The Cleveland Indians erupted late on Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, taking advantage of an erratic Brian Wilson to score three runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run single by Mike Aviles, in a 5-4 win over the Dodgers. Trevor Bauer couldn’t make it through six innings, lasting 5.2 innings while allowing three runs (all earned), on six hits, while walking and striking out a pair (102 pitches, 64 strikes – 62.7 percent). Bauer had one bad inning, allowing all three runs in the fifth, while being laid into by the bottom of the order, as Miguel Rojas scored on Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu‘s double before a walk to Dee Gordon and a single by Andre Ethier would bring the score to 3-2. The Indians bullpen Vinnie Pestano, Bryan Shaw, and Cody Allen had scoreless relief appearances, while Scott Atchison allowed a solo-homer to Scott Van Slyke to finish off the scoring at 5-4. Allen earned his eighth save, though some need bandages where their fingernails used to be, while Shaw earned a vulture win (#killthewin), moving to 3-1 on the season. Brian Wilson and his beard fell to 1-3.
The Indians have an off day on Thursday before opening a 10-game homestand on Friday against the Royals. The Dodgers head to Colorado with a four-game series against the Rockies.
– Matt Kemp was hitting .358/.424/.593 over his previous 23 games before the Indians arrived in Hollywood. He was just 1-for-13 in the series, including the long, long fly-out to end Wednesday’s game with the winning run on second base.
– The Indians’ bullpen pitched 10.2 innings over the three-game series in Los Angeles, allowing just one run (on the Van Slyke homer off of Atchison) in the series. The group allowed four walks and six hits over their strong series, but the day off will be useful, especially for Allen, who needed 34 pitches to record his four outs and save.
– After recording just two hits between June 11 and June 30 (2-for-49, .041/.161/.041), David Murphy is now 4-for-5 in July after his successful pinch-hit/defensive replacement and run scored on Wednesday. Bounce-back City!!!
– More odd than negative: Trevor Bauer saw more pitches in his two at-bats (11) than Mike Aviles did in his four (10). After his eventual game-winning hit, Tribe fans will take the aggressive nature of Aviles approach for another day.
– Though the Indians took the series by winning two of three games in Los Angeles, they are just 18-28 on the road. The 28 road losses are tops in the AL and 2nd to Colorado in MLB.
– Lonnie Chisenhall fell one plate appearance from qualifying for the batting title race. His .344 average would rank 2nd to Jose Altuve in the American League. The Indians haven’t had a player win the batting title since 1954, Bobby Avila. With Jeremy Guthrie and Yordano Ventura scheduled this weekend for the Royals, Chisenall could finally get there this weekend, but he’s just short another day.
Check It Out
– The Indians are 17-17 in day games after Wednesday’s win. They have won 8 of their last 11 and 12 of their last 18 afternoon delights.
– Tuesday night’s 7-2-4 triple play was only the second such triple play turned in Major League history, the other on June 15, 1986 when the Chicago White Sox pulled the trick in the second inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kingdome. (SABR)
– Home Sweet Home: The Indians return to Cleveland, where their 23 wins are the 4th most among AL teams. At 23-15 at home, the Indians are hoping to capitalize on their home success to catch the Royals this weekend, who are 3.5 games ahead of them in the AL Wild Card standings heading into their three-game series at Progressive Field.