The Cleveland Indians knew their weekend series in Minnesota was a big one, and they sure are playing like it through the first three games. That includes a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, beginning with a 9-3 win in the first game of the twin bill. Jose Ramirez went deep from both sides of the plate and drove in four in the game. His first big fly was a three-run shot in the first, with his second being a solo bomb in the sixth for his second career multi-homer game, both of which have come this season. Zach McCallister earned his first win after throwing two shutout innings, not allowing a hit, and striking out three. McCallister, Bryan Shaw, and Dan Otero combined for five scoreless innings to relieve starter Ryan Merritt, who allowed two runs on seven hits in four innings. Later on, the Indians continued their dominance over the Twins with a 6-2 victory in the nightcap to take over first place in the AL Central. Lonnie Chisenhall went deep twice in this contest to help the Indians improve to 7-2 against Minnesota this season, giving them a one-game lead in the Central. Austin Jackson and Francisco Lindor both added long balls in a game that featured a 75-minute rain delay. Chisenhall's multi-home run game gives him 10 big flies on the season in just 118 at-bats.The Indians have now taken three in a row from the Twins and will look for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon.
Yankees Suffer Fifth Straight Loss
The New York Yankees are feeling the effects of a long, tough west coast road trip this week, as they suffered their fifth straight defeat on Saturday, 5-2 in Oakland against the Athletics. The A's got two home runs from Ryan Healy, who now has eight home runs in the past 14 games. It was his third multi-home run game of the month and season, and the fifth time this year that he's had three or more hits in a contest. Matt Joyce added a big fly after the A's slipped by the first two games of the series, including a walk-off in extras on Thursday night. Joyce's home run was his fifth career leadoff shot and came off of Masahiro Tanaka, who fell to 5-7 on the year. The Yankees got RBI hits from Brett Gardner and Austin Romine, as their five-game losing streak is a season-high. Despite the recent slide, they still hold a one-game lead over the Boston Red Sox, who fell to the Houston Astros on Saturday night. The Yankees will look to avoid the sweep in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
Puig Powers Red-Hot Dodgers Past Reds
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been on fire to stay competitive atop the NL West, and they can thank their bats as of late for that. Those bats were on display Saturday afternoon with four home runs, including two from Yasiel Puig, in a 10-2 blowout of the Cincinnati Reds. Puig's two big flies helped him surpass his home run total of 11 from the entire 2016 season. Cody Bellinger had three hits on the afternoon, including his 19th home run, which ties Gary Sanchez for the most home runs through a player's first 49 games. It was the rookie's third three-hit game, and he also raised his team-leading RBI total to 43. Joc Pederson also went deep for a second straight day, as Los Angeles handed the Reds their season-high eighth straight loss. The Dodgers put up a total of seven extra-base hits, and had a five-run third inning against starter Asher Wojciechowski, who suffered the loss. Hyun-Jin Ryu earned his third win of the year after giving up just two runs in five innings. The Dodgers can sweep away the Reds in the matinee finale on Sunday.