Indians Extend Win Streak To Four Games With Win Over Reds; Three Takeaways
CLEVELAND-- The Indians continued their homestand on Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds in a make-up game from May 25.
This time around it was only sunny skies for the Tribe as they topped the Reds, 6-2.
Josh Tomlin recorded the win for Cleveland.
While it was a tie game, 1-1 after the top of the fifth inning, the Indians would go on to score five runs in their final four innings.
Before the Tribe kicks off a three game series with the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow, here are three takeaways from their make-up win.
1. Josh Tomlin
Whatever the Indians have changed over Tomlin's last few starts, it's working.
Tomlin (5.59 ERA) recorded his seventh win of the year on Monday night, pitching six complete innings. He gave up four hits, two earned runs and walked only one, while striking out six.
Tomlin found his groove at the end of the second inning. After he struck out Devin Mesoraco for the final out, he went on to strike out the next five batters he faced.
His six consecutive strikeouts are a new career best, and one shy of Corey Kluber's club-record seven consecutive strikeouts.
"When he's going good, that's what he can do," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Tomlin's outing.
"I think just execution of pitches, and following Roberto [Perez's] glove," Tomlin said when asked what changed in that second inning.
"I never try to get strikeouts, I never know how people can get as many as the Klubers of the world get them but it was kind of nice to get those for sure."
2. Carlos "Slamtana"
As good as Tomlin was on the mound, Carlos Santana was just as good from the plate.
Santana went two-for-three, with two monster home runs. The first homer was a lead-off run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Indians a 4-2 lead.
The team seemingly fed off of Santana's energy in that inning, nearly making it through their entire order, and scoring another run on an RBI sacrifice-fly from Bradley Zimmer to extend the lead, 5-2.
Santana also scored the final run of the game in the eighth inning, making Monday night the eighth multi-homer game of his career. It also marked the fourth time in his career that Santana homered from both sides of the plate in the same game.
While Monday night was a great performance, July has been good to Santana in general. He's now batting .333 with 11 RBI this month.
After the game, Francona was asked why Santana has seen so much success in the second half of the season over his career, and about how important he will be as the Tribe tries to make a deep postseason run.
"He's always been that way, he doesn't wear down," Francona said. "It's like the more at-bats he gets, the better he is. That's really welcome, because he'll play a huge part in us going forward."
3. Momentum (And A Win Against An NL Team!)
It's no secret the Indians have struggled against National League teams this season. Coming into Monday night, the Indians were just 4-13 in interleague play in 2017, and were being outscored 97-63 by their NL opponents.
That's why picking up their fifth win over an NL team, and their third at Progressive Field, is such a great way to extend their win streak to four games (especially after their rough west coast road trip). It also means they split the season series with the Reds, 2-2.
One key to their success? Arguably, Tomlin. He has now won his last four interleague starts, going back to June 15 when the Indians faced the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But even more importantly, with Monday's win, the Indians are now 25-24 at home, their first winning record at Progressive field since being 1-0 following their home opener victory.