CLEVELAND, Ohio – Speed is a wonderful thing because it never drops. At least that’s what every manager or coach will tell you.
Oscar Mercado’s bat is in crisis. His legs aren’t, and that’s one of the reasons the Indians beat Cincinnati 2-0 on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
The new third base coach, Tony Mansolino, tried to stop Mercado, but had little chance. Mansolino was called up from the Indians̵
To be honest, the way Mercado was running, it could only be stopped with a flying machine or a hamstring pull. The man moved.
“I played for Manso (in Columbus) and he’s incredible,” said Mercado. “It was just one of those things I passed out and chose to do. If I get kicked out there, I have every reason to be chewed. To be honest, it wasn’t the smartest piece, but it worked. “
The fifth inning in two runs made Mike Clevinger the winner (1-1, 3.24). Clevinger pulled the Reds out in order of the first, which was a feat after allowing five runs, including three Homer, in the first inning of his previous two starts.
“He mixed his pitches early,” said Alomar. “We felt that they would be aggressive against him. The game’s first stroke swung in first place. After that, he started using his breaking ball. He had a good one, he was hot and he slowed down their bats. “
Clevinger had control problems. He went five in 5 2/3 innings, but he did not allow a run. He hit four and only allowed two hits.
Red’s rookie Tejay Antone (0-1, 2:08) kept the Indians goalless through four innings on his first start in the big league. He went to Jordan Luplow to start fifth, and manager David Bell switched to Mike Lorenzen after Sandy Leon was the first to rebound.
Mercado met .121 and went for a walk with Lorenzen. Cesar Hernandez scored Luplow 1-0 on the left side of the infield. Ramirez, with the first and second runners, sent Freddy Galvis, who looked like a double game, to the short stop. He turned to Josh VanMeter, who was forcing Hernandez, and tossed it on the plate. Mercado hit the catcher Tucker Barnhart upside down on the inside of the plate.
“Mansolino tried to keep Oscar,” said Alomar. “Mercado said he saw the shortstop (Galvis). When he saw that, he felt he had enough time to score. It was a heads-up game of his, but it wasn’t a specific game that he would normally play.
“He was more aggressive because of the situation we are in now (no races). He felt we had to do something. “
The Indians had two hits with runners in the goal position on Wednesday evening. They had three in their just completed six-game trip to Minnesota’s goal field and Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. In a sport where baby steps mean everything, that’s called progress.
Her only other real chance to score was the third. Leon and Hernandez left, and Ramirez broke a 0-for-16 skid with a bloop single in the middle. The threat ended when Francisco Lindor played a double.
The Reds are constantly putting pressure on Clevinger.
Jesse Winker prevailed with one goal in the second. Nick Senzel reached for a catcher interference call against Leon. The Indians have the worst hit average in the American League, but they already have two interference calls against them. Make what you want out of it.
Winker and Senzel tried to get on in a field in the dirt. Winker made it to third place, but Senzel was cleared from innings 2-3-6 for the second. Clevinger knocked out VanMeter to finish the inning.
Galvis went to start the third. Shogo Akiyama doubled it with a drive from the left field wall to third place. Clevinger was eliminated from Nick Castellanos, who came into play with six homers. Joey Votto, who defeated the Indians with a Homer from two runs on Monday evening, went left on a fly ball.
Clevinger opened the fourth and third with another walk, this time to Eugenio Suarez. He took the potential drama out of the inning by withdrawing the next three batters.
The red squeezed Clevinger again in the sixth. Castellanos went to open the inning. Votto flew to the right, but Leon took Castellanos first when Carlos Santana blocked him with his foot from the pocket while he applied the label. The Reds challenged referee Jerry Meals’ out call, but the call stood after a 1 minute and 35 second review.
Clevinger’s night ended when he went to Winker. Dominic Leone was relieved and knocked out Senzel.
The Indian bullpen was still well positioned. Leone, Oliver Perez, James Karinchak and Brad Hand combined a three-hit shutout with Clevinger. The four helpers allowed only one hit with five deflections.
“You did a fantastic job,” said Alomar.
Hand scored his fourth save and second in as many games against the Reds with a goalless ninth.
The win meant that the Ohio Cup remained in the possession of the Indians. The Indians lead the four-game series 2-1, which means that the best the Reds can do is win on Thursday. Since the Indians won the trophy last year, they have been in possession.
The Indians and Reds will end their four-game series on Thursday when right-hander Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 3.75) meets Cincinnati right-hander Luis Castillo (0-1, 4.50) at 6:10 p.m. in Progressive Field. SportsTime Ohio and WTAM will carry the game.
Carrasco is 3-0 with 4.05 ERA in six career appearances against the Reds, including five starts. Castillo is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in a start against the Indians.
New Indian Face Masks for Sale: Here you can buy Cleveland Indian-themed facewear to protect against corona viruses, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB earnings are donated to charity.
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