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Home runs, Kazmir lead 9-2 Cleveland win over Oakland

Cleveland sweeps Oakland thanks to Kipnis, Swisher, Reynolds' home runs

Home runs, Kazmir lead 9-2 Cleveland win over Oakland
Postgame Handshake (Photo: Yahoo!)
May 9, 2013
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Cleveland, OH — Jason KipnisNick Swisher, and Mark Reynolds hit home runs that needed no review and Scott Kazmir struck out 10 as the Cleveland Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 9-2.

With the win, the Indians completed a four-game sweep of the A’s and have now won 10 of their last 11 games.

After Wednesday night’s controversial call in the ninth inning, the Tribe sluggers left no room for error against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon and company. Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Angel Hernandez’s double call was an "improper" ruling, but the play will stand.

"Given what we saw, we recognize that an improper call was made," MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said. "Perfection is an impossible standard in any endeavor, but our goal is always to get the calls right."

In the first inning, Kipnis punched a 2-1 pitch from Colon deep to left field, just over the railing that sits atop the 19-foot-high wall. The two-run homer was his fourth of the season, all coming in the first inning, and put the Tribe up 2-0.

"I was happy that it stayed up there and someone caught it,” said Kipnis. “Just to make sure there was no confusion about it."

Cleveland tacked on three more runs in the second inning with catcher Yan Gomes, center fielder Drew Stubbs and Kipnis each driving in a runner. Swisher hit a solo shot off Colon in the third, his fifth of the season, putting the Indians up 6-0.

Colon (3-2, 4.57) took the loss after giving up six earned runs and two home runs in four innings.

The Indians jumped on Colon’s replacement, Evan Scribner in the fifth inning. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to open the inning and scored one batter later when designated hitter Jason Giambi blooped a single to left. Reynolds followed with an opposite field, two-run blast that put the game out of reach at 9-0. It was Reynolds’ 11th homer of the season, good for first in the American League.

Kazmir (2-1, 4.87) dazzled his way through six innings of work, striking out 10 batters along the way. He allowed just one run, a solo homer in the sixth, on five hits and no walks. It was his first double-digit strikeout game since August 26, 2009, his final game for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Matt AlbersCody Allen, and Scott Barnes combined to pitch the final three innings. They allowed one run (charged to Albers) on two hits and four walks while striking out four.

Following the game, Barnes was optioned to AAA Columbus to make room for Michael Bourn, who is coming off the 15-day disabled list (finger laceration).

Cleveland will now hit the road to start a three-game series in Detroit. Game one will be played Friday night at 7:08 p.m. as Corey Kluber (2-1, 3.06) goes for the Indians against Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (4-0, 3.43).

Notes: Oakland had not been swept in four games by the Indians since 1999. … Cleveland now leads the majors in home runs with 49.

Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English.  He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall.  Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.

User Comments

May 11, 2013 - 12:11 AM EDT
Reynolds right now could very well be in the Swisher or Dunn territory if he continues as he has been. Which means a 3-4 year deal at about $14-15 million. If he finishes with 40 homers and 100 RBI, and is on the open market, he's gonna get paid big time (though remains to be seen if he has draft pick compensation attached to him).
May 10, 2013 - 9:32 PM EDT
Tony, Reynolds may get 60 over 4 yes like swish? With all due respect that is totally unrealistic. No one is going to give him anywhere near that. 1 yr deals like youkillis is one thing and 4 yr deals is another.
May 10, 2013 - 1:13 PM EDT
Mcallister is awesome. Kluber too
May 10, 2013 - 12:49 PM EDT
Nick, let's be realistic. Kevin Youkilis signed a 1 year $12 million deal in the offseason. Mark Reynolds, based on his play, is going to get a deal for more years and more money per. EVERYONE wants right-handed power. He's playing himself into a 3-4 year deal for anywhere north of $15M per. Easily.

