In the third week of the season, the Indians (11-9) took three of six games at home against Kansas City and Los Angeles. They struggled early, dropping the series against the Royals, but were able to rebound against the Angels. Through most of the week, the Tribe’s bats were silent, but pitching from the bullpen and the starters kept them in the games.
Overall, the Indians went 3-3 in a homestand against the Kansas City Royals and the Anaheim Angels.
Game 15: Indians 4, Royals 3
Jack Hannahan did it again. He was the hero at the plate Tuesday, backing a solid six-inning performance from Indians starter Derek Lowe. The Royals started to stage a comeback in the late innings, but Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez were able to limit the damage and keep the lead. Offensively, the Indians struggled as a whole, going 2-12 with runners in scoring position; this was to be a theme for the week. (full recap here)
Game 16: Royals 8, Indians 2
The Royals brought their 12-game losing streak to an end on Wednesday night. Nothing was working for the Indians, from the pitching and hitting down to the mental breakdowns of fielding errors. A groundball that rolled between infielders Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth inning seemed to seal the deal on the Indians’ fate as the Royals were able to add two runs and mount a lead the Indians could not overcome. (full recap here)
Game 17: Royals 4, Indians 2
The Indians’ woes continued on Thursday with their second straight loss at the hands of the Royals. Josh Tomlin struggled on the mound from the get-go, surrendering a run in the first and two more in the fifth. The offense again failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities. In the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and no outs, the Indians were only able to plate one run on a Travis Hafner sac fly. (full recap here)
Game 18: Indians 3, Angels 2
W: Vinnie Pestano, L: David Carpenter
Late-inning magic returned to Progressive Field on Friday night with the Indians’ walk-off win against the Angels. Justin Masterson started the game with a solid performance, going 8.1 innings while allowing two runs on four hits, five walks and five strikeouts. The Tribe’s bats were silent for most of the night, but came up big when it mattered the most. In the ninth inning, Aaron Cunningham led off with a double, moved to third on a single from Jason Kipnis. Asdrubal Cabrera was the hero on Friday night, when he delivered the hit that would bring home Cunningham and seal the win for the Tribe. (full recap here)
Game 19: Angels 2, Indians 1
Gomez pieced together a strong outing, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings. Joe Smith and Nick Hagadone combined for three innings of relief, holding the Angels hitless. The offense was unable to back the pitching, as the Tribe batsmen were able to score just one run on four hits. The Tribe’s lone run came after Jason Kipnis led off the fourth inning with a single, moving to second base on a walk from Asdrubal Cabrera. Jack Hannahan brought Kipnis home on a single to right field. (full recap here)
Game 20: Indians 4, Angels 0
W: Derek Lowe, L: Ervin Santana
Lowe came out with a strong effort Sunday to help Cleveland complete the series win against the Angels. Lowe pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out one. The Indians were able to capitalize on errors from the Angels defense. The Tribe got on the board in the fifth inning when the Torii Hunter lost a fly ball in the sun, allowing two runs to score, then added two insurance runs in the eighth. Jack Hannahan reached base on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error, allowing Jason Donald to score, who was a pinch runner for Travis Hafner who had singled to lead off the inning. Carlos Santana, who also reached base with a single earlier in the inning, came home on a Shelley Duncan sacrifice fly. Chris Perez came on to close the game, striking out Albert Pujols and Hunter. (full recap here)