Indians' Offense Gives Them 12-5 Victory Over Dodgers; Three Takeaways
The Indians experienced a rough two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
That's why on Thursday, it was important for them to come out and try and get some momentum back before beginning a seven-day stretch out on the road.
The Tribe did just that, and avoided being swept as they toppled Los Angeles, 12-5.
Josh Tomlin (4-8, 5.83 ERA) picked up the win for Cleveland, pitching five innings. The bullpen also seemed to be back on track, allowing only one run for the remainder of the game.
Before the Tribe heads out on the road to take on the Twins, here are three takeaways from Thursday's win.
1. Plenty Of Early Run Support
The bats were going early and often for the Tribe.
In the first inning, they made it through their entire lineup. Francisco Lindor got the party started, scoring on an RBI single from Jose Ramirez. Ramirez made it home after Rich Hill walked Roberto Perez with bases loaded.
An RBI single from Bradley Zimmer plated Edwin Encarnacion. In the blink of an eye, the Tribe had a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the second inning.
They remained on a roll offensively in the second. Ramirez notched his second RBI of the game on a double, scoring Daniel Robertson. Encarnacion would walk the parrot in the next at-bat, nailing a homer over the left field wall.
As the Dodgers started to mount a comeback in the fourth and fifth innings, those five early runs would prove critical.
Just as importantly, the Indians would continue to swing away and put seven more runs on the board throughout the afternoon.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season, the Indians have struggled when they can’t hit. When they have scored three runs or less this year, they’ve won only seven games. When they outhit their opponent, however, their record is 26-3.
While the bullpen has had its difficulties over the last couple of weeks, bats going cold has been another issue entirely. Thursday showed just what the offense is capable of when it's on.
2. Response Runs
Yep, another offensive takeaway. But when the bats are swinging like they were this afternoon, you really can’t say enough about it.
In the fourth and fifth innings, the Dodgers began to breathe new life into the game. Cody Bellinger rocked a solo homer in the fourth to get Los Angeles on the board.
What followed in the fifth inning was three runs scored on three hits from the Dodgers, as Yasiel Puig drove in Joc Pederson with an RBI double, and Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer into the bullpen to close the gap to just one run.
In the bottom of the fifth, after Encarnacion walked and Carlos Santana got on base with a single, Los Angeles decided to change pitchers; so manager Terry Francona decided to pinch-hit Lonnie Chisenhall in place of Austin Jackson.
Chisenhall crushed a ball over the center field wall on a wild pitch to clear the bases, and gave the Indians an 8-4 lead.
Again, as run support has been an issue in the recent weeks, these response runs showed what the Indians are capable of, and hopefully will give them some offensive momentum to go on a winning streak.
3. Lonnie Baseball
Chisenhall had a record-setting day for the Tribe.
Of the 11 runs scored, Chisenhall drove in five after coming in to pinch hit for Jackson in the fifth inning.
On top of his three-run homer to extend Cleveland's lead back out to four runs in the fifth, Chisenhall also recorded a two-run RBI single in the sixth inning.
His homer was the second pinch-hit home run he's hit in 2017, and the fourth of his career.
Chisenhall became just the third Indians batter since 1913 to enter as a pinch hitter and record five or more RBIs. the last player to accomplish such a feat was John Ellis in 1973.
When Francona was asked why he didn't start Chisenhall, (since Michael Brantley is out on paternity leave) Francona joked, “I don’t know, because I’m probably not very smart.”
“[The Dodgers] had just fought back, you could kind of feel some of the momentum there,” he said of Chisenhall's homer. “Lonnie took a beautiful swing.”