CLEVELAND — Cody Allen is one of the least acclaimed yet most productive closers in the major leagues. On Friday night. when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game series with the Oakland A’s Nate Solder Color Rush Jersey , Allen will be in uniform at Progressive Field for the first time as the Indians’ career saves leader.
In pitching the ninth inning of a 3-2 Cleveland win in Kansas City on Wednesday, Allen posted his 140th career save, breaking Bob Wickman’s franchise record of 139, which had stood since 2006.
“He means so much to all of us,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Allen. “This is a kid who was drafted in the 16th round, but through being a consummate professional, he’s now the Indians’ all-time leader. That’s pretty awesome. It’s a big accomplishment, and he’s not close to being done.”
Allen (2-3, 3.38 ERA) ranks seventh in the American League this year with 18 saves, but his year-in, year-out consistency has been his trademark. He has had at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons. Only two other closers in the majors can say that: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel.
“This is something I’m extremely proud of http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jordan-akins-jersey ,” Allen said of passing Wickman as the club’s saves leader. “It’s something I get to hang my hat on for my career. It’s very cool.”
The A’s (48-39) come to Cleveland with nearly the same record as the Indians (48-37), but what a difference a division makes. The first-place Indians lead the AL Central by 11 1/2 games. The A’s are in third in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros.
The A’s won two of three games from the Indians last weekend in Oakland. That was part of a longer streak in which the A’s have won eight of their last nine. Since June 16, Oakland is 14-3.
“I think we’re having a lot of fun,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com, “and no matter what the score is, I don’t think we count ourselves out. There’s no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that we’re a good team.”
On Friday night, the A’s will send Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46 ERA) to the mound. In his last start on June 29 in Oakland, Blackburn baffled the Indians, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits in a 3-1 victory.
Blackburn has started five major league games this year. In the one against Cleveland Donte Jackson Color Rush Jersey , he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .150. In the other four starts, he’s 1-2 with an 8.83 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .324. In two career starts against the Indians, Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24), who will make his first start since June 16, a 9-3 loss to Minnesota in which he was knocked out of the game in the second inning after getting hit in the right arm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer.
Carrasco was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right elbow contusion. He made one rehab start at Double-A Akron on June 30, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
Carrasco’s last legitimate start was his best start of the year, a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 11. In that game, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
In six career appearances, including five starts, against Oakland http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeremy-kerley-jersey , Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
A little rest did Kris Bryant a lot of good.
Bryant ended a 24-game homerless drought, the longest of his career, and Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber also went deep as the Chicago Cubs routed the St. Louis Cardinals 13-5 on Friday night.
”I know that there’s probably going to be plenty more times in my career when that happens and it’s all part of the journey,” Bryant said about his power outage. ”As much as we hate it as players, everybody goes through it at some point in their careers. It’s nothing new to me, so on the surface everything has been peachy and pretty easy for me, but it never felt easy.”
Bryant drilled a 448-foot, two-run shot to left field off an ineffective Michael Wacha in the third inning for his first home run since May 14. The 2016 NL MVP capped a six-run fifth with an RBI single and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. His four RBIs were a season high.
Bryant had been hitless in his four previous games. Cubs manager Joe Maddon sat the All-Star slugger on Wednesday and Thursday.
”It looked like the ball was coming (off his bat) hotter,” Maddon said. ”I thought KB looked good. He looked good. I loved the base hit, I loved the sacrifice fly.”
Jon Lester ran his scoreless streak to 17 innings before giving up a solo home run to Marcell Ozuna in the fourth as the Cubs won for the first time in four tries at Busch Stadium this season. Lester (8-2) allowed two runs in six innings to earn his fourth straight win.
”That might be the best stuff he’s had all year from my angle,” Maddon said. ”That velocity was there. He just continues to trend in the right direction.”
Lester helped himself at the plate http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-calvin-ridley-jersey , too, driving in a run on a bunt in the fourth and reaching on catcher Yadier Molina’s throwing error that led to a second run as the Cubs extended their lead to 5-0.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits, was hit by a pitch and scored a run. Schwarber launched a three-run homer that traveled a projected 465 feet to straightaway center in the fifth, the third-longest homer by an opposing player in Busch Stadium III history.
Happ led off the third with a home run to right field. His first homer since May 22 snapped a 20-inning scoreless streak for the Cubs.
”We hit homers but we also did the little things well, too,” Maddon said. ”We ran the bases well.”
Wacha (8-2) allowed a career-high nine runs, eight earned, in a season-low four-plus innings. The three home runs he gave up tied a career high.
”I was just falling behind in the counts,” Wacha said. ”A lot of 1-0, 2-0s and just too many mistakes and they didn’t miss too many of them.”
Matt Carpenter homered in the sixth and drove in two runs, but the Cardinals lost their third consecutive game.
”Bottom line http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-daesean-hamilton-jersey , we lost and it wasn’t pretty,” manager Mike Matheny said. ”And it’s a matter of trying to conserve arms, trying to get a couple guys off their feet and figure out a way to have some individual things that are done well and build on and have some confidence that will put us in a better spot tomorrow.”
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a 35-pitch bullpen. He is scheduled to throw another one when the team returns home next week.
Cardinals: 1B Luke Voit was recalled from Double-A Springfield and RHP Matt Bowman (right hand finger blisters) was activated from the 10-day disabled list. 1B Jose Martinez was placed on the paternity list and RHP Daniel Poncedeleon was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.48 ERA) starts Saturday night against RHP Carlos Martinez (3-2, 2.96). Hendricks has dropped three straight decisions for the first time in his career. Martinez has walked 12 over 7 2/3 innings in two starts since returning from a lat strain.
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