Indians rout Tigers to extend winning streak to 19 games

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The Indians didn’t leave any doubt that their winning streak would extend to 19 games on Monday evening against the Tigers, winning 11-0. The Tribe put its first five batters on base in the bottom of the second inning and sent them all home to take an early 5-0 lead that would prove to be more than enough run support. Starter Carlos Carrasco went six strong innings, leaving the Tigers no chance to play spoilers on this particular night.

In the second, Carlos Santana led off with a walk. Yandy Diaz singled and Yan Gomes followed up with a single of his own to bring Santana home. Greg Allen reached on a bunt single that was misplayed by starter Myles Jaye. Francisco Lindor cleared the bases with a triple to right-center to make it 4-0. With one out, Jose Ramirez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Lindor home.

Ramirez added two more runs in the fourth with a no-doubt two-run home run, his 26th round-tripper of the year. Lindor knocked in another run in the fifth with an RBI ground out. Diaz made it 9-0 in the sixth with an RBI ground out. The Indians loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and brought home two runs on a wild pitch and a Brandon Guyer sacrifice fly to make it 11-0.

Carrasco kept the Tigers off the board, yielding seven hits and a walk while striking out nine in his six innings of work. He lowered his ERA on the season to 3.41. Those nine strikeouts brought him up to 201 on the season. The 200-strikeout¬†club also includes teammate Corey Kluber (235). Trevor Bauer isn’t far away at 177. Since 1901, only three teams have had three pitchers accrue 200 or more strikeouts: the 2013 Tigers (Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander), the 1969 Astros (Larry Dierker, Don Wilson, Tom Griffin), and the 1967 Twins (Jim Kaat, Dean Chance, Dave Boswell).

Danny Salazar took over in the seventh, making his first appearance out of the bullpen since his recent demotion. He pitched two scoreless innings before making way for Zach McAllister in the ninth, who finished the game.

The Indians will go for their 20th consecutive win on Tuesday as Corey Kluber takes on the Tigers. If they win, they’ll match the 2002 Athletics’ American League record.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.