The Cleveland Indians fell to the New York Yankees in a sloppy Sunday affair 11-7 as they closed out the first half the season. The Indians fell to 52-36 with the loss but thanks to the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago White Sox all losing as well, they maintained their 6.5 game lead in the American League Central division. It’s their largest lead at the All-Star break since 1999. With the win, the Yankees moved to 44-44 and avoided their first sub-.500 first half since 1995.
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Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco (L, 5-3) had a rough day, though most of it was not his fault. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings on the afternoon allowing five runs; however, just one run was earned. Even the run that was “earned” really was allowed only because of a misplay by the defense. Carrasco did allow five hits and two walks on the day and struck out four. Errors by Carlos Santana at first base and Jose Ramirez at third base accounted for the unearned runs while a missed catch in right field (ruled a double) by Lonnie Chisenhall also cost Carrasco. The big blow against him though came on a three-run home run by Jacoby Ellsbury in the 2nd inning, making it 4-0 Yankees at the time.
After Carrasco left, things went from bad to worse for the Indians as Austin Adams allowed two runs (both earned) in just 1/3 of an inning. All told the Yankees scored six times in the 5th inning off Adams, Jeff Manship, T.J. House, and Joseph Colon. Just two of the runs were earned as a throwing error by All-Star Francisco Lindor allowed another four runs to score in the inning, seemingly putting the game out of reach at 11-1 Yankees. One of the lone bright spots on the mound came from Colon, who worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just one hit, walked none, and struck out three. Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw then closed out the game with scoreless innings of their own.
The Tribe’s offense, much like the Yankees’, was the beneficiary of some poor defense that helped them score. Like the Yankees, despite scoring seven runs, only three of theirs were also earned on the afternoon. They got to Yanks’ starter Mashiro Tanaka in the 2nd inning for one run an RBI single by Rajai Davis, scoring Mike Napoli and making it 4-1 Yankees. The Indians then knocked Tanaka out of the game in the 5th inning, matching the Yankees’ six-spot they put up in the top half of the inning. Lindor doubled home Santana to get the scoring started in the inning before Ramirez added an RBI single to make it 11-3 Yankees. A throwing error by Yankees’ shortstop Didi Gregorius allowed Davis to reach and Napoli and Ramirez to score making it 11-4. One batter later, rookie Tyler Naquin clubbed his ninth home run of the season (all coming in the last six weeks), a two-run shot to right to make it 11-7.
Unfortunately for the Indians, that’s all they’d be able to muster as former starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings in relief to earn his seventh win of the season. After collecting 10 hits off Tanaka, the Indians got just one off Eovaldi, a two-out single by Kipnis in the 8th inning. The Indians also left nine men on base on the afternoon, including the bases loaded in the 2nd inning.
The Indians will now enjoy four days off with the All-Star break coming up this week. All but Lindor and Corey Kluber will get the time off. Danny Salazar will not pitch in the game now as the team announced he’s dealing with some mild elbow discomfort. Chicago’s Jose Quintana will take his place on the roster. Salazar will still go to the game, and he’s still on schedule to start on July 19th after the break. The Indians have also announced that the rotation coming out of the break will look like this: Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, Kluber, and Salazar.