If this is the persona the Indians have made a decision to take on, the rest of the American League had better buckle up, because one of these days they’ll be coming your way.
Jose Ramirez, the hitting machine who earlier Monday was named American League Player of the Week, produced his fifth three-hit game in his last six starts. Evan Gattis and Alex Bregman both doubled twice to help the Astros improve to a major league-best 24-8 on the road while winning their seventh straight at the Coliseum. Carlos Santana, emerging from a long slump, homered as well.
Bundy’s fast start disintegrated in a hail of fourth-inning line drives and the Indians put up back-to-back four-run innings to end the Orioles’ hopes of adding to their modest two-game winning streak.
Alomar probably saw his life flash before his eyes as the crowd gave him a nice ovation.
Indians DH Edwin Encarnacion’s fourth-inning double was career hit No. 1,500. Gennett went deep for the second consecutive day, his first homers since hitting four in a game against St. Louis on June 6.
Bundy, who got off to a terrific start this season, was in line for his fifth loss in seven games, though he had given up three runs or fewer in four of his previous six games.
The Indians hit six doubles in a span of two innings -four in the fourth and two in the fifth -and they pumped up the volume in the fifth with home runs by Jason Kipnis and Santana. Kipnis started the fifth with his moon shot onto Eutaw Street. Jackson contributed a two-run double plus a bloop run-scoring single, and Santana added a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly.
The Indians finished with a season-high 10 extra-base hits: seven doubles, one triple and two homers.
Bumping up the team’s slugging percentage is Cleveland’s AL-leading 140 doubles, paced by Ramirez’s 23. The Orioles never got a runner into scoring position as Kluber (6-2) did not walk anyone and mixed his pitches and locations skillfully.
While the offense was rolling against the Orioles, Kluber put up a dominating performance on the mound, one that led to his sixth win and second complete game of the season.
“I think that it’s being able to throw all my pitches for strikes and being able to command them”, Kluber said of his outings since returning from the disabled list. The Indians are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings in Baltimore, 1-4 in the last 5 meetings and the under is 12-4 in the last 16 meetings.
The Blue Jays won despite blowing a 5-1 lead in their first visit to Texas since last postseason, when they won the first two games in a best-of-five sweep that was their second straight ALDS victory over the two-time defending AL West champs.
Bundy simply could not throw strikes the way he’s done it for much of this season.
One positive for the Orioles was that only 13,875 fans bore witness to this blowout on a humid night. First pitch was at 7:39 with a temperature of 76 degrees.
Despite a 30-minute rain delay, the Indians wasted no time in filling the stat sheet once their series opener against the Orioles started on Monday evening.