CLEVELAND -- It is often said that a team runs away with a win. On Friday night, the Indians did so in a literal sense, equaling a franchise record with eight stolen bases to help claim a 13-3 victory over the Angels at Progressive Field. Rajai Davis and Jose Ramirez led the charge with three steals apiece.
"I thought our baserunning tonight set the tone," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We had hits to get on, and it was early in the innings, but our baserunning, they did a good job. We stole bases. We didn't just run with abandon. We were intelligent. I thought it set the tone for the whole game."
The Indians last stole eight bases in a game on Aug. 27, 1917, against the Washington Senators. The Rangers were the last Major League team to steal at least eight in a game, doing so on April 20, 2010, against the Red Sox.
Cleveland capitalized on the combination of Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs and catcher Geovany Soto, running away with seven of its eight thefts. The steals helped the American League Central-leading Tribe churn out seven runs on 10 hits in Skaggs' five innings for Los Angeles. Jason Kipnis (four hits, two RBIs) and Francisco Lindor (three hits) each added a steal for the Tribe.
Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer (three hits, five RBIs) and Ramirez (16-game hitting streak) each belted a home run to back a solid effort by Carlos Carrasco. The righty was shaky at first, but he settled in and allowed three runs in seven innings, striking out eight and walking none. Among the damage against Carrasco was a solo shot by Kole Calhoun in a two-run first.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rajai runs wild: Davis set the tone in the first inning, when he drew a leadoff walk on 11 pitches, and then proceeded to steal second and third base. The fleet-footed outfielder then trotted home on a single to left by Kipnis. Cleveland continued to run -- and manufacture runs -- throughout the night, upping its AL-leading total to 92 stolen bases this year. Davis leads the AL with 31 steals.
"I think it was a little bit of just instincts with a bit of preparation," Davis said. "It's something you look for, and then just kind of go off that. You just trust your instincts, and you just go. It seemed like it kind of affected him on the mound." More >
Soto struggles behind dish: Entering Friday, Soto had thrown out 29 percent (6-of-21) of baserunners this season. As a team, the Halos had denied 37 percent (35-of-94) on the year. Soto allowed three stolen bases in the first frame alone, two of which came by Davis. In the fifth, Davis stole second for his third steal of the game and came around to score the go-ahead run. The eight stolen bases allowed by Los Angeles marked a franchise record.
"I take pride in what I do," Soto said. "I need to make better throws and throw people out. They are runners. I take pride in my defense. I should have at least thrown a couple of them out."
What a Guy-er: The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at the non-waiver Trade Deadline largely due to his success against lefties. Heading into Friday, the outfielder was batting .352 with a 1.092 OPS off southpaws. Guyer led off the second with a home run and later added a two-run single against the left-handed Skaggs. He drove in two more with a single in the eighth. The new addition has hit .500 (7-for-14) since joining the Tribe.
"[We've] been playing against him for a little bit," Kipnis said. "He's a really good guy to have in our clubhouse and our dugout. He's [who] you want to come in versus lefties, and you saw just how easily he can impact a game today."
First-inning jack: For the second straight night, the Angels started out in front, but they did not finish there. In the top of the first, Calhoun went yard on a solo shot to right-center on a 1-0 offering from Carrasco. Per Statcast™, the ball traveled an estimated 394 feet from home plate with an exit velocity of 105 mph. The Halos have now scored just 39 runs this month, with 24 coming via home run.
"This loss is on me today," Skaggs said. "We put runs up early, and I couldn't capitalize."
"It's frustrating. Nobody wants to come suited up and lose. But we are not cutting any corners. We are coming here today and working our [tails] off. We are trying to win ballgames. It's frustrating." -- Skaggs, on the Angels' current eight-game slump
"[Skaggs] just wasn't pitching very quickly, and he had a movement that was easy to read for us to know when to go. So we just took advantage of those opportunities." -- Ramirez, via a team translator
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• Davis and Ramirez became the first Indians teammates to steal at least three bases apiece in the same game. That feat has only been accomplished 23 times in the Majors since 1913. Kansas City teammates Norichika Aoki and Jarrod Dyson did it on Aug. 10, 2014.
• Davis is the first Indians player 35 years or older to steal 30 bases in a season. He is the first such Major Leaguer to achieve the feat since Ichiro Suzuki in 2011.
• The Angels have now lost eight games in a row, including seven on this current nine-game road trip. The last time they lost this many consecutive games was in August and September 1999, when they dropped nine straight. Terry Collins resigned as the manager following that skid.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (6-12, 4.07 ERA) will take the mound vs. the Indians at 4:10 p.m. PT on Saturday. Despite a 4-7 record in his past 15 starts, Shoemaker has posted a 2.80 ERA with 101 strikeouts across 103 innings over that span. Shoemaker is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 31 punchouts over 22 innings in three career starts against the Tribe.
Indians: The Angels traded righty Mike Clevinger (0-1, 6.97 ERA) to the Indians in exchange for reliever Vinnie Pestano in August 2014. On Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET, Clevinger will take the mound for Cleveland with a chance to show Los Angeles what it dealt away. The prospect has been a spot starter for the Tribe this year, filling in for the injured Danny Salazar in his most recent MLB stint.