Evidently, all the Cleveland Indians needed to get their season
on track was a lengthy road trip.
The surging Indians try to start 7-1 on the road for the first
time in nearly 25 years Saturday night against the Oakland
After opening 1-4 in Cleveland, the Indians (7-5) have won six
of the first seven contests on a nine-game trip. Cleveland, which
was 36-45 away from Progressive Field last season, is off to its
best road start since opening 6-1 in 1999. It hasn’t begun 7-1 on
the road since 1988.
“It’s good to get on the road and go out and play baseball,
believe in ourselves and continue to put together good, consistent
at bats,” Jack Hannahan said after Friday’s 4-3 win in Oakland.
In the series opener, Ubaldo Jimenez allowed two runs over six
innings and Hannahan drove in three against his former team. It was
the second night in a row Hannahan came up big after he had a
two-run single in the ninth inning in Thursday’s 2-1 win in
Hannahan, who has hit either in the No. 8 or 9 spot in the
batting order all season, leads the Indians with 11 RBIs and is
batting .324 with a .415 on-base percentage.
“As long as he doesn’t try to do too much and continues to
spread the ball around he’s going to be OK,” manager Manny Acta
While the third baseman is off to a surprising start, his
performance against the Athletics might not be considered that
shocking. Hannahan, who hit .226 over 2 1/2 seasons with Oakland,
is batting .345 with three home runs and nine RBIs in eight games
against his former team since the start of last season.
The Indians have won five of their last six against the A’s
(7-8), and scheduled starter Jeanmar Gomez (0-0, 2.25 ERA) was
stellar in his two starts against them last season, going 1-0 with
a 0.79 ERA.
Gomez is taking the ball days after appealing a five-game
suspension handed down by Major League Baseball for intentionally
hitting a player in retaliation.
Against Kansas City last Saturday, the right-hander hit Mike
Moustakas to lead off the third inning and was promptly ejected. In
the top half of the inning, Kansas City’s Jonathan Sanchez had
plunked Shin-Soo Choo. Before being ejected, Gomez, who was making
his first start, didn’t allow a hit or walk in his two innings.
“Gomez is going to appeal and he will pitch on Saturday,” Acta
said Wednesday. “Then probably, after that, he’ll drop it and pitch
again the very next Saturday.”
The A’s counter with Brandon McCarthy (0-2, 3.60), who
surrendered five runs and 11 hits in seven innings of a 6-0 loss to
the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, failing in his fourth attempt to
get his first win of the season.
The right-hander pitched well in his lone outing against the
Indians last year, giving up two runs and five hits while striking
out 10 in eight innings of 2-1 loss. He is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA in
his last five starts versus Cleveland.
McCarthy has displayed excellent command, issuing four walks in
25 innings, and he’ll need to be careful pitching to a patient
Cleveland club. The Indians walked nine times Friday and lead the
majors with 66 base on balls.
Oakland’s season-best three-game winning streak was snapped
Friday, but Yoenis Cespedes continued to produce, going 3 for 5
with two RBIs. The Cuban defector has seven RBIs in his last four
games and a team-leading 12.