for a sac fly from Reyes to score Oscar Mercado from third base.
There was a mild bout of extracurricular excitement in the third inning, when Suarez hit Yasiel Puig for the second time in as many innings. Puig didn’t take too kindly to the repeat offense and stopped halfway to first base to exchange words with Suarez before being escorted the rest of the way. He drew a walk in his next at-bat and was promptly booed by the home crowd.
Zach Plesac did his part to keep that home crowd subdued. Without Mike Trout in the lineup, the Angels didn’t put forth much of a challenge for the Tribe’s rookie starter. Plesac’s command of his four-seam fastball was outstanding. He cruised to a complete game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out five in the best outing of his young big league career.
And the YouTube broadcast wasn’t so bad.
The one downside from the night: The Indians gained no ground on the Twins, the Rays, or the A’s. All three of them won their games on Tuesday night.