MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Brantley's resurgence impressive by numbers

Brantley's resurgence impressive by numbers

CLEVELAND -- The RBI double in the first bounced out of the glove of Josh Reddick, who just about 24 hours earlier had made one of the great homer-robbing catches of this young season. The two-run single in the fifth was the product of a scorched-earth grounder aided by a drawn-in infield. So the latest triumph in Michael Brantley's comeback campaign -- 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the Indians' 7-6 win over the Astros on Wednesday night at Progressive Field -- had a little luck attached, as Brantley himself would acknowledge.

"You gotta get those breaks," he said.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe bullpen toughs out nail-biter

Miller escapes jam; Allen notches four-out save

Tribe bullpen toughs out nail-biter

CLEVELAND -- When the bullpen phone rang on Wednesday night, Indians closer Cody Allen was ready. It did not matter that the ninth inning had not arrived. As Cleveland showed the world in October, its relievers are not only overpowering, but also adaptable.

In a 7-6 victory at Progressive Field, the Indians gave the Astros a glimpse of the formula that worked so well in the Tribe's run to the World Series. Allen worked a four-out save and relief ace Andrew Miller pitched out of a critical jam in the seventh. If Cleveland and Houston meet their goal of reaching the postseason this year, expect more of the same from Indians manager Terry Francona.

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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.

Santana, Brantley key Tribe's offense in win

Santana, Brantley key Tribe's offense in win

CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley does not look like he's missed a beat. In a 7-6 victory over the Astros at Progressive Field on Wednesday night, the Indians left fielder continued his impressive comeback with a pair of hits and three RBIs to pace the Tribe's offense.

"Getting him back in name is one thing," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But getting him back as the player he was is pretty impressive on his part. I think the more repetition he gets, you're starting to see him get some timing. That's good."

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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Lindor messed with Correa at second

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Lindor messed with Correa at second

Nearly seven years ago, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade decided to join forces in Miami after a friendship born during their time with the U.S. National Team. This year's World Baseball Classic has helped develop similarly strong bonds for baseball.

During Wednesday night's game between the Indians and Astros, shortstops Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa had a little fun at second base after a fourth-inning double by Correa.

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Jackson 'feeling like myself again' after HR

Long ball vs. Astros was outfielder's first since 2015

Jackson 'feeling like myself again' after HR

CLEVELAND -- Austin Jackson's trot around the bases at Progressive Field on Tuesday night carried a little extra meaning for the veteran outfielder. The blast did not help the Indians to a win in the end, but it was another sign that Jackson is feeling more like himself on the field again.

The home run was the first in 572 days for Jackson, who signed a Minor League contract with Cleveland over the offseason with the hope of competing for an Opening Day roster spot. Coming off left knee surgery that ended his season in June with the White Sox, Jackson not only broke camp with the Tribe, but he has thrived in the first month.

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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 hoping for more K's vs. Astros

Kluber hoping for more K's vs. Astros

In the finale of a three-game set between two of the American League's top teams, Indians ace Corey Kluber will face off against Astros right-hander Mike Fiers on Thursday at Progressive Field.

After 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel's six-hit, complete-game performance to open the series on Tuesday, the Indians will look to their former Cy Young Award winner to ring in another strong start. Kluber is coming off his strongest outing of the season, where he allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out nine in a 110-pitch shutout against the White Sox on Friday.

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

Tito's faith in Guyer not swayed by struggles

Specialist against lefty pitching finds hits hard to come by

Tito's faith in Guyer not swayed by struggles

CLEVELAND -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch headed out to the mound with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday night. Even with Brandon Guyer due up for the Indians, Hinch was not considering removing left-hander Dallas Keuchel from the game. The manager just wanted to quickly go over the situation.

Keuchel was rolling -- as has been the case all month -- but Guyer's specialty is serving as a weapon against lefty pitching, and he represented the tying run. In a 4-2 loss for Cleveland, Keuchel put the finishing touch on a complete game by inducing a game-ending groundout off Guyer's bat, continuing the outfielder's April-long struggles.

