Scott Kazmir allowed six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in his first big league start since 2011, but the Indians enjoyed a massive day at the plate in routing the Astros 19-6 Saturday night in Houston.
The Tribe combined for 22 hits — seven of which were doubles and three of which were home runs. Nick Swisher doubled three times on his own and veteran designated hitter Jason Giambi collected a game-high five RBI. Eight runs crossed the plate in the first inning and six were scored in the second.
Mark Reynolds was 2-for-4 with four RBI and is now batting .296/.371/.704 with six home runs and 17 RBI through 15 games this season. Which is making that one-year, $6 million contract that he signed this offseason look like a real bargain.
The Indians are just 6-10 and Kazmir seems unlikely to stick, but the offense is legit.
Your Saturday box scores:
Dodgers 5, Orioles 7 (Game 1)
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3 (11 innings)
Royals 3, Red Sox 4
Marlins 2, Reds 3 (13 innings)
Tigers 0, Angels 10
Twins 2, White Sox 1 (10 innings)
Nationals 7, Mets 6
Cardinals 5, Phillies 0
Braves 1, Pirates 3
Dodgers 1, Orioles 6 (Game 2)
Cubs 1, Brewers 5
Indians 19, Astros 6
Athletics 0, Rays 1
Mariners 0, Rangers 5
Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 4
Padres 0, Giants 2
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.