Jun 8, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Michael Brantley (23), center fielder Michael Bourn (24) and right fielder David Murphy (7) celebrate after the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Cleveland beat Texas 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Indians Push Above .500 in Second Straight Win

Tribe Takes Down Rangers 3-2, Now a Winning Team

On Sunday night, the Indians used stingy pitching and more help from Lonnie Chisenhall‘s bat to win consecutive games on the road for the first time this year.  After wasting a lot of early opportunities to get to left-hander Joe Saunders, the Indians finally broke a 1-all tie in the sixth on Ryan Raburn‘s RBI single off Shawn Tolleson.  A sacrifice fly by David Murphy would prove to be a necessary insurance run; back to back extra-base hits off Justin Masterson put the tying run on third with one out in the bottom half of the inning.  Fortunately, Masterson was able to get Chris Gimenez on a weak grounder to first, and Marc Rzepczynski came on to get the final out.

The Positives

David Murphy continued to have a great weekend in his return to Texas, adding two more hits and a sacrifice fly to his series numbers.  Lonnie Chisenhall is still just absolutely on fire, slapping another pair of singles and crossing the plate twice.  Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen were fantastic again.  On days when Justin Masterson doesn’t have his best stuff, it’s great to have a bullpen the Indians can feel comfortable turning a lead over to.

The Negatives

Well, it’s never fun to watch Michael Brantley go 0-for-5, but it’s not exactly cause for concern, either.  Still, I’m hoping his early-season power wasn’t just a fluke.  We’d all love to see that come back soon.  Masterson wasn’t exactly sharp on the mound, and though he got the job done it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever become a truly consistent pitcher.  And if we’re being really picky, 9 of the Indians’ 10 hits were singles.  They’ve done a great job driving in runs with clumps of singles and walks lately, but some power here and there would certainly help put up more crooked numbers.

Check It Out

-Elvis Andrus went 0-for-4, finally putting his 39-game hitting streak against the Indians to an end.

-Lonnie Chisenhall has 174 plate appearances on the year.  He would need 196 at this point in the season to qualify for the batting title.  If he’s in the lineup every day from this point forward, he’ll likely be able to qualify before the end of the month.

-The Indians have now won 8 of their last 9 games, propelling them to 2nd place in the AL Central and only 3 games back of the Tigers for first.  They’re also only a game and a half behind Seattle for the second Wild Card spot.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson Lonnie Chisenhall

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