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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 scrape, but Astros push aside rallies

Indians scrape, but Astros push aside rallies

CLEVELAND -- In a matchup of two of the American League's top clubs, Dallas Keuchel was once again on top of his game. The Houston lefty continued his strong start to the season, stifling the Indians in a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Behind a complete-game six-hitter, Keuchel improved to 4-0 on the young season for the AL West-leading Astros, ending the night with a 1.22 ERA. The left-hander struck out five and sidestepped the potential harm of the three walks he issued. Keuchel has now thrown 11 complete games in his career.

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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.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Reddick pulls back homer, stunning Kipnis

Reddick pulls back homer, stunning Kipnis

CLEVELAND -- Making his first start of the year in center field, Astros outfielder Josh Reddick delivered a terrific catch in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's 4-2 win over the Indians, stealing what would've been the first home run of the season from second baseman Jason Kipnis.

Starting in center with George Springer (hamstring discomfort) and Jake Marisnick (mild concussion) both out of the lineup, Reddick tracked down Kipnis' deep fly at the wall in right-center and caught the ball as it was sailing above the yellow line to rob him of a home run. The ball traveled 391 feet, according to Statcast™.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Common sense' key to Kipnis' rest regimen

'Common sense' key to Kipnis' rest regimen

CLEVELAND -- The Indians would not have activated Jason Kipnis from the disabled list if he was not ready. The challenge for manager Terry Francona now is to balance having his second baseman back and taking steps to avoid running him into the ground.

An example came in Chicago on Sunday, when Kipnis was out of the starting lineup after playing in consecutive games following time on the DL with a right shoulder issue. Francona plans on looking for spots early on to give Kipnis rest, as the second baseman builds up the physical endurance required for a long 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. 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.

Diaz working on pitch selection at Triple-A

After impressive turn in Majors, Indians see potential in infielder

Diaz working on pitch selection at Triple-A

CLEVELAND -- Yandy Diaz put one of his best offensive skills on display on Opening Day. Rangers ace Yu Darvish sent a fastball just below the strike zone, and the Indians rookie shot the pitch into the right-field corner for a double. It was Diaz's first Major League hit and a look into his potential.

That glimpse of Diaz's ability also served as a bit of foreshadowing for what was to come. During his 15-game stint with Cleveland, Diaz turned in an extremely unique offensive performance. He consistently hit the ball hard, but he frequently pounded pitches into the ground. In this age of exit velocity and launch angle, there was no hitter quite like Diaz out of the gates this 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. 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.

Mejia extends streak to 13 games

Mejia extends streak to 13 games

Posting zeroes has become the norm for Class A Kane County's Jon Duplantier in the first month of the Minor League season. On Monday, the D-backs' No. 8 prospect fired five dominant frames to extend his scoreless innings streak to 20 1/3 to begin the season.

Duplantier, 22, allowed three hits and struck out eight batters en route to his first professional win. He generated six ground-ball outs and did not record a flyout in the outing, throwing 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes in his third start (and fourth appearance) for the Cougars.

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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.

Tribe Minors RHP Delabar suspended for PEDs

Former MLB All-Star Steve Delabar and Mariners reliever Jonathan Aro were among three Minor Leaguers suspended Monday, the Commissioner's Office announced.

Delabar, a six-year Major League veteran who made the 2013 American League All-Star team as a member of the Blue Jays, received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Ostarine. Delabar is on the roster of the Columbus Clippers, the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. As a result of the suspension, Delabar would not be eligible for the postseason if he were to be promoted to the Majors.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Indians taking shape as contenders in AL

Tribe is healthy and beginning after slow start to 2017 season

Indians taking shape as contenders in AL

CHICAGO -- Yes, these are the Indians the way they were drawn up. While the 10-8 record doesn't blow you away, it projects to 90 wins over 162 games, and it's only been in the last week that the reigning American League champions have hit their stride.

