A lot has changed for the Cleveland Indians‘ offense in the last six days as the Tribe bats enjoyed some timely hitting in route to winning five of their last seven. In that span the Indians scored 22 runs improving their run differential to -11 (previously -19). The 9-4 finale win over the Minnesota Twins was precisely what the offense was looking for before they hit the road for the next six games. Cleveland could have done a lot more damage with a number of hard hit balls that found the wrong areas of the park.
Two unlikely contributors today were Mike Aviles and Asdrubal Cabrera tallying 12 hits in the last two games. At second base Aviles went 8-11 in the series improving his average to .328. The 15-hit afternoon game for the Tribe came off the lumber of just six batters with Cabrera leading the way with four hits, boosting his average .036 in five at bats. With two hits in his previous 12 at-bats before the Twins series, discussions of Cabrera’s future with the club arose in the midst of his offensive struggles that were on display in 2013.
Michael Brantley picked up where he left off in last night’s game following up his two-hit performance with three more today, now hitting .289. Right fielder David Murphy also jumped out of a 4-for-26 slump in his past 10 games with three hits and a walk. Although Nick Swisher didn’t account for any hits, he walked three times — saw a total of 26 pitches.
Not only was today’s game a refreshing change for the Indians’ offense, but the past two series within the AL Central Division were dominated much like last season. The Wahoos went 30-8 in 2013 against the Twins and Chicago White Sox, which proved to be the key to earning the top Wild Card spot despite a 4-15 record against the Detroit Tigers.
With six more division games to play in May, it’s important for the Tribe to build off of these series to regain their momentum against their most frequent competition. Manager Terry Francona’s offense is starting to turn the corner at the right time before his team faces great starting pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.