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Indians Secure 4th Straight Win

Cleveland Indians' Mike Freeman runs after hitting a single in the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

CLEVELAND — Mike Clevinger matched his career high with 12 strikeouts in six innings, Oscar Mercado drove in two runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 on Wednesday night.

Clevinger (3-2) struck out the side in the first two innings and had nine strikeouts through four — one against each batter in Detroit’s lineup. The right-hander was lifted after 100 pitches and allowing one run on six hits in his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

Cleveland moved within four games of AL Central-leading Minnesota. It’s the closest the Indians have been to first place since May 14. Cleveland has won 10 straight over the Tigers and leads the season series 11-1.

Mercado, who leads AL rookies with a .286 batting average, gave Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the third with a double that scored Mike Freeman and Tyler Naquin.

Nicholas Castellanos scored on an RBI single by Jeimer Candelario to pull Detroit within 2-1 in the sixth.

Jose Ramirez doubled to lead off the seventh inning, chasing Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull (3-9). With two out, Freeman beat out a bunt single and Ramirez, who had stolen third, scored to make it 3-1 Cleveland.

After Castellanos hit a solo homer in the top of the eighth, the Indians broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Greg Allen doubled home a pair, All-Star Francisco Lindor homered and Jason Kipnis had an RBI single.

Nick Wittgren worked the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up his second save.

Turnbull lost to the Indians for the fourth time in four starts this season. The right-hander pitched six-plus innings, giving up three runs with three strikeouts. Detroit has lost 23 of 27 games and has not recorded back-to-back wins since May 28-31.

PROGRESS

Indians RHP Corey Kluber successfully threw a 20-pitch bullpen session — all fastballs — before the game. It was the first time the two-time AL Cy Young Award winner has thrown from a mound since fracturing his right ulna on May 1 at Miami. Kluber remains several weeks away from potentially beginning a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

FANCY FOOTWORK

Indians rookie RHP Zach Plesac leads the majors with five pickoffs in 48 innings, the most recent Tuesday on Tigers OF Victor Reyes. “Zach has got the quickest feet I’ve ever seen,” manager Terry Francona said. “You’re sitting in the dugout thinking, ‘This guy is in trouble, only he doesn’t know it yet,’ because he’s going to be picked off.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: SS Niko Goodrum (right pinky finger) was a late scratch from the lineup after being struck by a grounder during batting practice. X-rays on his bruised finger were negative. 1B Harold Castro was shifted to the spot to replace Goodrum.

Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (right shoulder) reported no physical issues after working three innings Tuesday on a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron. The former AL All-Star could return to the majors next month for the first time since 2017.

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (6-7, 3.95 ERA) has three straight double-digit strikeout performances and ranks third in the AL with 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings.

Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (8-7, 3.65 ERA) posted his only career shutout against Detroit on June 16, throwing a four-hitter with eight strikeouts at Comerica Park.

Athletics 10, Mariners 2

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Homer Bailey shook off a rocky start to go six innings in his Oakland debut, Mark Canha and Jurickson Profar both homered twice and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners.

Chad Pinder and Ramon Laureano also went deep as the A’s matched their season high with six home runs despite losing Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman to an ankle injury after two innings.

Oakland has won six straight and 12 of 14.

Tim Beckham had two hits for Seattle. The Mariners have lost six straight.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4

BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers hit a solo homer and drove in four runs, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox sent Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez to his 13th straight loss, beating the Blue Jays.

Devers also had a two-run double and RBI single, Brock Holt added a run-scoring hit — one of his three singles — for the Red Sox, who had dropped three of four since a five-game winning streak.

Teoscar Hernandez hit two solo homers over the Green Monster and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had one for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of 10.

Royals 7, White Sox 5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Danny Duffy pitched strong six innings and ended a nine-start winless skid, and Jorge Soler and Nicky Lopez hit back-to-back RBI singles twice as the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox.

Duffy (4-5) who took a liner off his throwing hand against Detroit in his last start Friday, scattered six hits and struck out five in sending Chicago to its season-worst sixth straight loss.

Duffy’s strong start followed Jakob Junis’ seven innings of one-run ball Monday and Glenn Sparkman’s complete game shutout Tuesday.

INTERLEAGUE

Orioles 9, Nationals 2

BALTIMORE (AP) — Trey Mancini hit two home runs and Baltimore pummeled the Washington Nationals’ ineffective bullpen in a victory that provided the Orioles with a split of the two-game interleague series.

The defeat — only the fourth in 17 games for the Nationals — kept them 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East. Washington opens a four-game series in Atlanta on Thursday night.

Adam Eaton drove in both runs for the Nationals, who suffered their most lopsided loss since June 15 (10-3 against Arizona).

Diamondbacks 19, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Eduardo Escobar homered twice and the Arizona Diamondbacks tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game with 21 hits while thumping the Texas Rangers.

The 19 runs were Arizona’s most since setting a franchise record with 20 against the San Diego Padres last July. Escobar’s first homer sparked a seven-run first inning against right-handed starter Jesse Chavez (3-5), who got just two outs.

The switch-hitting Escobar added a three-run homer batting right-handed against Kyle Bird in the sixth and had five RBIs. Kevin Cron, Jarrod Dyson and Carson Kelly also homered for Arizona.

Mets 14, Twins 4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dominic Smith put the New York Mets in front with his pinch-hit, three-run homer in the seventh inning, and Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso added a 474-foot shot halfway up the third deck in a victory over Minnesota that gave the Twins their first three-game losing streak this season.

Amed Rosario went 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs for the Mets, who overcame three one-run deficits, set a 2019 high for runs and matched a season best with their fourth consecutive victory. All of the wins have been on the road for New York, which at 21-32 still has the worst record away from home in the NL.

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