When the Indians headed home to Cleveland on Sunday night, after a 6-2 loss to the White Sox that could be written off as a throw-away day, they were in a lot better shape than they were the last time they left Chicago. That was after Game 5 of the World Series.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe defense shows little glove in loss

Three costly errors and a defensive miscue lead to 3 White Sox runs

Tribe defense shows little glove in loss

CHICAGO -- Still down on his left knee, Carlos Santana opened his empty glove and stared for a moment in disbelief. The Indians first baseman then looked at his right shoe and back again at his glove. Not only was there no baseball, but the one Santana thought he had corralled was bouncing into center field.

That summed up how things went for Cleveland in a 6-2 loss to the White Sox on Sunday afternoon. After strong pitching and stellar defense helped the Tribe win the first two games of the series, the Indians made three errors and helped Chicago to a win in the finale.

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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.

Gomes' arm drawing rave reviews from Tribe

Gomes' arm drawing rave reviews from Tribe

CHICAGO -- Indians manager Terry Francona's eyes widened at the mention of the play on Sunday morning. One night earlier, catcher Yan Gomes threw out Tyler Saladino from his knees. The quickness and strength displayed in only a few seconds blew Francona away.

"Santiago-esque. That was unbelievable, man," Francona said prior to Sunday's game against the White Sox. "That was his only way to throw it, because the [pitch] took him there and the guy had such a good jump. That's some serious arm strength. That was sick."

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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.

Lindor homers to back Salazar in loss to Sox

Lindor homers to back Salazar in loss to Sox

CHICAGO -- The matchup of Derek Holland against the Cleveland Indians seems to be a favorable one for the White Sox southpaw.

Holland limited the defending American League champions to one run in six innings on Sunday during a 6-2 White Sox victory at Guaranteed Rate Field. Holland improved to 2-2 overall and 2-0 against the Indians this season, raising his career mark to 7-1 against Cleveland with a 2.27 ERA. Holland struck out six and walked three.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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.

Tribe rides homers, Carrasco past White Sox

Tribe rides homers, Carrasco past White Sox

CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco followed the example set by Corey Kluber Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field by shutting out the White Sox over eight innings Saturday in a 7-0 Cleveland victory. Carrasco said the Tribe's rotation is beginning to have the kind of internal competition that helped the team so much last year.

"That's what we want to do," Carrasco said. "Every time Kluber throws and goes seven innings or eight innings, why not? I want to follow that. I think that's good. I did that today and I hope [Danny] Salazar does that tomorrow."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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 nearly matches Kluber's feat vs. Sox

Carrasco nearly matches Kluber's feat vs. Sox

CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco briefly pleaded his case in the visitors' dugout, but it was no use. After eight brilliant innings against the White Sox on Saturday night, the pitcher's night was done. Indians manager Terry Francona didn't give in to the pressure.

"We need him for the long haul," Francona said after Cleveland's 7-0 win at Guaranteed Rate Field. "My heart was saying yeah, but I just didn't think it made sense."

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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.

Ramirez's versatility gives relief to ailing Tribe

Skilled defender slides back to third base after filling in for Kipnis at second

Ramirez's versatility gives relief to ailing Tribe

CHICAGO -- Part of Jose Ramirez's value is his ability to move around the diamond for the Indians. While Jason Kipnis was sidelined earlier this month, Ramirez filled in at second base. Last year, Ramirez played left field in Michael Brantley's absence before sliding to third base for the second half.

With Kipnis now off the disabled list, Ramirez handed over the keys to second and returned to the hot corner. Calling Ramirez a utility player does not accurately describe what he brings to the table for Cleveland, because he is in the lineup every day and has found a home as the team's fifth hitter.

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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 dominates White Sox in 3-hit shutout

Kluber dominates White Sox in 3-hit shutout

CHICAGO -- Cleveland's Corey Kluber and the White Sox Jose Quintana rank as the aces of their respective staffs. But their 2017 statistics, albeit from a three-start sample size, didn't exactly support that assessment entering Friday's series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Both pitched well Friday, but Kluber took it a step beyond during a 3-0 whitewash of the South Siders. Kluber allowed three hits in his complete-game, 110-pitch performance, striking out nine and walking two. Quintana lasted six innings and 106 pitches, fanning six and walking three while allowing five hits. Kluber faced 29 hitters, two over the minimum.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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.

