Tomlin finds Texas-sized trouble in defeat

Tomlin finds Texas-sized trouble in defeat

ARLINGTON -- Cole Hamels has put himself into the thick of the American League Cy Young Award discussion with a stellar second half. That continued on Thursday night, when the Rangers' ace overpowered the Indians, and the offense was equally as potent, in a 9-0 victory in the opener of the four-game set between division leaders.

Over eight innings, Hamels baffled the AL Central-leading Tribe, which managed just a pair of singles and struck out eight times against the lefty. Backing Hamels' strong outing were a pair of three-run home runs -- one apiece for Carlos Gomez and Adrian Beltre off Indians starter Josh Tomlin. Gomez's shot in the second came in his first at-bat with Texas, which signed him on Saturday.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Veteran pitcher Hunter released by Tribe

Veteran pitcher Hunter released by Tribe

ARLINGTON -- The Indians' had planned to activate reliever Tommy Hunter from the disabled list next week, but the team decided to go in a different direction after looking closer at how it wants to approach the month of September.

On Thursday, Cleveland announced that Hunter has been released, giving him a chance to pursue a new job as a free agent before the Aug. 31 postseason-eligibility deadline. By parting ways with Hunter, who signed a one-year contract worth $2 million with the Indians over the offseason, Cleveland cleared a spot on its 40-man roster for a potential non-rostered September callup.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber to take on Perez in matchup of division leaders

Kluber to take on Perez in matchup of division leaders

The Indians will send out an American League Cy Young Award candidate of their own in right-hander Corey Kluber for the second game of their series against the Rangers on Friday night at Globe Life Park -- a night after Rangers ace Cole Hamels took the mound.

Kluber has been instrumental in the Indians' stronghold of first place in the AL Central. He's 6-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 road starts this season. He was knocked around a bit by the Rangers in his previous start against them this year, allowing six runs on eight hits in seven innings in a losing effort on May 31.

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Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramirez effective in filling in for Brantley's offense

Spark plug has outperformed Brantley's full-season WAR projection

Ramirez effective in filling in for Brantley's offense

Everyone expected the Indians to pitch well this year, but it was fair to worry if they'd have the offense to back it up. This was a unit that was below average by Weighted Runs Created Plus in 2015, then added to its lineup only Rajai Davis, Mike Napoli, and Juan Uribe -- a trio of 34- to 36-year-olds who were coming off just average offensive seasons themselves -- in what was then seen as an underwhelming offseason.

And then it got worse: Michael Brantley's shoulder issues wound up being more serious than expected, and Cleveland's best hitter over the previous two seasons managed just 43 plate appearances before succumbing to another shoulder surgery that ended his season once and for all. Without Brantley, could an outfield of Davis, Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall lead a playoff team?

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Perez homers, but 5-run 2nd costs Bauer in finale

Perez homers, but 5-run 2nd costs Bauer in finale

OAKLAND -- The Indians traveled to the Coliseum this week with a chance to pick up some wins against an A's team that has struggled all season. Cleveland did not expect to run into the kind of pitching it did in Oakland, where the A's took two of three in the series after a 5-1 win on Wednesday afternoon.

"Boy, hopefully we just have three days of amnesia," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "You've got to give them some credit. They did a number on us."

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the A's on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Offense misses cross-country trip to Oakland

Offense misses cross-country trip to Oakland

OAKLAND -- The Indians arrived in Oakland riding the high of a series that had an October feel to it. Cleveland and Toronto clashed in a classic set, which featured a packed Progressive Field, late-inning heroics and a level of intensity typically reserved for the postseason.

Then, the Indians scored three runs over three days at the Coliseum.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kipnis, Martinez turn slick double play

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Kipnis, Martinez turn slick double play

In shortstop Francisco Lindor, the Indians are spoiled. Not only did he enter play Wednesday hitting a robust .311/.357/.449 on the season, he's posted a 2.2 dWAR and regularly does mind-bending things with his glove and/or his arm.

But the rest of the Indians infield would like to remind folks that he isn't the only one doing ridiculous things. In fact, their latest defensive wizardry, pulled off in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the A's, took place with Lindor having been given most of the day off. Michael Martinez was in at short and Jason Kipnis manned his usual second base, setting the stage for some A+ teamwork.

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Tribe wants consistency from Salazar in between starts

Tribe wants consistency from Salazar in between starts

OAKLAND -- When Danny Salazar took a major step forward last season, the Indians were quick to praise the pitcher's diligence behind the scenes. Now, Cleveland wants the right-hander to get back to the solid routine that helped him emerge as one of the game's top young arms.

On Wednesday morning, Indians manager Terry Francona said that -- like a lot of young players -- Salazar has been in need of reminding at times to stay consistent with his between-start program. The manager said that has especially been the case since Salazar was named to his first career All-Star Game.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gimenez homers in front of family, friends

Gimenez homers in front of family, friends

OAKLAND -- Chris Gimenez was happy not to hear a familiar voice yelling at him from the Coliseum crowd on Tuesday night. The Indians' catcher drew a walk. He did not swing at any bad pitches. For the first time as a Major Leaguer, he also belted a home run with his parents in the stands.