Point is, he is unsignable at the moment. People want the Indians to resign him, which I believe they should, but there is no way he is taking anything less than market value and then some to lock him in before FA. He's very likely going to hit FA, the Indians offer him the qualifying offer, and they either take the 1st round pick as compensation or it scares him into a deal of some sort with the Indians at that time.
May 10, 2013 - 12:44 PM EDT
Tony, I like you, but you're a little off if you think it'd take 4 years at 15 mill a year to make him bite. 3 years at 35 mill seems far more realistic and something he'd be interested in.
May 10, 2013 - 11:14 AM EDT
And even the Indians offering 2/25 would be ill-advised for a guy who was basically replacement-level the past 2 years and has had a good 31-game stretch (that he's replicated before in otherwise blah seasons). But yeah, I would imagine Reynolds would be dreaming of Swisher-money if he can keep this up. He is very likely to come down to earth, he hopefully continues having a good year and at least puts up something like his 2009 numbers, in which case he's still probably not highly in demand because of his defensive reputation and erratic offensive production, and would at least be in their price-range if that's where they want to invest. If he hits .290/.367/.645 for the whole year, then you take the draft pick when he turns down the qualifying offer and admire the massive production you got for a fraction of its cost.
May 10, 2013 - 10:35 AM EDT
I know everyone wants to extend Reynolds, but look, it works both ways. The Indians would have to seriously overpay to get him to agree to a deal right now. He knows he is in for a big payday this offseason if he keeps this up. Why take less to sign now? Indians would probably have to give him at least $15 million a year for at least four guaranteed years right now to get him to bite. Four years $60 million.

I'm just not ready to make that kind of commitment based on 32 games. We need more data and games. If he is worth keeping, then simply extend him the qualifying offer in the offseason which puts the 1st round pick tag on him and probably could scare him into a fair deal with the Indians.
May 10, 2013 - 10:04 AM EDT
Curious what the proposed offer to Reynolds would be? Like, what would you consider a fair value for both parties? They have Swisher locked in at 1b for the next 4 years, so the fact that there are no 1b in the farm system isn't a problem. If they're extending Reynolds it's to serve as primary DH and depth. The idea that "they'll never be able to sign him if they wait until the end of the year" seems to be predicated on the fact that Reynolds will definitely continue to have a massive year, and that he isn't wise enough to wait for his year to end to get the big bucks and if foolishly going to sign for less money now. I think it's an unrealistic view of contract negotiations for a couple reasons.
May 10, 2013 - 8:56 AM EDT
Reynolds hit 44 HR's in 2009 for Arizona with a .260 BA. That was his best season. It looks like he's going to replicate that this year, even if he cools off a bit.

I'd like to see them re-sign him. He's only 29 and can play both first and third base. They have a nice setup going with five players (Reynolds, Chiz, Santana, Gomes, and Swisher) sharing four spots (3B, 1B, C, and DH). Everybody gets plenty of AB's but nobody has to play 162 games. I'd like to see them keep that going for at least a couple more years.

Keep in mind that Chisenhall has yet to prove he can be a productive every day third baseman and that he can hit left-handed pitching. Right now the Tribe's best lineup has Reynolds at 3rd, Gomes catching, and Santana/Swisher at 1B/DH.

I don't see any 3rd basemen in the farm system that look like future major league players, especially ones that can hit 40 HR's. Letting Reynolds get away means we're putting all our eggs in one basket with Chiz.
May 10, 2013 - 3:17 AM EDT
Whether Reynolds cools down as he usually does or not seems like pretty small potatoes compared to some of the other problems facing the Indians next year. The tribe can likely retain Reynolds by offering him arbitration and only have to pay him for one year unless he can find something elsewhere in which case we get a high draft choice. The potential loss of FA starting pitchers such as Jimenez, Myers and Kazmir seems a bigger issue to me.

When it comes to the signing budget for next year, this years attendance could be a serious issue when it comes to signing any FAs, including Reynolds. The Indians have already deferred payments to Bourne and Swisher and it would be nice to have some payroll money from attendance.
May 10, 2013 - 2:31 AM EDT
I think your wrong about Reynolds man.

