Mike Clevinger didn't have his best stuff but did enough to pitch into the sixth inning and lead host Cleveland to a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night as the Indians wait for manager Terry Francona's return.
Clevinger (1-1) worked around five walks, including three in the sixth. The righthander's strong start — he gave up just two hits — continued a pattern for the Indians, who have had great pitching while their offense remains in a team-wide funk.
The Indians got just four hits after winning with only three Tuesday. They had two in both Saturday and Sunday losses to the Twins.
Cesar Hernandez hit an RBI single off Reds rookie Tejay Antone and Oscar Mercado scored with some daring baserunning to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the fifth.
Cleveland played its fourth straight game without Francona, who remains away from the team to rest while dealing with a gastrointestinal problem he's had for months. Team president Chris Antonetti expects Francona to be absent for a least "a few more days," so it's likely he'll skip the team's upcoming trip to Chicago.
After Clevinger left, the Indians' bullpen did their part with 3⅓ scoreless innings to close the combined three-hit shutout. Brad Hand struck out two in the ninth for his fourth save.
Cleveland's relievers have not given up a run in 14 consecutive innings.
Making his first major league start, Antone blanked Cleveland on just two hits until the fifth, when his third consecutive walk to open an inning finally bit him.
Antone walked Jordan Luplow and was lifted with one out by Reds manager David Bell, who didn't want to push his righthander any further. Reliever Michael Lorenzen came on and walked Mercado before Hernandez delivered a run-scoring single.
Miami 1-2, Baltimore 0-1: Five pitchers combined on a four-hitter for Don Mattingly's undermanned, gritty and first-place Marlins, who beat the host Orioles 2-1 for a doubleheader sweep.
Brian Anderson homered in opener, and Miami won 1-0 despite getting only two hits.
The sweep kept the Marlins — at only 5-1 — atop the NL East and earned Mattingly his 281st victory as Miami's manager, tying Jack McKeon's club record.
In a baseball season complete with new rules and an ever-changing, abbreviated schedule, this doubleheader raised the bar on strange. Not only were both games seven innings apiece, but the Orioles were the home team in the opener and the Marlins served as hosts in the nightcap.
Philadelphia 11-1, N.Y. Yankees 7-3: Mike Tauchman's tiebreaking double in the seventh inning sent the Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Phillies and a split of their seven-inning doubleheader in Philadelphia.
Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto homered to back Zack Wheeler and lead the "visiting" Phillies to an 11-7 victory over the Yankees in the opener, ending New York's seven-game winning streak.
Due to a late schedule change, the Yankees were the "home" team for the first game.
Toronto 2, Atlanta 1: Hyun-Jin Ryu combined with four relievers on a two-hitter and the Blue Jays beat the shorthanded Braves. Ryu lasted only five innings but was dominant as he gave up only one hit, an infield single by Adam Duvall in the second.
New York 3, Washington 1: Max Scherzer exited because of the leg issue after laboring through just one inning, overshadowing Juan Soto's eventful 2020 debut for the World Series champs, and Rick Porcello collected his 150th career victory as the Mets beat the host Nationals.
"The best decision," said Scherzer, who needed 27 pitches to get three outs then gave way to Erick Fedde, "was just to get out of the game."
He revealed afterward that he first felt something wrong with the hamstring before his previous start, six days earlier against Toronto. But he pitched anyway in that one and ended up throwing an MLB season-high 112 pitches.