CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes belted homers to back starter Josh Tomlin's strong outing as the Indians avoided the sweep with an 11-2 win over the Padres on Thursday night at Progressive Field.After scoring just two runs total in the first two games of the set,
CLEVELAND -- Jose Ramirez, Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes belted homers to back starter Josh Tomlin's strong outing as the Indians avoided the sweep with an 11-2 win over the Padres on Thursday night at Progressive Field.
After scoring just two runs total in the first two games of the set, combining to go 4-for-25 with runners in scoring position, the Tribe's offense finally broke through in the finale. Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall each finished with three RBIs, while Encarnacion drove in two runs and tied a career high with four hits as he finished a triple shy of the cycle. Michael Brantley added an RBI triple and Bradley Zimmer picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
"We had so many hits from the middle of our lineup," Indians bench coach Brad Mills said. "You look at Brantley, Edwin, Josey and Chiz as well. The middle of that order, man, really swung the bats well. The guys at the bottom were getting on. ... It was nice to kind of get everybody kind of contributing and putting it together."
Tomlin retired the first 12 batters he faced before Hunter Renfroe led off the fifth with a double. In all, Tomlin went seven-plus innings, and allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and no walks to pick up his fifth win of the season.
"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," Tomlin said. "Obviously, there's certain situations where you don't want to control the count, you want to pitch around guys. But for me, controlling the count and following [Gomes'] glove is huge. We were able to do that tonight, I was able to command the ball, and fortunately enough, I was able to go deep into the game and help us win the game."
Padres rookie starter Dinelson Lamet was handed his third loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits in four-plus innings. He walked four and struck out five on 86 pitches.
"He's trying, he's giving everything he's got out there," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He just had one of those days where he couldn't seem to put it together. There was plenty of conversations in between innings trying to will him back onto the right path and get him moving again. He just struggled with his fastball more than anything else, and without the life on the fastball, the slider didn't do enough."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ramirez goes deep: After Lamet allowed a one-out, RBI triple to Brantley in the first, Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley went out to talk with the right-hander before he faced Ramirez. But Ramirez jumped on a 1-2 fastball over the heart of the plate and drove it to the seats in right-center to cap the three-run inning. Per Statcast™, the two-run homer had an exit velocity of 101 mph and traveled a projected 408 feet.
"I think it was probably my mechanics," Lamet said of his start. "I wasn't really finishing my pitches. I felt like I was peeling off a little bit, trying to aim them or trying to get them there. I don't think it was fatigue or anything of that sort, luckily."
Missed opportunity: Tomlin was perfect through four innings before allowing back-to-back hits -- a double by Renfroe and a single by Cory Spangenberg -- to open the fifth inning. The Padres got on the board with Erick Aybar's RBI ground-rule double and Allen Cordoba's sacrifice fly, to make it 5-2. However, Aybar was left stranded on third after Luis Torrens grounded out to third to end the inning.
"Those first four innings, I know he didn't give up any hits, obviously the pitch count was down, but the way he went about it, moved the ball around, changed speeds, it was outstanding," Mills said of Tomlin. "They started getting hits a little bit later on, but the way he was able to command the zone, work quick, there was no traffic because of the hits, obviously. At the same time, he really did a good job."
"We think about him all the time. He's probably still got a big part of what is going on in here on a daily basis. I think he's probably not too happy in the hospital on a daily basis. We keep in contact. The guys on the team text him and we talk to him, just kind of keep him in the loop, talk to him. We need him at the helm here, there's no doubt about it. He's a huge part of our success." -- Tomlin, on manager Terry Francona, who is hospitalized
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ramirez's two-run homer in the first inning was his 48th extra-base hit of the season, which is the most by an Indians player before the All-Star break since 1998, when Jim Thome had 53.
Thursday marked the eighth time in Encarnacion's career that he collected four hits in a game. The previous time was on Aug. 23, 2015, as a member of the Blue Jays. In addition, it was the first time since July 8, 2011 -- against the Indians -- that Encarnacion logged four hits and four runs scored.
"Even Edwin, three of his hits were going the other way," Mills said. "And then he was able to hit that home run, which was just obviously on the right side. But just the way his approach was all night long and he was able to square some balls up doing that. It was sure nice to see."
Padres: Left-hander Clayton Richard (5-8, 4.85 ERA) will take the mound as the Padres open a three-game set with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday at 3:35 p.m. PT. Richard will look to bounce back after a rough start against the Dodgers on Friday, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Indians: The Tribe will hand the ball to right-hander Carlos Carrasco (9-3, 3.50) for the opener of a three-game set with the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Progressive Field. In three starts against Detroit this year, Carrasco is 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA (five earned runs in 19 2/3 innings).
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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 Facebook.
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland and covered the Padres on Thursday.