Just when things were beginning to look bleak and everyone was beginning to wonder whether the Indians were going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline, they decided to put the pedal to the metal and put on an impressive three-day display of baseball prowess. The victim in this trilogy of baseball bludgeoning? The Texas Rangers, who fell victim to the Indians for the third straight day on Wednesday in a 6-0 drubbing.
However, despite the impressive offensive display put forth, Sunday’s victory begins at the center of the diamond. Tribe starter Ubaldo Jimenez continued his wicked ways on the mound, slicing and dicing his way through the Rangers lineup over the course of eight strong innings of work. Simply put, he was sensational. Over the course of those eight innings of work, Jimenez allowed only two hits and three walks and never allowed the Rangers to get anything going. It continued a run of dominance for Jimenez that has seen him become a solid #2 or #3 after Justin Masterson.
However, the same could not be said for Texas starter Alexi Ogando. The former closer turned starter with the electric arm was unable to make it through five complete innings. He allowed only one run over the course of 4.2 innings of work, but failed to impress in his second start since coming off of the DL.
Meanwhile, the Indians scored their first run of the game off of Ogando in the fifth when Jason Kipnis singled to right following a walk to Michael Bourn and a single to Nick Swisher. For Kipnis, the RBI was his team leading 63rd of the season and continued his impressively hot assault on American League pitching.
The Indians would strike again in the bottom of the sixth. Michael Brantley singled to lead off the inning. Carlos Santana followed with a single to left. Then with two out, Yan Gomes singled back up the middle to score Brantley. The run was a bit of a gift as a misplay by the Rangers gave Gomes new life at the plate. On a foul ball down the left field line Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus collided awkwardly, allowing the ball to drop foul and keep Gomes alive. Following Gomes, Michael Bourn delivered a two run double off of the wall in left center to score both Santana and Gomes to make it a 5-0 game.
The Indians would score their sixth and final run of the game in the bottom half of the eighth. Mike Aviles, who was brought on to pinch hit for Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth, homered to the home run porch out in left to put the Tribe up 6-0. It was a nice exclamation point on a game and series that saw the Indians dominate.
The Tribe will look to continue their winning ways when they welcome the Chicago White Sox to town for a four game set beginning this evening. The White Sox come into play an AL Central worst 40-62, 18 games back of the division leading Tigers.
The Good: Ubaldo Jimenez was the best part of Sunday’s game, hands down. His eight shut out innings were another great sign in what has been a turn around season for Jimenez. After struggling for so long over the course of the past season and a half, Jimenez looks like he has finally figured a few things out in 2013. He is not the flame throwing ace from his days in Colorado, but he is definitely a legitimate second option in this rotation, especially when he is pitching the way he did on Sunday.
The Bad: There was nothing bad about Sunday’s game. A 6-0 win and a series sweep against an AL contender… Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
The “Huh?”: There were a couple of head scratching moments to come from yesterday’s game. First of all, Terry Francona‘s decision to pinch hit for Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth inning was a bit peculiar. Sure, Robbie Ross is a lefty and Chisenhall struggles against lefties, but why not let him hit and try to build up his confidence in that situation.
The second head scratcher, Elvis Andrus. Andrus got another hit on Sunday against the Indians meaning that he has gotten a hit in each and every game he has ever played in against them. That’s a 36 game hitting streak against the Indians. Absolutely unreal and one of those stats that just makes you say, “Huh?”