Indians offensive surge continues, route Phillies 14-2
Tribe bats explode to give the team its third straight win
Just what the doctor ordered.
The Indians continued their hot play on Tuesday as they routed the Philadelphia Phillies in a slugfest, 14-2. Tribe bats exploded for 14 runs on 16 hits to win their third consecutive game.
Offensively, Cleveland greeted Interleague play and Phillies starter Roy Halladay with a knockout, belting a Progressive Field record seven home runs in the contest. The team came just one long ball shy of tying the club record of eight homers set in 2004.
“We’ll take runs any way we can get them,” Tribe manager Terry Francona said. “The ball was carrying tonight, and I thought we had a really good approach.”
While it was a night to remember for Indians fans, it was a forgettable night for Doc Halladay as he surrendered eight runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
Major League Baseball’s batting leader Carlos Santana would get the Cleveland offense rolling with his fifth homer of the season in the first inning. Just two batters later, first baseman Mark Reynolds took a Halladay cutter the other way for the Indians second two-run home run of the inning. For Reynolds, it was already his eighth long ball in the month of April.
And that was just the beginning, as fans in attendance were treated to a Cleveland home run derby. Long balls from Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley, Drew Stubbs and two home runs by Ryan Raburn put the game away early.
Off his 4-for-4 and two home run performance on Monday, Raburn scorched two more long balls on Tuesday as he went 3-for-4 driving in three runs on the night.
“He’s a good hitter,” Francona said of his right fielder. “He has helped us win games and he has to feel good about himself.”
Raburn became the first Indians hitter since Travis Hafner in 2004 to belt two homers in a game in two consecutive nights.
“Mine usually come in bunches,” Raburn said. “I’m just trying to have good quality at-bats out there and help the club anyway I can.”
Speaking of bunches, the Tribe offense has scored in bunches over their last three games.
Since being shutout 9-0 by the Kansas City Royals in the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday, the Indians have outscored the opposition, 33-5. They have also out-hit opponents 45-16 over the same three game stretch.
Tuesday’s offensive surge came without the likes of first baseman Nick Swisher, who sat out with a sore left shoulder.
“It’s more fun when a guy like Swish is getting time off and you’re winning using the whole ballclub,” Francona said. I thought we did a real good job extending innings and doing our damage after we extended the inning.”
The Indans are now 9-2 when scoring first in a ballgame.
Not to be left out in the offensive onslaught was Tribe starter Zach McAllister, who was outstanding in his seven innings of work, yielding just two runs on five hits for his second victory on the year. In five starts on the year, the right-hander has yet to give up more than three runs in an outing.
“I thought I had a pretty good mix tonight,” McAllister said. “This was probably one of my best mixing games using all my pitches.”
While Cleveland has certainly scored their fair share of runs during this three game winning streak, they have also gotten great starting pitching performances.
Over the last three ballgames, Indians starters are now 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA spanning 21 innings.
Home runs certainly stole the spotlight, but Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi was also the talk around the team after the game.
Up 14-2 in the eighth inning, Giambi dove headfirst into first base to beat out an infield single. The slide and hustle impressed Francona.
“If you’re a young player after seeing that and you don’t run a ball out, you should be humiliated,” Francona said. “That’s a guy who cares.”
The 42-year old slugger thinks things are finally starting to come together for the Tribe.
“Guys are starting to relax and we’ve been able to get the big two out hits of late,” Giambi said. “If you want to consider yourself a contender, you have to win like that sometimes without guys. It was a huge win for us tonight.”
Cleveland will look to stay red hot sending 22-year old Trevor Bauer (0-1, 5.40 ERA) to the mound in Wednesday’s series finale. He will be matched up against former Indians lefty and 2008 Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee (2-1, 3.03 ERA).
Notes: Tuesday also marked the first visit for the Phillies at Progressive Field since 2007.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wouldn't worry too much about Swisher and his sore shoulder. He was just 4 for his last 25 at the plate and did not have a day off until last night. He may be held out again tonight though, but with no game on Thursday, Swish should be ready to go at the latest by Friday night's game vs Minnesota.
It will be tough to repeat, but hopefully the bats stay hot tonight against Lee
Now that the Indians' bats are waking up he might win a few games.
Last year the Tribe only had 37 home runs by right-handed hitters all year. This year they hit 23 in April alone. Wow.
I wouldn't take Raburn out of the lineup right now. He's locked in big time.
Nick Swisher needs some time off because his shoulder is bothering him due to switching back and forth between RF and 1B. Huh? Neither position involves doing a lot of throwing - almost none at all. I'm not liking this.
The way Raburn is hitting maybe they should just platoon him and Stubbs in RF after Bourn returns and let Swish alternate with Reynolds at 1B/DH.
It's great to see Droobs, Kipnis, and Chiz starting to bang the ball.