BOSTON -- Two games into the American League Division Series, the Indians have received key contributions from some unexpected sources. The bottom of the lineup in particular has played an important role in putting Cleveland in a position to win the series against the Red Sox."We need to be a
BOSTON -- Two games into the American League Division Series, the Indians have received key contributions from some unexpected sources. The bottom of the lineup in particular has played an important role in putting Cleveland in a position to win the series against the Red Sox.
"We need to be a team that goes one-to-nine," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose club has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. "In a short series, so much is made out of small sample sizes, but that's because that's what there is."
Game 3 of the ALDS was scheduled for Sunday but was washed away by rain and will now take place on Monday (6 p.m. ET, TBS) at Fenway Park. During Games 1 and 2, the bottom four batters in Cleveland's order went a combined 9-for-28 with two home runs, two walks, six RBIs and seven runs. That accounts for most of the offense through the first two games.
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The bottom of the lineup (Nos. 6-9 hitters) was especially productive in Friday's 6-0 win in Game 2, going 6-for-14 with four RBIs. That included a three-hit day for Brandon Guyer and a three-run homer from Lonnie Chisenhall. In Game 1 on Thursday, catcher Roberto Pérez went 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs.
"It's been huge," Perez said. "The bottom of the lineup, we have to come through. We just got to get on base and have good ABs for those guys at the top of the lineup. We're trying to create runs, and things are going our way right now."
• Perez's play through the first two games of the ALDS has made the decision to keep starting him an easy one for Francona. The manager said that while Yan Gomes (non-displaced fracture in his right wrist) is on the roster and available, the catcher is not ready for a full game.
"I don't think it would have been fair to Gomer to try to throw him into a nine-inning game," Francona said. "We wouldn't have [done that], because it's the right thing to do. But, Roberto has played really well."
• During Saturday's workout at Fenway Park, the Indians took grounders and fly balls to get reacquainted with Fenway's unique dimensions. Sunday's weather did not allow for such on-field work. Francona said it helps that outfielder Coco Crisp (likely to start in left on Monday) has plenty of experience in the ballpark from his days with the Red Sox (2006-08).
• Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer threw a bullpen session on Sunday at Fenway Park. Pitching coach Mickey Callaway said that the pitcher prefers to have only one day off between his mound workout and start day. Due to Sunday's rainout, Bauer would start in Game 4 on Tuesday (2 or 3 p.m. ET, TBS), if necessary.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.