Sure, he will cool down but hes still worth it. Plus, its not like this has come out of nowhere. He once hit what? 44 homers in a season. Is only about a year older then Matt Laporta. Can play a solid first base and even 3rd when needed. Hes going to have bad streaks same as everyone but the strike outs have been down and he just looks like a different hitter. He is actually becoming a true hitter where homers are not the only thing in his bag of tricks. I think hes going to have at least 4 more very solid years in him.

Sure, you could wait until the season is over to be sure but then your never going to sign him. He will get big money somewhere else. Do it now and there is a chance he might listen if the price is right. Add money to this years contract, perhaps that will get his attention. Even if hes playing above his head right now he seems like a very solid guy as well as player. He can play 3 of our weakest positions right now and his huge power from the right side has a made such a difference in this lineup.

Id try to at least add one more year to the contract with an option for the next. I would even go two more years with an option for the third. Everyone else is still around here next year. Loss Reynolds and its a different team.
May 9, 2013 - 11:12 PM EDT
It's not like Reynolds hasn't done this before for extended periods of time. It's magnified because it's the beginning of the year. Check out his June 2011, a year that he ended up as a replacement level player. But in June, over 25 games, he walked in 21% of his at bats, hit 8 HRs, and had a 1.112 OPS. The Indians lack of motivation would be that to open negotiations now, they would probably be buying high, and Reynolds might be on the verge of going 2-40 and striking out 20 times. Reynolds' lack of motivation would be that he's probably a confident guy and he thinks he can keep this up, put up a massive complete season and get a bigger payday, and that to negotiate now he might be selling low. For both parties, it's likely best to wait to see how the season plays out. It's pretty rare for a team to even open contract negotiations during the season. The Indians did with Hafner after he had a good April 2007 ... and that was a disaster. If they'd waited to the end of that year, they wouldn't have been so eager.

I think believing Reynolds has anywhere near as a good of a glove as Chisenhall, is just not seeing much of Reynolds. Lonnie's got a canon and makes some nifty plays. He's looked real good defensively this year. Reynolds doesn't have the range, hands or the arm that Chisenhall does.
May 9, 2013 - 10:54 PM EDT
I don't know seth. we were dying for a right handed bat with pop last yr and we finally got one now. so why just let him walk?

I would think he would stay for a deal next yr with an option for '15. ok, so we wait until july or august to see how things go. your assuming a lot about gomes though. but I like what I see so far.

we needed a big right handed bat, seemed to luck out here, so lets keep him around. we have zero in columbus to do what he is doing now. and he's no dh only like hafner, who gets hurt tossing a ball from 1st to the pitcher. he's actually very good with the glove. better than lonnie.

as far as motivation, why wouldn't he sign if we gave him a good offer in the summer? my lord, he was just basically released last yr. I think a one yr deal with an option for 2 yrs would sound pretty good to him.
May 9, 2013 - 9:59 PM EDT
Damn forgot about McAllister....Salazer in AAA then...or Bauer if he walks more than IP.
May 9, 2013 - 9:56 PM EDT
I wouldn't mind them extending Kazmir for another year or two if he keeps up the velocity and keeps pounding the strike zone. I knew he could come back, he just hopefully will not regress. Get rid of Ubaldo and Myers. Masterson, Kazmir, Bauer, Carrasco, and Salazar!!
May 9, 2013 - 9:52 PM EDT
There is no reason to talk about extending Reynolds now. It's really unlikely that would happen mid-season anyway. Neither party would have motivation to do it, as both would likely want to see how the season plays out. It would be a mistake to sign him to a multi-year deal at $10-million plus/year, which is likely what it would take to get him interested. They might be just as well off to go with a Gomes/Santana C/DH split next year, and invest that money elsewhere.
May 9, 2013 - 9:08 PM EDT
I'm pretty sure Reynolds will cool down, but extend him asap. And he has a good glove too. Not just a dh. We have nothing at AAA even remotely close to do up here what he can do.

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