More Thursday fun: Kluber highlight reel, 5-run inning

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The Indians used two things to beat the Royals on Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field: Corey Kluber’s right arm and a five-run fifth inning — a season high for runs scored in one frame. They helped the Tribe even its record at 11-11 and take the series from the Royals.

Here is video proof of each, starting with Kluber’s highlights …

… and the Tribe’s five-run fifth inning, which featured five hits and a walk. Click here to watch it!

Thursday recap: Photos, fun facts from Kluber’s dominance

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CLEVELAND INDIANS POST-GAME NOTES, APRIL 24 (Photos by Dan Mendlik and David Cleveland)

CLEVELAND

  • Cleveland took the final game of this series by a final score of 5-1 and has won its first series since taking 2 of 3 from San Diego April 8-9.
  • Today’s win signaled the Tribe’s second consecutive victory vs. a left-handed starter after starting the year just 2-5 vs. opposing southpaws.
  • Indians have now gone 11-5 against the Royals here at Progressive Field dating back to September, 2012.
  • The Tribe will now head west for a 6-day, 6-game road trip through San Francisco (3 games) and Anaheim (3 games).

COREY KLUBER

  • Notched his first career complete game this afternoon, allowing just one unearned run while striking out a career-high 11 batters (W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 101 pitches/75 strikes).
  • Bested his previous career-high innings (8.2, July 31, 2013 vs. CWS) and strikeouts (10, 2x, last July 7, 2013 vs. Detroit).
  • The Indians received 3 complete games from Justin Masterson in 2013, last coming on June 30, 2013 at Chicago-AL.
  • Masterson owns the last 4 complete games turned in by Indians pitchers, as Kluber’s effort today was the Tribe’s first from a pitcher other than Masterson since Derek Lowe in May 15, 2012 at Minnesota.
  • The last Indians hurler to turn in a complete game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks was C.C Sabathia on September 7, 2005 at Detroit; first effort with those parameters here at Progressive Field since Orel Hershiser on June 5th, 1995.
  • The last Indians pitcher to throw a complete game with at least 11 strikeouts, 0 walks and 0 earned runs was Len Barker (perfect game) on May 15, 1981.

o    Just the 7th such effort by an Indians pitcher dating back to 1914

5 IN 5

  • After notching just one hit through the first 4 innings, the Indians offense exploded for 5 runs on 5 hits and chased Kansas City starter Bruce Chen with 1 out in the inning.
  • The Indians 5-run inning marked a season-best and signaled the first time the Tribe has plated 5 runs in a single inning since September 14, 2013 (T4th, 5 runs) at Chicago-AL; Tribe won 8-1
  • The 5 hits in the inning matched a season high, previously accomplished in the 5th inning of a 7-2 victory vs. Minnesota.

MICHAEL BRANTLEY

  • Knocked in the Tribe’s first run in the 5-run fifth inning following a Carlos Santana lead-off double.
  • Brantley has hit in 5 straight games (7-17) and is now batting .333 (10-30) with 3 home runs and 9 RBI over his last 8 games.
  • Batting .405 (15-37) with runners on base and entered the game ranked 6th in the American league with 18 RBI.

DAVID MURPHY

  • Slapped a 2-run single with the bases loaded to push across the Tribe’s 2nd and 3rd runs of the 5th inning.
  • Marked Murphy’s second bases-loaded RBI base hit of the homestand (emptied the bases w/ a 3-run double on Sunday vs. Toronto); he is now 3-4 w/ 9 RBI in bases-loaded plate appearances this season; a lifetime .350 (28/80) hitter with the bags full.
  • Murphy leads the American League with a .533 average w/ RISP.

BRUCE CHEN

  • Shouldered his second loss of the season after allowing all 5 Indians runs to score in the top of the 5th (L, 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R-ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 75 pitches/49 strikes).
  • Chen allowed a lead-off single to Asdrubal Cabrera before retiring the next 11 batters he faced prior to the 5th.
  • Chen entered this afternoon’s game 7-3 with a 4.29 ERA in 19 career outings (12 starts) vs. the Indians, including a 7-1 mark since 2010.

INSTANT REPLAY: Umpire crew chief Bill Miller initiated an instant-replay review on a play at home plate in the first inning of today’s game…Miller reviewed whether or not Kansas City catcher Brett Hayes was blocking the plate…Terry Francona elected not to challenge the out call at the plate; catcher’s positioning is not eligible for challenging by a manager.

