5 Keys For The Cleveland Indians To Stay Hot In The AL Central

By Matt Loede

Five Keys For The Cleveland Indians To Stay Hot In The AL Central

Cleveland Indians
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Out of nowhere the Cleveland Indians have jumped from what seemed to be totally out of the race in the AL Central to just two games back after taking three of four in Texas against the Rangers. There's plenty of reasons why they have been good, and there's five things they need to do to stay hot.

5. Continue To Get Better On Defense

Jason Kipnis
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5. Continue To Get Better On Defense

Jason Kipnis
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It's been an awful season on defense for the Indians, but lately they have finally started to turn the corner and cut down big on the errors and making sure they don't give teams a lot of extra outs. It's cut down on unearned runs and also helped the team get out of long innings.

4. Keep Riding The Bat of Lonnie Chisenhall

Lonnie Chisenhall
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4. Keep Riding The Bat of Lonnie Chisenhall

Lonnie Chisenhall
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No one could have ever thought Lonnie Chisenhall would have the huge season he's having, and again, Monday night he showed why he has to play everyday, going deep twice and driving in five in the Indians 17-7 win. Chisenhall is hitting .365 in 50 games, and right now, the team can't afford to take him out of the lineup.

3. Continued Improvement From Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson
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3. Continued Improvement From Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson
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It seems the Indians ace is finally starting to come around. He's been better and better as of late, and it comes as the team is red-hot. The starter is still 4-4 with a 4.61 ERA, but has been better in his last handful of starts than at any point this season, and that has to continue for the team to keep winning.

2. Keep Finding Innings In The Pen

Nick Hagadone
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2. Keep Finding Innings In The Pen

Nick Hagadone
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Sure the team is getting huge innings from Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw, but there's got to be more good productive innings from the pen from guys like Scott Atchison, and even Nick Hagadone, who just came back from AAA Columbus. The pen will be called upon to help, and it can't all fall on the shoulders of Allen and Shaw.

1. Keep Taking it One Game at a Time

Terry Francona
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1. Keep Taking it One Game at a Time

Terry Francona
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If there's one thing manager Terry Francona preaches it's to never get too far ahead and to take one game at a time. The reason the team was able to knock off a 10 game deficit in the division and take it to two games was being in the moment, and not too far ahead. It has to stay that way if they are going to eventually be the top in the AL Central.

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