Resurfacing of Kluber's cutter key in victory

Resurfacing of Kluber's cutter key in victory

CHICAGO -- As Corey Kluber warmed up in the bullpen on Friday night, Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway noticed the pitcher's curveball did not have its usual bite. Catcher Yan Gomes noticed the same. On a brisk night on Chicago's south side, it was not the sharpest pregame throwing session for Cleveland's ace.

"I don't know if he'll like me saying this," Gomes said after Kluber's three-hit shutout against the White Sox in a 3-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field. "It wasn't one of those where you're coming in like, 'He's got it today.' He just turns it on when he steps on the mound."

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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 activate Kipnis from 10-day DL

Rookie third baseman Diaz optioned to Triple-A Columbus

Indians activate Kipnis from 10-day DL

CHICAGO -- The Indians have started to look more like themselves on the field this week, and now the reigning American League champions are adding a familiar face back into the fold.

Prior to Friday's game against the White Sox, Cleveland activated second baseman Jason Kipnis from the 10-day disabled list, following his comeback from a right shoulder injury. The Indians optioned rookie third baseman Yandy Diaz to Triple-A Columbus to clear a spot on the active roster for Kipnis' return.

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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.

Lindor reportedly turned down offer this spring

Indians shortstop under club control through 2021 season

Lindor reportedly turned down offer this spring

CHICAGO -- Francisco Lindor can picture himself signing an extension and wearing an Indians uniform for a long time. Asked about that possibility on Friday afternoon, Cleveland's shortstop flashed the smile that baseball fans have become familiar with during his recent rise to stardom.

"Why not?" Lindor said. "Yeah, of course, when the time comes, when the right time comes. Is it the right time now? I don't know. I don't think so. I'm just focusing on playing the game, and whatever's going to happen is going to happen."

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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.

Tribe sweeps Twins behind Bauer, Santana

Tribe sweeps Twins behind Bauer, Santana

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Bauer threw 6 1/3 solid innings, and Carlos Santana connected on a pair of RBI doubles to lift the Indians to a three-game sweep over the Twins with a 6-2 win on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

Cleveland trailed by a run heading into the seventh after another strong outing from Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, but rallied for three runs. Carlos Santana tied it with an RBI double off lefty Taylor Rogers, who walked Michael Brantley for the go-ahead run after an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor. The Indians got an insurance run on another bases-loaded walk from Jose Ramirez.

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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday.

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

Clutch hits by Santana aid comeback

Switch-hitter ends Twins starter Santana's 22-inning scoreless streak

Clutch hits by Santana aid comeback

MINNEAPOLIS -- Carlos Santana could fit in just fine in a number of different places in the Cleveland lineup. Manager Terry Francona likes Santana batting leadoff, though, and has written Santana's name at the top of the lineup card in all 15 games so far this season.

Having the switch-hitting Santana bat leadoff proved successful on Thursday as the Cleveland first baseman notched a pair of RBI doubles and had three total hits in the Indians' 6-2 victory over Minnesota.

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Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rainout pushes Indians' starters back a day

Rainout pushes Indians' starters back a day

MINNEAPOLIS -- April weather in Minnesota is unpredictable -- the Twins have played in snow before -- and Wednesday's rainout forced both teams to figure out what to do with their respective rotations.

For Indians manager Terry Francona, the decision was to keep his rotation in order. Instead of skipping right-hander Trevor Bauer, who was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday, Francona pushed his entire rotation back a day.

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Tyler Mason is contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Versatile Ramirez coming up big at the plate

Versatile Ramirez coming up big at the plate

MINNEAPOLIS -- In games in which the Indians' offense has put up big numbers, chances are good Jose Ramirez is somewhere in the thick of things.

Including Tuesday's 11-4 win over Minnesota, Cleveland has scored eight or more runs four times this season. In each of those four games, Ramirez has driven in multiple runs.

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Tyler Mason is a contributor to MLB.com based in Minnesota and covered the Indians on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.