Danny Salazar (11-7, 3,16) was once again spectacular and Lonnie Chisenhall sparked a 5-run 4th as the Cleveland Indians crushed the Boston Red Sox 8-2 in Fenway Park.
Salazar tossed 7 innings of 4-hit baseball, allowing 1 run and walking 1. Dating back to his July 10th start against Oakland, Salazar has allowed only 8 runs in 49.1 IP (1.45 ERA). The opposition holds a minuscule .147 batting average over that 7-game span.
The Tribe offense was clicking too. The Tribe batted a round in the 4th inning, sparked by a bases-loaded 2-run double off the green monster by right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. It all began with a 1-out double down the right field line that skipped just inside the foul line by Michael Brantley. Brantley had been sidelined through the Minnesota series with right shoulder soreness. Dr. Smooth picked up right where he left off, going 2-for-5 with a run scored and one batted in. Brantley is hitting .381 in the second half, increasing his season batting average to .313.
Carlos Santana followed Brantley’s double with a single that moved Brantley to third. In a rather surprising play call by manager Terry Francona, Abraham Almonte followed with a perfect bunt down the first base line that scored Brantley. The bunt was misplayed by Boston starter Matt Barnes (3-3, 6.57) and went for an infield single. Yan Gomes then walked to load the bases, setting up the big double by Chisenhall.
Santana and Chisnehall added solo home runs in the 5th and 6th innings, respectively.
Since returning to the big leagues on July 30th, Chisenhall has been hot. In 15 games, Chisenhall is 18-for-48 (.375) with 4 extra base hits, 9 RBIs, and 7 runs scored. Chisnehall was demoted to AAA-Columbus on June 8th with a .208 batting average, which has now risen to .244.
The Indians can be two different teams based on how (if) the offense performs. They hold a 41-16 (.719) record in games where they score 4 or more runs. Conversely, they’re 14-46 (.233) when scoring 3 or fewer.
Trevor Bauer (9-9, 4.35) goes tonight against Red Sox leftie Eduardo Rodriguez (6-5, 4.83). It remains unclear if Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis will return from the disabled list (right shoulder) tonight or Wednesday.