The past two days have scripted a tale of two drastically different narratives.
After suffering a brutal 16-7 defeat to the Colorado Rockies on Friday, the Cleveland Indians turned the tables and dominated the Oakland Athletics for a 15-5 victory on Saturday afternoon from HoHokam Stadium in Mesa, AZ. The win spells the end to the club’s four-game losing streak.
Making his first start of the spring, Brandon Guyer spearheaded the Tribe offense with a solo home run, double, two runs and one RBI atop Terry Francona’s lineup.
Also accumulating multi-hit performances were Roberto Perez, Abraham Almonte, Lonnie Chisenhall, Chris Colabello, Daniel Robertson and Erik Gonzalez.
Mike Clevinger started the contest and allowed two hits, one walk and one run courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Khris Davis in his two innings of work.
Guyer leads the charge
Due to right hamstring soreness and hip discomfort, Guyer had been sidelined for the first seven games of the spring slate. His excitement to return was evident right from the outset.
Guyer rebooted the Indians offense in the second inning after they tallied four runs in the first on an Almonte RBI double, Chisenhall two-run double and Colabello RBI single. The 31-year-old doubled off Oakland starter Sean Manaea and scored on Perez’s two-bagger to bring the lead to 5-1. Almonte followed up the rally with an RBI single of his own to help brew the beginning to the blowout.
“I was just happy to have some quality at bats and also just not feel any pain in the hamstring,” said Guyer to reporters. “I was just happy to see some pitches. It’s different than live BP when you’re not totally locked in.”
Another pair of crooked numbers were posted in the third and fourth frames on Gonzalez’s RBI single and two-run bomb, Guyer’s home run to left field and Michael Martinez’s RBI double.
The leading candidate for the utility infield job, Gonzalez is now batting .429 (6-14) with a triple, home run and six RBIs in six preseason games.
With the score at 12-1 in the fourth inning, Guyer subbed out for Yandy Diaz in a near-perfect debut.
“To have this and get some real live game action, you know it felt good,” Guyer said.
Even with the contest dragging on throughout the 77 degree afternoon, the Tribe bats would not let up as they scratched out three additional runs to eliminate any chances of a miraculous comeback.
Chisenhall cranked the team’s third home run of the game and Eric Stamets found a left field gap for a double to plate Richie Shaffer (single) and Bradley Zimmer (walk).
Also of note, Diaz walked twice and has now reached base in eight of his 15 plate appearances this spring.
Cleveland tallied 15 runs on 11 extra-base hits (19 total) against a demoralized Athletics pitching staff.
The Indians will take their 3-4-1 Cactus League record back home to Goodyear Ballpark to battle the San Diego Padres on Sunday at 3:05 PM ET.
Coming off three innings of shutout baseball last Wednesday, Trevor Bauer will look to sustain his strong start when he toes the rubber opposite Clayton Richard.
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.