Indians turn triple play, rout Dodgers
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians awoke from an historic offensive slumber against the unlikeliest of opponents Tuesday as they battered the Los Angeles Dodgers to the tune of a 10-3 victory in the middle test of a three-game interleague set.
The Indians were coming off a 1-0 loss in LA on Monday, one that earned them the dubious distinction as the first team to be one-hit in consecutive shutouts since the 1916 Boston Braves.
Their drought came to an end early with three hits in the first inning, highlighted by Lonnie Chisenhall's two-run homer, and they kept their foot on the gas as Nick Swisher, Yan Gomes and David Murphy all drove in a pair of runs in the rout.
Adrian Gonzalez belted a two-run homer for the Dodgers, but starter Josh Beckett (5-5), who came in with a 14-inning scoreless streak, was knocked around for five runs on six hits over the first five innings.
"Early, Josh put balls where he didn't want them," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Around the fourth or fifth innings he was getting better. We had opportunities to get back in the game. It was a game that showed us we have things to work on."
Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully remarked during the game, "Let's get back to this Looney Tunes of a ball game," upon its return from a commercial break.
Scully, who has broadcast Dodgers games since 1950, certainly has never witnessed a play similar to the one that ended the fourth inning.
With runners on the corners and no outs, Gonzalez hit a sinking liner that Michael Brantley caught in stride and fired quickly to home to nab the speedy Dee Gordon. Gomes applied the tag and hesitated briefly before realizing Yasiel Puig was making a break for second. The pause appeared costly as Puig was originally ruled safe on a head-first slide, but Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the ruling and won, with replay showing Puig was tagged on his left shoulder before hitting the bag.
Mattingly came out and made another challenge, this time on the play at the plate, and the original call was upheld upon another lengthy review.
Even before the incredibly rare 7-2-4 triple play with two challenges, there were some oddities going on in Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers, who had gone 24 consecutive innings without giving up a run coming into the game, found themselves in a 3-0 hole in the first inning when Brantley doubled in a run and scored on Chisenhall's ninth home run of the season.
The early barrage snapped the Indians' 21-inning scoreless streak.
Gonzalez got two runs back with an opposite-field blast to left-center in the home first, but a two-out, two-run double by Swisher in the third restored Cleveland's three-run cushion.
Puig singled in a run in the fourth to knock Cleveland starter Justin Masterson out of the game, and Kyle Crockett (2-0) came out of the bullpen and served up the amazing triple play to limit the damage and get credit for the win.
"It was a crazy game. We had good things happen to give us a chance," Francona said. "Crockett came in and got three outs with one swing. Then the other guys came in and did the job for us."
Run-scoring doubles by Gomes and Murphy in the sixth made it a 7-3 game, and the same two each drove in a run in the eighth.
Carlos Santana's run-scoring groundout later in the frame accounted for the final margin.
Beckett only walked one, extending the Dodgers' streak of two or fewer walks by starting pitchers to 35, the longest single-season run by an NL club since 1914 ... Masterson was charged with three runs on seven hits and three walks over three-plus innings. Seven of the nine outs he recorded were strikeouts ... Murphy and Gordon each had three-hit games ... Brantley recorded his 10th outfield assist, tying Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes for the MLB lead ... Cleveland's previous triple play came on April 3, 2011 vs. the White Sox.
07/02 02:14:03 ET