Wednesday recap: Photos (fun!) and post-game notes

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Post-game notes: April 23

CLEVELAND

  • Will enter Thursday afternoon’s finale against the Royals with a shot at a winning homestand, as the Tribe is now 3-3 on this 7-day stay against Toronto (1-2) and Kansas City (2-1).
  • Won for just the second time this season when facing an opposing left-handed starter (2-6)…Tribe lefties went 4-for-9 with a pair of RBI against Royals southpaw JASON VARGAS.

LONELY ISLAND

  • The Indians bullpen stranded a pair of inherited runners in the 7th inning (game was tied 3-3) and one more in the 8th (Tribe held 4-3 lead), extending a successful stretch of stranding 11 consecutive inherited runners.
  • Cleveland relievers have stranded a Major League-best 32 of 35 (91.4%) inherited runners overall in 2014.
  • Tribe bullpen has posted a 2.74 ERA (21 ER/69.0 IP) and .214 (54-252) avg. against overall this season, which includes a 1.93 ERA (4 ER/18.2 IP) and .212 (14-66) avg. against through 6 games of the current homestand.

ROYALS GO BACK-TO-BACK IN THE SECOND INNING

  • SALVADOR PEREZ (1) & MIKE MOUSTAKAS (4) connected for back-to-back one-out solo homers to give Kansas City an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning…marked the first pair of back-to-back home runs for the Royals since July 4, 2013 vs. Cleveland (Lorenzo Cain/George Kottaras, 6th inn.).
  • Kansas City entered tonight with the fewest home runs in the Majors (7)…Royals have homered 3 times against Cleveland after entering the series with just 6.
  • Cleveland’s pitching staff entered tonight’s game having allowed the fewest home runs in the A.L. and 3rd-fewest in the Majors (12 HR in 20 games thru April 22).

JUSTIN MASTERSON

  • Took his fifth no-decision in as many starts this season (5) despite tossing his second consecutive quality start and third overall (6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R-2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 98 pitches/64 strikes)…last decision of any kind came on Sept. 2, 2013 vs. Baltimore; last victory came on Aug. 21, 2013 at Los Angeles-AL.
  • Allowed both earned runs he permitted on a pair of back-to-back solo homers in the 2nd inning…had surrendered just one home run through his first 4 starts and 21.2 innings…allowed multiple home runs in the same outing just twice all of last season (June 3 at New York-AL & June 25 at Baltimore)…tonight marked just the fifth time in Masterson’s career to give up multiple homers in a start/appearance here at Progressive Field, first since Aug. 30, 2012 vs. Oakland (3 HR).

MICHAEL BOURN

  • Erased a 2-0 deficit with his 2-out, 2-run triple in the 2nd inning, scoring Cabrera and Aviles…was his first triple of the season.
  • With an RBI-single on Tuesday vs. Kansas City, Bourn has now driven in 3 runs in his last 2 games after no RBI through his first 5 games of the season with Cleveland.

MICHAEL BRANTLEY

  • Collected his team-best fourth stolen base of the season with one out in the 6th inning and then scored a game-tying run (3-3) on 2 subsequent Kansas City errors that occurred on the same play (E2/E8)…reached base on a one-out single off fellow lefty Vargas…also drew a walk in the 8th that helped push across the Indians’ fifth run.

JASON KIPNIS

  • Broke a 3-3 tie with his 2-out, RBI-double to score Swisher (2-out single) and give Cleveland a 4-3 lead…has 10 RBI on the season, including 3 in this series against Kansas City.
  • Notched his sixth multi-hit game of the season, tied with Swisher for most on the team.

LONNIE CHISENHALL

  • Provided Cleveland with an insurance run, delivering a one-out, pinch-hit RBI-single in the bottom of the 8th to make it 5-3 – the first pinch-hit or pinch-RBI for Cleveland this season…was Chisenhall’s second career pinch-RBI, the other coming courtesy of a solo home run on Aug. 29, 2013 at Atlanta…marked Chisenhall’s first RBI of any kind in 12 games this season and first since Sept. 21, 2013 vs. Houston.

JOHN AXFORD

  • Notched his A.L.-leading 8th save of the year (8-for-9), converting 4 consecutive save opportunities in as many relief appearances since lone blown save on April 13 at Chicago-AL.

High school students: You can be a Tribe Reporter for a Day!

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Tribe Reporters for a Day can sit in on Terry Francona’s daily meeting with the media.

If you are a high school student in grades 9-12 interested in a career in sports writing, reporting, broadcasting or journalism, you will not want to miss this opportunity!

