Indians look to even the series with Angels tonight

For the second time in as many games, the Cleveland Indians played an extra inning affair, though the results were not as favorable on Friday night in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in 11 innings.

The Indians lone run came in the fourth on a groundout by Travis Hafner.

After Asdrubal Cabrera led off the inning getting hit by a pitch from Angels’ starter Tyler Chatwood, Carlos Santana followed two batters later with a single to shallow center to put runners at the corners. Hafner then hit a sharper grounder to first baseman Howie Kendrick that scored AC.

That was all the offense the Indians were able to muster.

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Tribe takes two out of three in Oakland

All good things must come to an end, right? I mean, you didn’t think that the Cleveland Indians were going to go 154-8, did you?

On Wednesday night, the Oakland A’s ended the Tribe’s seven-game winning streak with a 3-1 win at Overstock.com Coliseum.

On Thursday afternoon, though, the Indians got back to their winning ways to start a new streak as Cleveland defeated Oakland, 4-3, in 12 innings to take two out of the three games in the series.

Yesterday’s game was a huge win in extras as Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson each came through with RBI singles in the top of the 12th.

Marson, starting at catcher as Carlos Santana had the day off, went 3-for-5 with an RBI while Asdrubal Cabrera had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs, which included a two-run single in the sixth that put the Tribe up 2-1.

Indians’ starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez lasted 5.1 innings and allowed one run on six hits with a strikeout and a pair of walks. He faced 23 batters and threw 97 pitches with 58 landing in the zone.

Reliever Chad Durbin (2-1) got the win for the Indians by pitching two shutout innings in the 10th and 11th, while Chris Perez got his ninth save of the season despite giving up a run in the 12th.

If there’s one real need that the Indians have, it’s getting or developing a top-notch closer. With one out in the bottom of the 12th, Perez walked Daric Barton then Conor Jackson singled to left-center to put runners at first and second.

Perez was able to retire the next batter, Josh Willingham, who popped out before Ryan Sweeney lined a shot up the middle to bring home Barton to make it a 4-3 game. Now with two outs and the tying run 90 feet away, Perez induced pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui to hit a shallow fly ball to left field that was caught by Asdrubal Cabrera to end the game.

Whew!

In Wednesday night’s game, Cleveland pitchers Josh Tomlin and Tony Sipp allowed just four hits, but two of those were solo homers by David DeJesus.

Tomlin (4-1) was charged with the hard-luck loss for the Indians after going 7.2 innings and gave up just three runs — two earned — on three hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

Up next, the Indians travel down the California coast to take on the Los Angeles Angels for a three-game set beginning on Friday night. In game one, Indians’ starter Justin Masterson (5-0, 2.25) looks to get his sixth win of the season and he will be opposed by Tyler Chatwood (2-1, 4.94). First pitch at Angel Stadium of Anaheim is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on STO.

Comeback kids do it again on last at-bat

For the fourth time in as many games, the Cleveland Indians either trailed or were tied heading into the bottom of the eighth or later, and each time the Tribe has come away with a win.

These guys just find a way to get it done on their last at-bat.

On Tuesday night at the Overstock.com Coliseum in Oakland, the Indians and A’s were deadlocked at 1-1 going into the ninth before Cleveland scored three runs in the final frame to win 4-1.

Last night’s hero was once again, Orlando Cabrera, who laced an RBI single to center that scored Matt LaPorta for the go-ahead run.

But the ninth inning did get off to an ominous start.

Michael Brantley led off the frame by drawing a nine-pitch walk from A’s reliever Brian Fuentes. But Brantley was caught leaning as Fuentes threw over to first and he was tagged out trying to get to second on the steal attempt.

Now with one out, LaPorta came to the dish and slapped a single into left field, but as a fan, you’re thinking if Brantley didn’t get caught stealing, he’d be on third base with no outs.

It didn’t matter, though, because Jack Hannahan followed with a base hit to right that put runners on the corners before OC’s RBI single up the middle brought home LaPorta to put the Indians up 2-1.

Cleveland got insurance runs after Grady Sizemore was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Asdrubal Cabrera came through with a two-run single to center that scored Hannahan and OC.

A performance fitting for a staff ace, Indians’ starting pitcher Fausto Carmona went eight innings and threw 96 pitches to 26 batters, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk.

