Mike Clevinger was finally back on the mound for the Indians on Monday night in Texas, but his long awaited return was spoiled by the Rangers in a 7-2 setback in the opener of the Tribe’s huge four-game set in Arlington.
Clevinger lasted 4.2 innings, allowing five runs on five hits, and also scared the Indians and their fans when he went down with what looked like an ankle injury in the second inning.
He said he’s okay, which is a good thing for an Indians team that really needs help still when it comes to their starting pitching.
The offense, which had pounded the Tigers for three games over the weekend, were no match for Texas starter Lance Lynn, whose only mistake was a solo homer to Francisco Lindor.
While the Rangers take game one of the big series, there’s three more to go starting tonight as Zach Plesac will get his shot to rebound after a loss to the Reds last week.
Here’s a quick look at the first game of the series in Texas:
1. Clevinger’s Return
Just having the righty back on the mound was a plus, but Mike Clevinger clearly had some rust in his Indians return after being on the shelf since leaving a game against the Jays on April 7th.
He walked three and struck out seven, and the big blow was a two-run homer by Danny Santana after he issued a two-out walkt to Willie Calhoun in the fourth to make it 3-0.
Clevinger lasted into the 5th, but was removed after a couple more walks before Tyler Clippard allowed a double to Elvis Andrus to basically put the game away at 5-1.
The ankle scare in the second was bad, but Clevinger said after the game that X-Rays showed no issues, and he should be ready to go at home against the Tigers on Saturday.
2. Lynn Locks Down the Tribe
The offense had its way with the Tigers in Comerica Park over the weekend, but against Lance Lynn the Indians were handcuffed to just one run over seven innings.
Lynn dominated, allowing six hits, one walk and he struck out nine before being lifted.
The righty has gone at least six innings in 10 consecutive starts, allowing three runs or fewer in the last eight. Monday was just another good night on the mound for him, as his only mistake was a solo homer to Francisco Lindor.
Six of the nine Indians hitters struck out at least once on Monday, with Oscar Mercado (who did homer) striking out three times in the loss.
3. A Quick Rebound
The Indians can’t afford to let the one setback get them down, as they will need a bounce back from Zach Plesac tonight in game two of the four-game set.
Plesac got off to a bad start in the loss last Wednesday to the Reds, but the team needs a few quality innings tonight and the offense against Adrian Sampson also needs to get going.
The Rangers have no intentions of letting the Tribe back into the series after Monday’s five-run win, so the Indians need a quick start and they can get that with some early offense and more so with a good start from Plesac.