The Tribe Reporter for a Day experience includes the opportunity to observe Manager Terry Francona’s daily media briefing, interview Cleveland Indians team players and/or coaches in a press conference (subject to availability), listen to career background and advice from Indians Beat Writer, Paul Hoynes and receive two (2) tickets to see the Tribe take on the Minnesota Twins at 7:05 p.m. that evening.

For a chance to be selected as one of the 25 Tribe Reporters for a Day, send The Plain Dealer an essay that addresses the following two questions:

1. Why do you want to be a sports writer, reporter, broadcaster or journalist?

2. If selected, how will the opportunity of being a Tribe Reporter for a Day help and/or support your career ambitions?

Entries must be typed in a Word document, double-spaced, 12-pt., Times New Roman font in black ink and limited to 500 words. Be sure to check for spelling and grammatical errors before submitting. Please also include your name, school, grade, phone number and home address on your entry. Failure to meet all contest entry requirements will disqualify an entry from being considered.

Twenty-five (25) winners will be selected and will be notified by mail around April 29.

Winners must be available to attend the afternoon event at Progressive Field beginning at 3PM on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Winners are responsible for their own transportation to and from Progressive Field.

Please call 1.800.NIE.NEWS with questions.

You may email your essay by attaching your Word document to nie@cleveland.com subject line, “Tribe Reporter” or mail your essay to:

Northeast Ohio Media Group’s NIE “Tribe Reporter for a Day” Contest

Plain Dealer Plaza

1801 Superior Avenue, Suite 100

Cleveland, OH 44114

22-year Army vet and new Season Ticket Holder sees first game at ballpark

Woody Carl (far right) took in his first Tribe game at Progressive Field on Tuesday. The 22-year Army vet was joined by lifelong friends Paul and Connie Santabarbara, and wife Kristie (second from right).

Woody Carl (far right) took in his first Tribe game at Progressive Field on Tuesday. The 22-year Army vet was joined by lifelong friends Paul and Connie Santabarbara, and wife Kristie (second from right).

It took a long time for Woody Carl to see his first game at Progressive Field, a milestone that finally came on Tuesday night.

But he had a good reason: Carl has been in the Army for 22 years, including three stints in Afghanistan.

The Cuyahoga Falls native and resident, now a Tribe Season Ticket Holder, returned from his last trip to Afghanistan last Saturday, and was in attendance with his wife, Kristie, and friends, Paul and Connie Santabarbara.

Oh, and there’s more one more thing: Tuesday was Carl’s 47th birthday.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said as he and Paul scampered off to get hot dogs and beverages before first pitch.

He said he’d been to many games at old Municipal Stadium, but this was his first. As for what he’s doing now after his lengthy service to our country, his answer was simple.

“Relaxing,” he said.

–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond

Exclusive interview with the Progressive Field squirrel

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In case you missed it during Monday night’s Indians-Royals game, a squirrel made its way onto the field and had a jolly good time with the wide expanse of lush, green grass at Progressive Field, as evidenced by the video below:

We also have a bunch of photos of the squirrel’s outfield soiree, which started during Royals BP and quite clearly carried over into the game.

Very early this morning, in an exclusive interview, we caught up with the squirrel for an interview. He agreed to the interview on the basis of his location remaining anonymous.

TribeVibe: That was really nuts last night, huh?

Squirrel: Congratulations, you’re the 3 billionth person to ever use that pun. There is a prize.

TV: Oh, a sarcastic squirrel. Very well … How’d you get into the ballpark?

Squirrel: I bought a $10 Upper Bleacher ticket online and used paperless ticketing to save the most money, like you all told me to. (By the way, did you know they’re available for the rest of this series?)

Just kidding. I weigh one pound and about 6 inches wide. I can get wherever I want to go.

TV: The fans really seemed to like you. The grounds crew, not so much.

Squirrel: Those guys get no love, so I wanted to try to get them some face time on the TV broadcasts. They were appreciative of my efforts, trust me.

TV: We noticed Swish tried to pick you up in his glove; after the game, he said, “I just kind of thought I’d put my glove down and give him a nice little home to come into.” But you rebuffed his efforts. Why?

Squirrel: No offense, bro, but I need my down time. I can’t be ‘on’ all the time. I’ve seen that bunk mates video with Mike Polk (http://tribevibe.mlblogs.com/2014/03/24/post-harlem-shake-nick-swisher-makes-a-new-best-bud-in-goodyear/), that gave me nightmares.

TV: What’s next for you?

Squirrel: I’m thinking about a Season Ticket package at the ballpark … Did you know Indians Season Ticket Holders in 2013 saved on average 40% over walkup purchasers? That’s a pretty dang good deal!

