The Indians came out with guns blazing last night and it showed. Having just come off a defeat at the hands of the Twins to end their six-game winning streak, the Indians were looking to pick themselves up and get back into the win column against the Oakland Athletics. Mission accomplished as the Indians unleashed a flurry of home runs off of Jarrod Parker and the rest of the A’s pitching staff.
Things got going early for the Indians in the bottom of the first inning. The suddenly hot Jason Kipnis followed up a solid weekend series by slamming an opposite field homer into the left center bleachers. Not one to miss out on all of the fun, Asdrubal Cabrera followed up the Kipnis homer with a solo shot of his own. The back to back dingers gave the Tribe a 2-0 lead and continued the awful performance from Parker to begin the year.
In the top of the fourth, the A’s got on the board when Yoenis Cespedes homered to the bleachers in left off of Ubaldo Jimenez. The home run cut the Tribe lead in half, 2-1, and provided the A’s with some new life. It didn’t last.
In the bottom of the fifth, Cabrera struck again for the Indians. His home run to right, his second of the night, put the Tribe up 3-1. Following a Nick Swisher strikeout, Mark Reynolds came to the plate and unleashed his wrath on the baseball. His gargantuan 457 foot home run that landed about three rows from the top of the bleachers pushed the lead up to 4-1. The home run was Reynolds’ tenth on the year and was further proof that he is back to being the player he was a few years ago with Arizona.
In the top of the sixth, things began to get a bit shaky for Indians’ starter Ubaldo Jimenez. After five somewhat simple innings, Jimenez worked multiple runners on to the base paths before allowing a sac fly to Yoenis Cespedes. Jimenez then responded by loading up the bases with two outs before giving way to Nick Hagadone. Hagadone, entered the high leverage situation and ultimately struck out struggling slugger Josh Reddick to end the inning and the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Indians added insurance when Jason Giambi delivered a two-run single to center. Ryan Raburn then followed Giambi with an RBI double to put the Tribe ahead by a score of 7-2. The A’s would add another run in the top half of the eighth, but it was nowhere near enough. When the dust settled, the Indians had taken the game by a final score of 7-3.
The Good: Ubaldo Jimenez. For all of the good from the offense, Ubaldo Jimenez having yet another solid outing is a huge development. Throwing 5.2 innings and allowing only 2 runs in the process. The Indians will take that every day of the week.
Oh, and Mark Reynolds. Stop it. Seriously, just stop it. If he keep this up, he’s going to be arrested and brought in for questioning by the Cleveland Police Department for the murder of several dozens of baseballs.
The Bad: Despite the fact that the Indians put seven runs on the board, they still left nine runners on base. How much more damage could they have done had they been able to get some more timely hits in run scoring situations? Better yet, how much better could this team be if that happens?
The “Huh?”: The Indians hit four more home runs last night. That brings the season total to 40. When was the last time the Indians had 40 home runs this early into the season? On top of that, Mark Reynolds is half way to 20 home runs. Nobody on the Indians roster hit 20 home runs all of last season.