The catcher was mostly relieved, because his 85-year-old grandmother, Julia, liked what she saw.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salazar roughed up early in loss to A's

Salazar roughed up early in loss to A's

OAKLAND -- Sometimes in baseball, a team can't hit what it has never seen. The Indians got their first look at A's rookie left-hander Sean Manaea on Tuesday night, and went down quietly in a 9-1 loss at the Coliseum.

The larger issue for the American League Central-leading Indians, however, was another abbreviated effort from righty Danny Salazar. The starter lasted only four innings, in which he allowed six runs on eight hits, including a three-run homer from slugger Khris Davis in the opening frame. The blast was Davis' 33rd of the season.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Combating Miller's slider not an easy task

Combating Miller's slider not an easy task

OAKLAND -- Rajai Davis called left-hander Andrew Miller's slider an untouchable pitch for a right-handed batter. Sitting at his locker inside the visitors' clubhouse at the Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon, the veteran Cleveland outfielder broke down what he feels is the best way to approach the ace reliever.

"I just think you prepare for the fastball," Davis said. "And then, if the slider is there, and it's in the path of your bat, you hit it. If not ..."

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians trying to get Salazar right again

Indians trying to get Salazar right again

OAKLAND -- It was not that long ago that Danny Salazar had a legitimate case for starting the All-Star Game for the American League. Right now, the Indians would probably have second thoughts about handing him the ball if the season were on the line.

Fortunately for Cleveland, the club has a bit of a cushion atop the American League Central and there is still ample time to get Salazar back on track before the Tribe potentially punches its ticket to October. In the wake of a 9-1 drubbing at the hands of the A's on Tuesday night, though, there was no getting around the reality of Salazar's situation.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrasco, Santana help Indians to win

Carrasco, Santana help Indians to win

OAKLAND -- It was one of those cool nights at the Coliseum on Monday, when one run might just be enough to win. The Indians put that to the test, using a home run by Carlos Santana and a strong outing by Carlos Carrasco to pull off a 1-0 victory to overcome a solid start by A's rookie Andrew Triggs.

"Both teams really pitched well," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We hit a few balls hard, but not a lot. Fortunately, [Santana] ran one out of there, because it looked like that was probably the way someone was going to have to score."

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomes aims to return for postseason push

Gomes aims to return for postseason push

OAKLAND -- Yan Gomes has no hard feelings over the Indians' attempt to trade for catcher Jonathan Lucroy last month. Right now, all Gomes is worried about is getting ready to potentially help Cleveland down the stretch and maybe in October

In the hours leading up to Monday's game against the A's, Gomes went through a workout in right field at the Coliseum, continuing his comeback from a separated right shoulder. The catcher did agility drills and then played catch up to 105 feet while a handful of teammates looked on.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrasco's tank 'not anywhere close to empty'

Carrasco's tank 'not anywhere close to empty'

OAKLAND -- The slider popped into Roberto Perez's glove and the catcher gave an emphastic pump of his right fist. The pitch that Carlos Carrasco released seconds earlier dove under the bat of Khris Davis for a strikeout, bringing an end to the sixth inning and Oakland's only real threat on Monday night.

In a 1-0 victory at the Coliseum, Carrasco was in cruise control. The same could be said for more than the big right-hander's performance against the A's, though. Right now, Carrasco appears to be hitting his stride as Cleveland continues to set its sights on the club's first division crown since 2007.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrew Miller makes Khris Davis look silly on final K

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Andrew Miller makes Khris Davis look silly on final K

Khris Davis is a good hitter. He has a career high 32 home runs and 79 RBIs already this season. He hits walk-off home runs and finishes them off with silky smooth jump shots.

But at the end of the A's 1-0 loss to the Indians on Monday, Davis had to face Cleveland reliever/hitter's walking nightmare Andrew Miller. After having already struck out Jake Smolinski and Danny Valencia, Davis came up and then, well, Davis went down:

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Bradley, Mejia among top prospect performers Tuesday

Top Mets prospects continue to show off talent at Double-A

Bradley, Mejia among top prospect performers Tuesday

Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith proved worthy of their elite prospect rankings as the duo led Double-A Binghamton to a 9-1 victory over Hartford on Tuesday night.

The duo, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the Mets' system, combined to go 6-for-10 with five RBIs in just the latest of several good offensive games for both players.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aiken among top prospect performers Monday

Dodgers No. 2 prospect flirts with no-hitter; Giants' No. 22 stays hot with multi-homer game

Aiken among top prospect performers Monday

Since beginning his season in early May, Jose De Leon has been making a strong case for a late-season promotion to the Major Leagues.

The Dodgers' No. 2 prospect took another step towards achieving that goal on Monday, when he struck out 10 hitters over seven scoreless innings to pace Triple-A Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of New Orleans. He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before surrendering a leadoff single to Marlins No. 11 prospect J.T. Riddle. It was the only hit the right-hander allowed in the contest. De Leon also induced eight ground-ball outs while throwing 66 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late blast, overturned balk lift Tribe past Jays

Late blast, overturned balk lift Tribe past Jays

CLEVELAND -- Everyone in the ballpark knew it was gone as soon as it left his bat. Jose Ramirez's eighth-inning, two-run blast over the wall in left lifted the Indians past the Blue Jays, 3-2, in Sunday's series finale at Progressive Field.

