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Indians' bats erupt in rout of Dodgers

June 15, 2017

CLEVELAND -- In Thursday's series finale against the Dodgers, the Indians' offense broke out for 15 hits thanks in large part to Lonnie Chisenhall's five RBIs and Edwin Encarnacion's career-high four runs scored. Both homered to back starter Josh Tomlin and lead the Indians to a 12-5 victory over the

CLEVELAND -- In Thursday's series finale against the Dodgers, the Indians' offense broke out for 15 hits thanks in large part to Lonnie Chisenhall's five RBIs and Edwin Encarnacion's career-high four runs scored. Both homered to back starter Josh Tomlin and lead the Indians to a 12-5 victory over the Dodgers at Progressive Field.
The Tribe's offense set the tone early, scoring five runs in the first two innings off Dodgers starter Rich Hill. Encarnacion capped off the second with his 13th homer of the season, and Chisenhall closed the book on Hill in the fifth with a pinch-hit, three-run home run off reliever Thomas Stripling. Chisenhall added a two-run single in the sixth, Jose Ramirez and Roberto Perez each finished with two RBIs and Erik Gonzalez hit his first career home run in the seventh.

"I think we had [Hill] up over 60 [pitches] after two," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Then he kind of started throwing like he can for a couple innings. But then we added on and we kept after him. We took our walks, we laid off the breaking ball that can be so devastating. I thought we played with a ton of energy today."
Tomlin picked up his fourth win of the season after striking out seven in over five-plus innings of work. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks.
"I felt pretty good," Tomlin said. "I felt like it was a little bit of work today, those guys made you get in the zone. A lot of 3-2, 2-2 counts. So it was a pretty tough day, but at the end of the day we won and we were able to keep the team in the game long enough for the offense to explode, and they did a great job."
For the Dodgers, Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer, Cody Bellinger clubbed his 18th homer and Yasiel Puig added an RBI double. With his solo shot, Bellinger has gone deep six times in his last five games. But the offense was not enough, ending their season-long six-game winning streak.

Hill was handed his third loss of the season after he was pulled in the fifth. The left-hander gave up seven runs on eight hits, two walks and two hit batters in four-plus innings. Hill has yet to pitch into the sixth inning in any of his eight starts this season.
"They did a good job putting the bat on the ball and putting the ball in play," Hill said. "They had a few ground balls get through in the first inning. But at the end of the day, I'm not helping the team putting outings together like this."
Indians strike fast: The Indians wasted no time jumping on Hill in the first, as they connected for three straight singles to start the inning and score the game's first run. After hitting Encarnacion with a pitch to load the bases, Hill recorded two outs before walking Perez on six pitches to plate the Tribe's second run. The next batter, Bradley Zimmer, hit a weak grounder to the right side, but he beat out Bellinger's flip to Hill at first to score another run. In all, Hill faced all nine Indians hitters and threw 40 pitches in the first, allowing three runs on four hits.
"We got the first run quick, and then it looked like we were going to strand," Francona said. "We got a walk and [an infield hit]. We got three, but his pitch count was so high [that inning]."

Chisenhall opens it up: After the Dodgers put up three runs in the top of the fifth to make it a one-run game, the Tribe responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of its own. With two on and no outs, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts replaced Hill with Stripling to face the right-handed-hitting Austin Jackson. But Francona responded by pinch-hitting Chisenhall. Francona ultimately won the chess match, as Chisenhall hit a three-run homer to right-center to give the Indians an 8-4 lead.
"Yeah, it's more of a mindset than getting your body ready, so the only way to learn how to do it is to do it a lot," Chisenhall said of pinch-hitting. "I don't know how many I have now, but like I said, I embrace it. I like to go up there and swing the bat, and Tito picks those spots where you can have success." More >

"My mom. And also my father. He is my hitting coach here. He's telling me, 'Hey, you need to do that to be better.' That ball is for him."
-- Gonzalez, on to whom he will give his home run ball
"I thought that we did a really nice job on the offensive side. To win two out of three here against a good ballclub, we still feel like we have the momentum."
-- Roberts, on the series
Bellinger is the second player to hit 18 homers in his first 47 career games. The other would be Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who launched 19 in his first 47 games last season.
"I don't know what else there is to say," Roberts said. "I've tried to use all the ways to describe him. I just, honestly, the home runs and the production is just a byproduct of his care in wanting to be a great baseball player and helping us win baseball games. There's been multiple at-bats where he's tried to bunt his way to get on base and he ends up hitting a home run. Trying to get a guy over and hits a homer. This is a byproduct of him trying to help us win ballgames, and that's a compliment."

With his two-run single in the sixth, Chisenhall became only the third player in Indians history since 1913 to drive in at least five runs as an in-game substitute. The last player to accomplish the feat was John Ellis, who drove in six runs off the bench on Sept. 16, 1973, in Boston. Chuck Essegian had five RBIs on June 11, 1961, against the Kansas City Athletics.

After his RBI double in the second inning, Ramirez tried to steal his seventh base of the season but was tagged out at third. The Indians challenged the call, but the ruling was confirmed, so Cleveland lost all of its challenges with seven innings to play. That was just the Indians' fifth unsuccessful challenge in 16 attempts this season. The replay became even more important one pitch later, when Encarnacion launched a 414-foot homer to left field.

Dodgers: Left-hander Alex Wood will pitch the Dodgers' series opener on Friday against the Reds at 4:10 p.m. PT at Great American Ball Park. Wood will be making his third start since coming off the 10-day disabled list with left SC joint inflammation. He's given up just three runs in his last five outings, spanning 29 innings.
Indians: Cleveland will hit the road for a four-game set with the Twins beginning with Friday's 8:10 p.m. ET tilt at Target Field. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (6-3, 3.36 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener. He is coming off his sixth win of the season, in which he went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts against the White Sox on Sunday.
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William Kosileski is a reporter for based in Cleveland.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for based in Cleveland and covered the Dodgers on Thursday.