Indians Top A's 5-3 for Behind Carrasco and the Long Ball; Three Takeaways From the Win
CLEVELAND - Over 20,000 Indians fans celebrated a beautiful Memorial Day at Progressive Field watching the AL Champion Tribe start the first of four against the visiting Oakland A's with a 5-3 win.
It was a game that shouldn't have been that close, as the Indians led 5-0 after 6, but the A's bats powered out three solo homers in the final three innings, and had the tying run on first with two outs in the 9th before Cody Allen closed the door with a strikeout of Trevor Plouffe to seal the win.
The victory puts the Indians one back of Minnesota in the AL Central, and with three more against the A's the Tribe could set themselves up for a nice homestand if they keep playing the way they have the last two days.
Here's our three takeaways from Monday's holiday win with another showdown with the A's coming up at 6:10pm on Tuesday evening.
1. The Winning Forumla
While Cody Allen made it interesting (doesn't he always?) the team as a whole did what they did best when it comes to winning - that being a formula that includes good starting pitching, big hits and the pen.
The pitching of course came from Carlos Carrasco, who was very good in seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
The pen was Andrew Miller, who struck out the side in the 8th, and Allen as mentioned finally getting the final three outs in the 9th to get his 14th save.
The hitting was three homers, Austin Jackson, Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion, as well as Jackson coming through with a sac fly.
The last two days it was more of the type of Indians teams people were expecting out of the gate, and now with three more against Oakland hopefully the team can end the homestand with 5-2 mark if they can pull off the next three games without a hitch.
2. Muscle Flexing
The offense put up 18 hits and 10 runs on Sunday, and Monday they again must have been eating their Wheaties, as they powered out three homers, making it 14 straight games that the Indians have hit a homer.
That's the longest streak the team has had hitting homers since the 2007 season, a season that ended one game from the World Series.
The first HR was off the bat of Austin Jackson, who we mentioned yesterday in our 'takeaways' as he's starting to hit the ball, putting up two hits and 3 RBI in the win Sunday.
Then it was back-to-back for Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion, with EE's blast going 451 feet to make it a 3-0 game at the time.
Santana has 6 homers on the season, and Encarnacion now has 10. Francisco Lindor still leads the team with 11 homers.
Encarnacion is heating up, hitting .285/.340/.632 over his last 53 games, and looks a lot more like the mega player the Indians paid for.
1. Picking on the A's
When you are five games under .500 and going nowhere, it's easy to look for mistakes and the Oakland A's have made plenty of them in 2017, leading all of baseball in errors.
Second basemen Jed Lowrie had one error entering Monday's game, but had two in four innings during the Indians 5-3 win.
On the season Oakland has 51 errors, and have played in just 49 games. The next worse in the AL in terms of errors by a team is 38, a whole 13 less mistakes than than the A's.
The A's are a team that not much is expected of them in 2017, but the amount of mistakes in the field on a daily basis is doing nothing to increase their chances of winning some games.