According to Statcast™, Ramirez's homer off Jays reliever Brett Cecil went an estimated 401 feet with an exit velocity of 104 mph. It was his 10th home run of the season, with six of them coming in the eighth or ninth inning. It pushed the Tribe past Toronto in the rubber game between two first-place clubs in a potential postseason preview.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rookie Clevinger keeps his cool in tense 7th

Indians righty fans Encarnacion after originally being called for a balk

Rookie Clevinger keeps his cool in tense 7th

CLEVELAND -- It would have been easy for Indians rookie Mike Clevinger to lose his composure on the mound.

Instead, he recorded perhaps the biggest out of the Tribe's 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays in the rubber match on Sunday at Progressive Field.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Krieger on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Krieger on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The Yankees have gotten both younger and better in the past month. They traded their best hitter (Carlos Beltran) and two best relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller), then installed three rookies in their lineup and two more in their rotation. After playing .500 ball through July, New York is in the midst of its best month (11-8) of the season and has climbed within four games of a Wild Card berth.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

AB by Chisenhall example of Tribe's resolve

AB by Chisenhall example of Tribe's resolve

CLEVELAND -- Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall didn't change his approach in his second at-bat on Saturday night. He just saw enough pitches, and Chisenhall was able to do what few people have done this year against Blue Jays righty Aaron Sanchez.

In Saturday's 6-5 loss, Chisenhall lifted the 10th pitch of his fourth-inning at-bat into the right-field seats, tying the game at 5 and giving the Indians' dugout new life. It was just the 11th home run Sanchez allowed all year.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McKenzie among top prospect performers Sunday

Brewers' No. 4 prospect strikes out 12, White Sox's No. 8 flirts with no-hitter

McKenzie among top prospect performers Sunday

Finding success at the Triple-A level hasn't come easily for Josh Hader. At least not until Sunday night, when the Brewers' No. 4 prospect set a career high by striking out 12 hitters in six scoreless innings to pace Colorado Springs in a 6-0 shutout of Round Rock. He threw 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes, allowing just two hits and one walk to record his first Triple-A win in 12 starts.

Ranked No. 39 on the Top 100, Hader has pitched better for Colorado Springs than his 1-5 record and 4.79 ERA suggest. With his performance Sunday, the 22-year-old left-hander now has fanned 81 hitters in 62 innings since being promoted from Double-A Biloxi on June 11, and he's yielded just three home runs in that span. Hader has thrown the ball particularly well of late, too, registering a 2.88 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings across his past six turns.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tomlin looking for answer to HR woes

Activated Saturday, righty not making excuses after allowing 3 homers to Blue Jays

Tomlin looking for answer to HR woes

CLEVELAND -- Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin has a few different pitches he'd like back from Saturday, but one in particular haunts him more than the rest.

In Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays, Tomlin surrendered three home runs to one of the league's most powerful offenses. The pitch that resulted in last of the trio of blasts is the one he'd like back the most, an 0-1 offering that Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion deposited into the left-field bleachers for a solo shot.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe's 5-run 4th not enough vs. Blue Jays

Tribe's 5-run 4th not enough vs. Blue Jays

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays muscled their way past the Indians with a 6-5 victory in the latest clash of two first-place teams. Toronto blasted a trio of home runs to top Cleveland in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night at Progressive Field.

All three Toronto homers came off Tribe righty Josh Tomlin, who was on the hook for the loss. Russell Martin and Melvin Upton Jr. each went yard off the right-hander in the third to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Edwin Encarnacion took Tomlin deep with a solo shot to left to break a 5-5 deadlock in the fifth. Tomlin lasted 4 1/3 frames, in which he allowed six runs on nine hits.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Usain Naquin' is now part of the Indians' clubhouse

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'Usain Naquin' is now part of the Indians' clubhouse

Last night, with his team tied with the Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth, Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin launched a ball deep to right field. It caromed off the top of the wall, rolling all the way back toward the infield -- and the chase was on. Naquin kept running ... and running ... and running, until he'd pulled off a wild inside-the-park walkoff homer. 

It was a feat of speed so monumental, so world-class, the Indians' radio booth could only come up with one appropriate comparison: Usain Naquin.

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Ty-breaker! Inside-the-parker wins it for Tribe

Ty-breaker! Inside-the-parker wins it for Tribe

CLEVELAND -- For the second straight night, Tyler Naquin is the hero in the second consecutive Indians walk-off. The rookie outfielder scored on an inside-the-park home run to top Toronto, 3-2, on Friday night at Progressive Field in a battle between two first-place teams.

Jose Ramirez gave the the Indians life in the home half of the ninth with a one-out solo shot to right off Blue Jays righty Roberto Osuna. Naquin followed suit, lifting one off the wall in right before racing around the bases.
 

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.