Reaction: Santana, McAllister lead Cleveland Indians over A’s

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The heart of the Cleveland Indians lineup looks to be getting into shape for the start of regular season. Behind a strong start from Zach McAllister, the Indians pounded the Oakland Athletics by a final score of 8-3. The Indians scored early, they scored often, and they looked like every bit of the high powered offense many think they can be. 

The Indians got out to an early lead on A’s starter Chris Bassitt. In the bottom of the first, Carlos Santana got things going with a sacrifice fly to left. A few batters later, Lonnie Chisenhall smashed a double to right field. The double scored Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley to push the Indians out front to a 3-0 lead.

Two innings later Santana struck again, only this time it was with a bit more authority. Ahead in the count, 1-0, Santana launched a two-run home run to the bleachers in right field. The homer, Santana’s third of the spring, staked the Tribe to a 5-0 lead. It turns out it was more than enough for McAllister, who appeared to be back in top form on this day.

McAllister worked four solid innings for the Indians as he continues to compete for one of the final spots in the rotation. If it mattered at all, today’s performance should go a long way in helping him state his case. In those four innings of work, McAllister surrendered one run on two hits while striking out four and only walking two. With the victory, McAllister is now 2-1 this spring with a 3.21 ERA.

The Indians later pushed three additional runs across the plate thanks to an RBI double from Roberto Perez, and RBI singles from Michael Martinez and Jerry Sands.

Positives:

1. Zach McAllister’s performance was one of the many highlights on the day. Once a lock for the rotation, his struggles in recent years have led many to doubt his abilities. Can he finally turn things around and make a positive contribution after a few rough seasons?

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2. Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana continue to impress at the dish. Let’s just hope they can take their positive spring performances up north with them. If they can both get off to a hot start, that could mean big things for the Indians.

3. Michael Brantley also continues to impress. The Tribe’s MVP from a year ago looks to be on the fast track to a repeat performance of his 2014 breakout.

Next: Swisher likely to miss Opening Day

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