Just kidding. I’m a gosh darn squirrel, I’m going to do whatever the heck I want! Maybe I’ll see you again soon, Tribe Town!

Photo Gallery: Tribe beats KC, plus the case of the curious squirrel

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–Photos by Dan Mendlik and David Cleveland

POST-GAME NOTES: April 21, 2014

CLEVELAND

  • The Indians took the series opener vs. the Royals, 4-3, and have now reeled off back-to-back victories for the first time since April 8 & 9th (G1); Tribe also improves to 5-2 in series lid-lifters this season.
  • With another strong effort from the bullpen, the Indians were able to hold on for the club’s 2nd one-run victory of the season (first in Cleveland) and improved to 7-4 in games decided by one (2-3) or two (5-1) runs this season, this after going a combined 41-29 last season in games decided by one (30-17, 2nd-best in MLB) or two (11-12) runs…also marked the Tribe’s 5th victory of the season after trailing at some point during the game.
  • Tribe’s bullpen has reeled off 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings after shutting out the Royals over the last 3.0 innings tonight; Indians relievers entered play today owning the 3rd-lowest relief ERA in the American League and have a 2.63 figure (18 ER/61.2 IP) after tonight’s effort…with another inherited runner left stranded tonight, the Indians bullpen has stranded all but 3 (25 of 28) inherited runners on the season – 89.3% success rate.
  • The Indians offense recorded a season-high 7 extra base hits, collecting 5 doubles and a pair of 2-run homers; previous high of 5 was accomplished 3 times.

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

  • The Indians and Royals entered tonight’s game a combined 6-0 in games started by their respective starting pitchers…the Indians and Royals each entered play with 3-0 records for both Zach McAllister and Jeremy Guthrie.
  • With both starters factoring into the decision, McAllister has now matched his career-high win streak with 3 consecutive victories, while Jeremy Guthrie’s loss snapped a streak of 9 consecutive April victories dating back to 2012.
  • With his 7th save in 8 chances, Tribe closer John Axford moved ahead of Royal’s door slammer Greg Holland for the American League lead in saves.

ZACH McALLISTER

  • Tossed his 3rd consecutive quality start in his 4th outing of the season, handing over a 4-3 lead to Marc Rzepczynski and the Tribe bullpen after a leadoff walk in the 7th (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 98 pitches/70 strikes).
  • McAllister’s 3rd straight victory matches his career-high win streak, accomplished twice in 2013 (last August 13-24).
  • Over the course of the win streak, McAllister has allowed just 3 earned runs over 19.2 innings (1.37 ERA) dating back to his start on April 9th vs. San Diego; has notched 13 strikeouts as opposed to just 3 walks over the stretch.
  • McAllister extended his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a home run to 31.0 IP dating back to last season (last HR allowed: Brandon Laird, 2nd inning on September 20 vs. HOU)
  • McAllister’s ERA through his first 8 starts of the 2013 season (through May 18) was 2.65, which ranked 8th lowest in the American League.

MICHAEL BRANTLEY

  • Gave the Tribe a 2-0 advantage with his 4th home run of the season against Guthrie in the top of the 4th.
  • Paired with his second-inning solo shot in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Toronto, this marks the third time in Brantley’s career to homer in consecutive games, the others instances coming in 2011 (May 13 vs. SEA/May 16 at KC) and 2012 (July 4 vs. LAA/July 5 vs. TB).
  • Including his 3-run shot on Monday, three of Brantley’s four home runs this season have come with the game deadlocked at 0-0 (April 13 at CWS/T4th & April 20 vs. TOR/B2nd).
  • Brantley entered the game ranked 3rd in the American League with 16 RBI, and is now batting .400 (14-35) with runners on base.

JASON KIPNIS

  • Put the Tribe back on top 4-3 with his 2-run homer in the bottom of the 6th after Nick Swisher doubled to lead off the frame.
  • Over his last 8 games Kipnis has gone 8-26 (.308) with 2 homers, 3 doubles and 31 RBI;entered tonight’s game T2nd on the club with 9 runs scored.
  • Paired with Brantley’s 2-run shot in the 4th, Kipnis’ longball marked the 3rd time the Indians have hit multiple homers in the same game this season; also April 4 vs. MIN (2) and April 12 at Chicago-AL (3).