Closer Chris Perez earned his eighth save of the season by pitching a perfect ninth with one K.

Up next, the middle contest of the three-game set is Wednesday night as Josh Tomlin (4-0, 2.45) will toe the rubber for the Indians, and he will face A’s starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (4-0, 1.88 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET at the Coliseum and the game will be televised on STO.

Series Preview: Cleveland at Oakland

CLEVELAND INDIANS – (19-8, 1st AL Central, Road: 6-6, Streak: Won 6) vs. OAKLAND ATHLETICS – (15-14, 3rd AL West, Home: 7-6, Streak: Won 2)

The Cleveland Indians, winners of six straight and owners of the best record in Major League Baseball, head out for another West Coast swing beginning at Overstock.com Coliseum to take on the Oakland Athletics for a three-game set which starts Tuesday night.

The Indians enjoyed some home-cooking last week when they swept both the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.

While the Tribe is playing .500 ball away from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, the Indians have lost six of their last eight games on the road after winning the first four.

The A’s, meanwhile, just took three out of four games against Texas, who are tied atop the AL West standing with the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland has won six out of their last nine overall and are just one game back of the division leaders Rangers and Angels.

Oakland is led by former Indian, center fielder CoCo Crisp, who leads the team in batting (.292), hits (28), runs scored (17), triples (3) and stolen bases (8).

Left fielder Josh Willingham tops the A’s roster with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

Pitching Probables:

Tuesday, 10:05pm
CLE: Fausto Carmona (2-3, 5.15)
OAK: Tyson Ross (1-2, 2.76)
Notes: In his last start on Apr. 29 versus the Royals, Carmona pitched seven solid innings and allowed two runs on five hits while striking out a pair with two base on balls.

Wednesday, 10:05pm
CLE: Josh Tomlin (4-0, 2.45)
OAK: Trevor Cahill (4-0, 1.88)
Notes: In his last start on Apr. 27 against Kansas City, Tomlin surrendered two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and just one walk over six innings to earn his fourth win of the season.

Thursday, 3:35pm
CLE: Jeanmar Gomez (0-1, 6.23)
OAK: Brett Anderson (2-2, 2.95)
Notes: On April 29 vs. Detroit, Gomez went 5.2 innings, his longest outing of the season in three starts since being called up from Triple-A Columbus to take Mitch Talbot’s spot in the rotation. Gomez gave up three runs on 10 hits with four K’s and no walks in the no-decision.

Indians notch fifth sweep of season

Three different days, but the results are all the same.

On Friday night, it took a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 5-5 by Carlos Santana for Cleveland to win.

On Saturday night, it was a RBI single from Orlando Cabrera in the bottom of the 13th with the game tied at 2-all that sealed Detroit’s fate.

On Sunday afternoon, it was Michael Brantley’s turn for the heroics with the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth as his RBI single plated the go-head run as the Indians defeated the Tigers, 5-4, at Progressive Field.

Three games with the score tied in the eighth inning or later turns into three wins for the Tribe.

With Detroit leading 2-0 in the bottom of the second, Matt LaPorta ripped a double to right that tied the game.

In the bottom of the eighth, Orlando Cabrera brought home Shin-Soo Choo with a base hit before Brantley’s go-ahead RBI single which plated Shelley Duncan.

Cleveland starting pitcher Justin Masterson last seven full innings and faced two batters in the eighth before being relieved by Rafael Perez. Masterson gave up three runs – two earned – on seven hits with seven strikeouts, two walks an a hit batsman in the no-decision.

Indians’ reliever Chad Durbin got the win by striking out Brandon Inge to end the top half of the eighth with runners on first and second.

In the home half of the frame, Choo singled to start the inning and he moved to second after Shelley Duncan was hit in the arm with a pitch. Orlando Cabrera then ripped a scorching grounder to third baseman Brandon Inge, who could only deflect it into the outfield. During the play, Choo was able to round third and slide safely into home, knotting the game at three. Duncan then touched the plate on Brantley’s single and LaPorta scored Cabrera with a long sac fly into the left field corner.

Up next, the Indians have an off-day on Monday before traveling to Oakland to begin a three-game series starting on Tuesday night as Fausto Carmona (2-3, 5.15) will start for the Tribe, and will be opposed by the A’s Tyson Ross (1-2, 2.76).  First pitch at Overstock.com Coliseum (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) is 10:05 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on STO.

