The Cleveland Indians ran their winning streak to four straight games on Friday night at Progressive Field.
The Cleveland Indians started their last interleague series of the year with a convincing 6-2 win over the struggling Miami Marlins. This win was big for the Tribe, as the two teams trailing them in the American League Central (Detroit and Kansas City) are facing off in a three-game series this weekend. The Tigers came back with two runs in the ninth against Wade Davis to beat the Royals 7-6, remaining 4.5 games behind Cleveland.
Carlos Carrasco started Friday night’s game for Cleveland and threw a gem, putting up 7.1 scoreless innings. Jeff Manship had the only hiccup for Indians’ pitching when he gave up a two run home to J.T Realmuto in the eighth, but Cody Allen tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.
The Tribe had some good luck (more on that later) which led to a 3-0 lead after the first inning, and it was a lead that they would never relinquish. The club would score three more times on the night, courtesy of a Carlos Santana sacrifice fly and a two-run double by Abraham Almonte.
Andrew Cashner started for Miami and struggled the whole night, giving up six runs on six hits and six walks in five innings. The Marlins’ bullpen was able to stop the bleeding, as Austin Brice and Nefi Ogando combined to throw three scoreless innings.
It was one of those nights for Miami, as even first base coach Perry Hill managed to get ejected in the ninth inning.
Three walks and a knock
Cleveland jumpstarted its night by putting up a three spot in the first inning, and amazingly did so with only one hit. The Indians needed a break to get those runs, though, as they went from having no one one base with two outs to having two on and nobody out thanks to blatant missed call.
Jason Kipnis was awarded a walk when he clearly went too far on a check swing attempt, erasing what would have been a strike ’em out throw ’em out double play for Cashner. Fransisco Lindor then singled to load the bases, followed by a bases loaded walk to Mike Napoli and run-scoring groundouts from Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall to push three runs across the plate.
Miami manager Don Mattingly was obviously not pleased by the call, and made it known beyond a doubt after the game.
Carrasco continues to be a tale of two pitchers in the second half, and it was good Cookie that showed up in this game. He walked only one and struck out 11, the tenth double-digit punchout effort of his career. Carrasco, coming off of his worst month of the year after finishing August with a 2-3 record and a 5.20 ERA, had the Marlins looking lost at the plate, utilizing a slider which generated nine swings and misses.
The Indians addition of Coco Crisp has brought Almonte’s playoff eligibility issues into the limelight once more.
“It’s a little bit of a complicated calculus that we haven’t had to work through before, having a player that can help in the regular season, but not in the postseason,” Tribe president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said when the acquisition was officially announced. “So, that was something that we had to balance.”
The inability to help the team if it should make the postseason doesn’t appear to have fazed Almonte, though. He went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs Friday night, increasing his hitting streak to seven games and improving to a .285/.307/.438 slash line with 17 doubles and16 RBIs on the year. The 27-year old has provided a much-needed spark for the club of late, and has an important role to play, while he can play, down the stretch.