Photo Gallery: Indians Batting Practice, April 21

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Indians Game Information: April 21 vs. Royals

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CLEVELAND INDIANS (8-10) vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (9-8)

RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 2.04) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 4.34)

Game #19/Home #10 » Mon., April 21, 2014 » Progressive Field » 7:05 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Indians lineup:

  • Bourn 8
  • Swisher 3
  • Kipnis 4
  • Chisenhall 5
  • Brantley 7
  • Cabrera 6
  • Giambi DH
  • Murphy 9
  • Gomes 2
  • McAllister 1

THEY’RE GUARANTEED TO RAISE A SMILE

» The Indians snapped a 3-game losing streak on Sunday, taking the series finale from Toronto 6-4…MICHAEL BRANTLEY opened the scoring with a solo HR in the 2nd and a 2-out, RBI-double in the 4th; the Blue Jays held a 4-2 advantage until DAVID MURPHY connected for a 2-out, 3-run double in the 6th to take a 5-4 lead (4 of Tribe’s 6 runs scored with 2 outs)…JOSH OUTMAN (3-0) earned win to frontline a Tribe ‘pen that tossed 3.1 scoreless frames…JOHN AXFORD notched his 6th save.

» Sunday’s pivotal plate appearance marked the second 3-RBI extra-base hit off a lefty for Murphy in the last 9 days, as he also tripled with the bases loaded off White Sox southpaw DONNIE VEAL on April 12 at Chicago-AL (12-6 win)…for his career, Murphy is 12-for-34 (.353) vs. LHP with the bases loaded (ELIAS).

WINS & LOSSES

» At 8-10 (.444), Cleveland is 4 wins shy of the club’s high-water mark this season (+2G, twice, last 5-3 after G1 on April 9) and one loss shy of club’s low-water mark (-3G, 7-10 on April 20).

» Cleveland snapped a 3-game losing streak (matched longest of ‘14)…Tribe has lost 4 of 6 and 7 of 10 after starting the year by winning 5 of first 8…last pair of back-to-back wins came on April 8 & April 9 (G1).

» Cleveland is 1-2 to begin a 7-day, 7-game homestand against Toronto (1-2) & Kansas City (4 games)…Tribe finished recent weather-shortened 8-day, 6-game road trip at 2-4 thru Chicago-AL (1-3) & Detroit (1-1)…club went 3-3 on first homestand of season vs. Minnesota (1-2) and San Diego (2-1)…Tribe began the year with a brief 3-game road trip, during which Tribe took 2 of 3 from Oakland, improving to 27-9 against the A.L. West since start of 2013 campaign…Cleveland will end April with a West Coast trip.

» Tribe is below the .500 mark both at Progressive Field (4-5) and on the road (4-5)…team has gone 4-3 in night games, but 4-7 during the day.

(more…)

The why, when and how of the Indians new Wi-Fi/4G LTE project at Progressive Field

 

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In case you missed it, the Indians announced on Monday morning that, thanks to a partnership with Verizon, fans now can access Wi-Fi and super-fast 4G LTE at Progressive Field, in an effort to enhance fans’ experience. (Check out tips on how best to take advantaged of the new network at the ballpark.)

Mark Shapiro and Neil Weiss, the club’s Senior VP of technology and Chief Information Officer, chatted Monday afternoon about the project:

Indians President Mark Shapiro

What it means for fans: Fans who came in past years and took out their phones to text, call or download video or watch instant replay, that capability hasn’t been there. Now they’ll be able to do that.

Anything we want to do technologically is dependent on us giving fans a technological infrastructure. Without them having any broadband capability, we couldn’t do much from a fan experience perspective. The reality is anything we wanted to do to enhance fan experience technologically, we needed this.

This was in place for Opening Day but we wanted to learn from what we’ve observed elsewhere and make sure when we announced it that we were confident it could work, so as not to disappoint. What better way than Opening Day to test it? We tested it at maximum capacity and we’ll continue to test it going forward.

We have to increase and enhance fan experience, and the entertainment landscape is fragmented. It includes the home experience, which is compelling. We have to provide our fans the ability to experience the game any way they want, and one way they want it is to have technology be a part of it. While we want to preserve everything special about the building, we also need to modernize it.

Neil Weiss, Senior Vice President of Technology/Chief Information Officer

It was a significant need. Once we got past 10,000 or 12,000 people, you couldn’t send an email or a phone call. We needed this for our fans.

We had some opportunities to make improvements and get up to speed at the ballpark. Weather was an obvious challenge this winter to get this installed from in sub-zero temperatures from November through March.

On Opening Day, we had a full ballpark, and after a soft launch, we had nearly universally positive feedback.

There were some pockets we knew we still needed to improve. This is a season-long project to fine tune. We measure every night and then we make adjustments after every homestand, and rinse and repeat.

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