Corey Kluber was stellar as the Indians overpowered the Mariners in a 5-3 win. The Tribe’s ace went seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out 13 batters – including striking out the side in his seventh and final inning. Meanwhile, the Mariners sent James Paxton to the mound. The young left-hander had to leave with a finger injury after just 4.2 rough innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk, including an unearned run. He also struck out four, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Tribe at bay.
Brandon Moss launched a one-out solo home run to center field in the top of the second inning to give the Tribe an early lead, but Seattle tied it up in the bottom of the third inning when Mike Zunino hit a one-out solo homer of his own.
The game didn’t stay tied for long. Moss and Jose Ramirez hit back-to-back singles and Michael Bourn walked to load the bases for Jason Kipnis, who got an RBI base hit to give the Tribe the lead again. Mike Aviles was up next, and he reached on a fielding error by the shortstop as another run scored. Bourn managed to score on an infield groundout off of the bat of Michael Brantley, giving the Tribe a 4-1 lead. They added yet another run in the sixth inning, when Ramirez doubled and scored.
The Mariners attempted a comeback in the sixth inning, when Dustin Ackley hit a two-run homer to 5-3 in favor of the Indians, but Kluber and the bullpen made sure that didn’t happen.
Kluber was stellar again, even if he wasn’t quite as perfect as he has been lately. Kipnis continues to scorch the ball, going 2-for-4 on Thursday night. Brantley, Moss and Ramirez had similarly good nights at the plate, and Marc Rzepczynski and Cody Allen pitched very well out of the bullpen. The Tribe looks like a team again, and it’s hard to pinpoint one specific area that’s really carrying the team. They have consistent base runners, they’re driving in runs, and the pitching and defense are both solid. This is the team everyone expected to see.
It’s been hard to find negatives with as well as the Tribe has been playing lately, but if there are any, it’s that they’re not stealing bases successfully as often as one might expect with as much speed as they have on this team. That’s a very minor issue, since they’re scoring enough runs to win, but it’s nice to be able to complain about a small problem rather than worrying about the whole roster.
More from Away Back Gone
- Cleveland Guardians tantalizingly close to locking up AL Central tiebreakers
- Cleveland Guardians: Terry Francona becomes meme in profanity-laced ejection
- Say goodbye to defensive shifts and hello to bigger bases, pitch clock in 2023
- Cleveland Guardians: Shane Bieber second-fastest to 800 strikeouts in major-league history
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
Check It Out
– Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano missed Thursday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Cano is hitting just .253/.296/.333 this season, with one home run. In other roster moves, the Indians added Scott Atchison to the 15-day disabled list with an ankle injury and put Carlos Santana on the paternity list, calling up both reliever Austin Adams and utility man Jerry Sands.
– Kipnis tied and then broke a franchise record, as he now has 48 hits this month, the most hits ever recorded by an Indians player in May. He still has three more days left in the month to set the bar even higher.
– On Friday, the Tribe will see Taijuan Walker, who is off to a rough start this year. The young right-hander is 1-5, with a 7.33 ERA, despite striking out 39 batters in 43 innings. He will hope to return to last year’s form, when he was 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA. Meanwhile, the Tribe will send Trevor Bauer to the mound. Bauer is 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA so far this year, and he has 55 strikeouts.