Encarnacion, Ramirez lead Indians past Padres 11-2
CLEVELAND (AP) — Following two frustrating losses, the Cleveland Indians looked like a different team Thursday night.
Edwin Encarnacion homered and matched a career high with four hits, All-Star Jose Ramirez hit a home run and had three RBIs, and the Indians, playing their third straight game without manager Terry Francona, defeated the San Diego Padres 11-2.
Francona remained hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has been undergoing tests to resolve the causes of him becoming light-headed over the past month. The 58-year-old was hospitalized twice last month and doctors admitted him Tuesday, about one week after he began wearing a heart monitor.
Bench coach Brad Mills, filling in again for Francona, was happy to see the offense, which scored two runs in the two losses to San Diego, finally get rolling.
“The middle of that order really swung the bats well,” Mills said. “The guys at the bottom were getting on. It was nice to get everybody contributing and putting it together.”
Josh Tomlin (5-9) allowed two runs in seven-plus innings. The right-hander retired the first 12 hitters before San Diego scored twice in the fifth.
Encarnacion was 4 for 5, including a leadoff homer in the fifth and an RBI double in the sixth. He also singled in the third and eighth.
“It’s good to see him have the night,” Mills said. “Three of his hits were going the other way. He was able to square some balls up doing that.”
Ramirez, who will start at third base for the American League in the All-Star Game, hit a two-run homer in the first, had an RBI single in the sixth and was 3 for 5.
Lonnie Chisenhall drove in three runs and Yan Gomes also homered. All-Star Michael Brantley had an RBI triple in the first.
Ramirez’s homer, his 16th of the season, capped a three-run first. Encarnacion led off the fifth with a blast to dead-center, his team-high 18th.
Dinelson Lamet (3-3) was removed after Encarnacion’s home run. The rookie right-hander allowed six runs — five earned — in four-plus innings.
“Lamet had a rough night,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “He didn’t have his velocity or life. He just didn’t have it.”
Tomlin allowed four hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. The right-hander thought command was the key for his outing.
“It’s huge for me being a guy who isn’t very powerful, so I have to control the count as much as I can,” he said. “I was able to go deep into the game and help us win.”
Hunter Renfroe started the fifth with a double to left-center and moved to third on Cory Spangenberg’s single. Erick Aybar’s ground rule double scored a run and Allen Cordoba’s sacrifice fly made it 5-2.
Ramirez was thrown out at third base after being caught trying to score both Tuesday and Wednesday. The Indians were able to find some humor in the situation after a win.
“We had all kinds of guys wondering if he made the All-Invisible team or something,” Mills said. “We were thinking about making sure the bases were 90 feet, not 95.”
“I’m drinking a little too much coffee,” Ramirez said through a translator. “I’ve got to stop drinking so much because it’s making me a little crazy.”
The Padres committed three errors and managed only five hits after winning the first two games of the series.
“All the way around, it was not a good effort for us after we had a couple of good games here,” Green said.
Padres: C Austin Hedges (stiff neck) was out of the lineup for the second straight day, but is expected to start Friday against Philadelphia.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (sore shoulder) allowed three solo homers in 3 1/3 innings during a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus. He was pulled after 60 pitches.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard begins a three-game series at Philadelphia. He leads the National League with 196 ground balls induced, but has just five victories in 17 starts.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco opens a three-game home series against Detroit. He earned his team-high ninth win by going seven innings against the Tigers on July 1.