Tribe tames Tigers as Santana’s slam completes rally

Are you a believer yet?

Catcher Carlos Santana, who entered Friday night’s game batting just .192 on the year, came up to the plate with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth after going hitless in three at-bats and launched a towering home run into the seats in right field for a walk-off grand slam to give the Cleveland Indians a 9-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.

With Friday night’s 17th victory of the season, Cleveland set a franchise record for most wins in the month of April as the first-place Indians remain 4-1/2 games ahead of second-place Kansas City in the AL Central with a 17-8 record.

One thing is for sure, there’s no quit in this year’s edition Cleveland Indians.

Trailing 3-0 after five innings and 5-2 heading into the home half of the seventh, the Tribe rallied by scoring runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth after getting just two hits through the first five innings against Tigers’ starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, the Indians added a pair of runs as Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-out single to center and after two walks, Shelley Duncan came through with base hit that scored AC and Shin-Soo Choo to make it a 3-2 game.

In the seventh, Detroit extended their lead as Jhonny Peralta smacked an RBI single and Alex Avila hit a sacrifice fly to widen the Tigers advantage to 5-2.

Not to be outdone, Cleveland struck quickly to tie the game at 5-all after the seventh inning stretch as Matt LaPorta drilled his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot into the seats in left field with one out. After Jack Hannahan popped out and Grady Sizemore drew a four-pitch, two-out walk from Scherzer, Asdrubal Cabrera rocketed a deep drive to right for his fifth HR of the season.

With the game still tied at 5-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Hannahan led off the final frame with a single to center and Sizemore followed with a base hit to right to put runners on the corners with no outs. After Asdrubal Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, Tigers’ reliever Joaquin Benoit struck out Choo on three pitches before serving up a meaty 3-1 pitch to Santana who belted the game-winner.

Indians’ starting pitcher Jeanmar Gomez went 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on 10 scattered hits with four strikeouts and no walks. The only real damage to Gomez came when Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer off of him in the first. He faced 28 batters and threw 15 first-pitch strikes in 96 total pitches with 58 landing in the zone.

Tribe reliever Chad Durbin gave up the other two runs on two hits with a walk in the 1/3 official inning he threw plus the two batters he faced in the seventh without recording an out. After that, relief pitchers Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez combined to shutout the Tigers in the final three frames.

In game two of this three-game set scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Progressive Field, 2009 first-round pick Alex White will make his Major League debut on Saturday night against Detroit, who will send Rick Porcello (1-2, 4.76) to the mound.

So far this season at the Triple-A level, White is 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts for the Clippers. In 23.2 innings of work, White allowed just five earned runs on 19 hits with 28 strikeouts and five walks while opponents have hit just .211 against him.

Carrasco to DL, White to be called up

Yesterday, the Cleveland Indians placed starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive April 25 after he was not able to throw a bullpen session on Thursday.

In his last start vs. the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Sunday, Carrasco lasted just three full innings because of inflammation in his right elbow, giving up two runs on six hits with one strikeout and two walks.

An MRI on Carrasco’s elbow showed no structural damage and the injury isn’t considered serious. He’s 1-1 in five starts with a 4.97 ERA so far this season.

Carrasco is second Indians’ starting pitcher to go on the DL in the last two weeks. Mitch Talbot went on the disabled list back on April 17 with a right elbow strain and he’s currently working his way back in a long-tossing program, though he’s yet to throw off a mound which may happen as early as this weekend even though he’s still weeks away from returning.

To take Carrasco’s spot in the rotation, the Indians will call up 2009 first-round pick Alex White from Triple-A Columbus, who will make his Major League debut on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.

So far this season at the Triple-A level, White is 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts for the Clippers. In 23.2 innings of work, White allowed just five earned runs on 19 hits with 28 strikeouts and five walks while opponents have hit just .211 against him.

In 2010, White was 10-10 and had a 2.45 ERA with 117 K’s and 46 walks in 26 games (25 starts) for Advanced Single-A Kinston and Double-A Akron in his pro debut last season. The former 15th overall pick out of the University of North Carolina will make it to the majors after logging a total of 174 innings in the minors.