Mike Clevinger and Jason Hammel went head-to-head in a true pitcher’s duel on Saturday, each posting several no-hit innings while their respective offenses scrambled to get on the board. Center fielder Bradley Zimmer backed Clevinger’s efforts with a five-star catch in the fifth, bellyflopping on a deep fly ball to preserve the shutout and end the inning.
Zimmer came through again for the Indians again in the bottom of the sixth inning, working a full count against the Royals’ Jason Hammel and lacing a single just under the glove of Alcides Escobar to break up the righty’s perfect game attempt.
That appeared to open the floodgates for the Indians’ offense, who broke through with Roberto Perez‘s two-RBI home run and added two solo shots from Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Santana to take a four-run lead. The Royals, on the other hand, still couldn’t find a toehold against Clevinger, who exited with six frames of four-hit, nine-strikeout ball and left the rest of the shutout in the capable hands of Bryan Shaw, Dan Otero and Cody Allen for the Indians’ third win in a row.
Indians reliever Andrew Miller lasted only six pitches in Monday night’s appearance against the Red Sox. He walked Mookie Betts on six pitches before being relieved by Dan Otero. Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Miller reaggravated the patella tendinitis in his right knee.
Miller, 32, missed a couple of weeks earlier this month with patella tendinitis. He was activated last Friday and got two outs in a scoreless appearance against the Royals that night.
Bastian pointed out that Miller’s velocity has been lower than usual. He averaged 92.1 MPH on his fastball on Friday and 90.1 MPH on Monday, well below his normal average around 94 MPH.
The Indians should have more on Miller’s status after Monday’s game or on Tuesday. The lefty is carrying a 1.65 ERA with a 79/16 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings on the season.
Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez thought he had a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning at Fenway Park, but Indians outfielder Austin Jackson had other ideas. Ramirez drove a 0-1 Dan Otero fastball into right-center field. Jackson leaped with his momentum taking him over the fence. He was able to hang on and the catch was confirmed upon review.
The home run would have cut the deficit to 7-6. The Red Sox went on to take the lead anyway with a four-run bottom of the sixth inning. The game got even more nuts from there. The Indians took a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth on a Francisco Lindor solo home run and a bases loaded wild pitch from Craig Kimbrel. The Red Sox walked off 12-10 winners in the bottom of the ninth on Christian Vasquez’s three-run home run off of Cody Allen.