Offense and Tomlin Spark the Indians to a 10-1 Beating of the Royals; Three Takeaways from the Win
CLEVELAND - The Indians offense put on a hit parade on Sunday, taking out some frustrations after losing three straight, as well as avoiding a three-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals with a dominating 10-1 win at Progressive Field.
Josh Tomlin gave the team a quality start, and the bats came alive even without Francisco Lindor in the lineup against Royals starter Danny Duffy.
The win pushes the team to 25-23, back to two games over .500, and the club is home Monday to start a four-game set against the Oakland A's, a team that came into play Sunday four games under .500 at 22-26, 11 games back of the Astros for first in the AL West.
Here's our three takeaways from a much needed win for the Indians as they get set for Memorial Day baseball at Progressive Field against the A's.
3. Terrific Tomlin
On a day when he didn't need all that much help anyway, Josh Tomlin of the Indians had his best game of the season, going the distance and keeping the Royals in check in the 10-1 win.
Tomlin did go eight innings earlier this season against the Twins, and threw well that night also, throwing one-run ball on six hits in a tough 1-0 setback.
Sunday though the offense helped out in a big way, piling on rung and scoring in five straight innings from the second to the 8th in putting up 10 runs total on 18 hits.
The line score for Tomlin - 9 innings, one run, 6 hits, no walks, three strikeouts, and he lowered his ERA to 5.79. It was Tomlin's 5th career complete game, his first since 2015.
With the rotation in flux with the announcement Sunday that Danny Salazar is heading to the bullpen, it would be a major boost to the team to see Tomlin get on a roll.
He's coming off a stretch in which he had lost his last three outings, and it was his first win in nearly a month, as heading into Sunday he had not won a game since April 30th against the Mariners.
His next start is slated for Friday June 1st against the same team he faced Sunday in the Royals.
2. A Big Day for Austin
The Indians have been patient with offseason pickup Austin Jackson, hoping that he would return to the form of the player that use to come up big against them when he was with the rival Detroit Tigers.
Sunday he broke out with his third two-hit game of the season, but they were big hits, as he drove in three runs, this after putting up just two RBI the entire season entering Sunday.
With the outfield having issues in terms of health with Brandon Guyer and Lonnie Chisenhall being hurt, seeing Jackson get hot at the plate would be something that would be clutch for the Tribe.
Coming back from injury and seeing other outfielders go down, Jackson will get chances to play, and if he can have days like he did on Sunday, those chances to get AB's will come more and more.
Many want to see Jackson be this years version of Rajai Davis, and Sunday he looked an awful lot like Davis coming up with a couple key hits in the win.
1. Can This Team Get on a Roll?
The Tribe is back to two games over .500, and thanks to a weak division they are still right near the top of first in the AL Central, entering Sunday three back of the upstart Twins.
Now though they enter a stretch against an Oakland team that is clearly not as talented as the Indians, but it is these types of teams they seem to have issues with.
The club will enter Monday at 9-13 at home, and it's about time to re-establish their dominance at Progressive Field. It's also time the team start putting some longer win streaks together.
"We've talked about it, but it's more about going out and doing it than talking about it," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said.
"We're not trying to panic, we're not trying to force things, we are very capable of putting together a 25-5 month, something like that."
A month like what Kipnis described is one that would clearly establish the lead for likely good in the AL Central, and probably help them start to challenge the Astros (34-16 entering play Sunday) for the top record and playoff home field in the AL in the playoffs.
"With what we have in this locker room there's no doubt we can go on those types of runs," Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin said.
"But it's not about we're expecting it to happen, we have to make it happen. We have to go out there and keep playing our style of baseball, playing hard."
Now, as both players said, they just have to go out and do it.