Indians bats explode off Hamels, rout Phillies 10-4
Tribe offense comes to life in the series finale to earn a two-game split
For the first time since 1954, the Indians won a ballgame in the City of Brotherly Love, routing the Philadelphia Phillies and lefty Cole Hamels 10-4 on Wednesday.
A 17-game winner just one season ago, Hamels (1-6, 4.61 ERA) went just five innings, giving up five runs on six hits for his National League-leading sixth loss of the season.
A four-game winner in his career, Tribe starter Corey Kluber outpitched the Phillies three-time All-Star, yielding just three runs on six hits through six innings. After getting roughed up for eight runs against Detroit in his last start, Kluber (3-2, 5.40 ERA) pounded the strike zone to notch his first win since April 28.
Entering play having scored just three runs in their last three games, the Indians' offense exploded for 10 runs on 11 hits for their eight victory over the last 12 games. Splitting the two-game set with the Phils, Cleveland also take the season series against their NL East foes three games to one.
Like so many times already this season, it was the Tribe offense that got on the board first on a two-run double by Mark Reynolds in the third inning. Driving in two runs on the clutch two-bagger, the first baseman collected his team leading 33 and 34 RBIs of the season.
Philadelphia did not go quietly, as the game turned into a back-and-forth seesaw battle at Citizens Bank Ballpark just a half inning later.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins cut the deficit to 2-1 on an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame, before the Tribe continued to do what they have done all season long: Go deep.
Indians third baseman Mike Aviles answered back in the fourth inning with his third long ball on the year, taking a first pitch fastball by Hamels for a solo shot to put the Tribe up 3-1. Coming to Cleveland along with backup catcher Yan Gomes from Toronto for reliever Esmil Rogers this offseason, Aviles has fit in well in limited time at the plate.
In 24 games, Aviles is now hitting .266 with three homers and 12 RBI. With third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall sent down to Triple-A Columbus earlier this week, Aviles will serve as the team’s primary third baseman against left-handed pitching.
Cleveland extended their lead to 5-1 in fifth inning after second baseman Jason Kipnis doubled to lead off the frame. Then, Nick Swisher got into the offensive act with a towering two-run homer to the seats in left field for his sixth long ball on the year. The right fielder is now hitting .292 (14-for-48) with four doubles, two home runs and six RBI against left-handed pitching.
Philly stormed right back again with two runs of their own on another two out hit by Rollins. Kluber silenced the opposition to just one run on four hits before the Philadelphia shortstop laced a two-run double to right field, making the score 5-3.
Scoring five runs through the first five innings, the Cleveland offense was just heating up.
Extending his hitting streak to six games in the first inning, Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera also added a two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning before the Indians put the game away for good on the bat of Kipnis.
The 26-year-old second baseman launched a three-run homer off Phillies lefty Raul Valdes to seal the victory. For Kipnis, his sixth long ball was his fourth home run over his last 10 games.
Scoring 10 runs Wednesday afternoon, Cleveland improves to 17-3 when scoring four runs or more in a game.
Although he finished the day hitless at the plate, Kluber also put up solid at-bats at the plate in what were his first plate appearances in the big leagues. While he didn’t fare as well as starter Josh Tomlin last season, Kluber walked once and lined out to deep left field.
With the win, the Indians improves their record to 22-17 and move up to just a half-game out of first place behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central Division.
The Tribe will now take a much needed off day on Thursday before beginning a three-game weekend series with the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field. Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2, 5.55 ERA) will take the hill for the Wahoo’s against M’s right-hander Brandon Maurer (2-5, 5.97 ERA) on Friday night. Jimenez is a perfect 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last three starts.
Notes: Cleveland is now 16-3 when scoring the game’s first run this season….As great of a start as 22-17 is for the Tribe, the team began last year with the same exact record through the first 39 games of the 2012 season….Kluber threw 63 of his 92 pitches in the ballgame for strikes.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindor should be in Akron real soon. Columbus next yr and clev in '14.