Seventh heaven: Indians club septet of blasts

Raburn, Santana, Reynolds, Chisenhall, Brantley, Stubbs get in on act

Seventh heaven: Indians club septet of blasts

CLEVELAND -- Rumors of the demise of the Indians' offense were greatly exaggerated.

Only a handful of games ago, Cleveland was scratching and clawing in an effort to find home plate. Things have changed in a hurry for the suddenly potent Tribe. The Indians launched seven home runs, beat up on Phillies starter Roy Halladay and cruised to a 14-2 rout on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Right-hander Zach McAllister turned in a quality effort for Cleveland (11-13), but it was the lineup that stole the show against the two-time Cy Young Award-winning Halladay. Cleveland's seven homers, including a quintet of two-run shots and a pair from Ryan Raburn, marked the second-highest total in a single game in team history.

"I think we're starting to get on that roll a little bit," Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi said. "We've pushed through the tough times and we're starting to play really well offensively. That game tonight, against Roy, that's unbelievable to have that type of game tonight against him."

The Indians' team record of eight homers in one game was set against Milwaukee on April 25, 1997, and matched against Seattle on July 16, 2004. Cleveland also had a seven-homer showing against the Tigers on July 17, 1966. Tuesday's showing represented the most home runs at home in the Tribe's long, storied history.

The Indians pieced together a four-run burst in each of the first, fourth and fifth innings to swiftly build a gaping lead. Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds both launched a two-run homer in the first inning off Halladay, who went on to allow eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings. That marked the most earned runs yielded in fewer than four innings for Halladay since May 5, 2000.

Whether coincidence or plain bad luck, that outing 13 years ago was also against the Indians.

A dozen of Cleveland's 14 runs on Tuesday came with two outs.

"We did a really good job of extending innings," Indians manager Terry Francona said, "and then doing damage after we extended the innings, especially off a guy like Halladay. He's always one pitch away from getting that double play, because there's so much movement, especially when he's down in the zone.

"We stayed on him and got the barrel to a lot of balls, and didn't get in that roll-over mode where he can get out of an inning with a quick double play."

Reynolds' home run gave him eight blasts and 22 RBIs for the season. That represents the most for either category by an Indians hitter in April since 2001, when Juan Gonzalez opened the campaign with eight homers and 26 RBIs.

"It just feels good to get off to a good start," Reynolds said, "and not dig myself a hole so early in the season. Hopefully, I can just keep playing and stay consistent."

In the fourth inning, the Indians kept the onslaught going when third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall pulled a 1-0 pitch from Halladay over the wall in right field for another two-run home run. Later in the frame, Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera ended Halladay's evening early with a two-run single that pushed the Phillies (12-15) behind, 8-1.

"When teams are swinging the way they are, you've really got to pinpoint," Halladay said. "Otherwise, there can be trouble."

Philadelphia handed the ball to veteran reliever Chad Durbin, but the former Indians pitcher did not fare much better. Raburn, who enjoyed a two-homer showing against the Royals on Monday, belted a two-run shot off Durbin with two outs in the fifth. Two batters later, Michael Brantley followed suit with a two-run blast of his own, giving the Indians a 12-1 advantage.

Raburn and Drew Stubbs later connected for consecutive homers off Phillies reliever Raul Valdez in the seventh inning. For Raburn, that made him the first Indians hitter to club two home runs in back-to-back games since Travis Hafner accomplished the feat on July 19-20, 2004.

"Mine usually come in bunches," Raburn said. "Usually when I hit them, they come pretty quick. Then I'll go through a period where they don't come at all. I'm just trying to have good quality at-bats. When I get in there, just do whatever I can to help the ballclub. Fortunately, things have been going pretty good."

That last comment applies to the entire lineup right now.

In Game 1 of a doubleheader against Kansas City on Sunday, the Indians took a 9-0 loss, which was the 14th time in the team's first 21 games that it scored three runs or fewer. In the 26 innings since that lopsided defeat, the Tribe has churned out 33 runs and three wins, making it quite clear that the offense is plenty capable of providing fireworks.

It was just the fourth time the Phillies had allowed seven homers in a game since 1916, and the first since April 19, 2005, when they allowed seven against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies allowed a franchise-record nine homers against the Reds on Sept. 4, 1999.

"When you hit like that, what the heck?" Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "The best thing about that was we got through it, I guess."

Lost within the barrage of blasts was a sound performance from McAllister. The big right-hander gave Cleveland seven strong innings, limiting the Phillies to two runs on five hits and ending with four strikeouts against one walk. Delmon Young and Chase Utley each tagged McAllister for a solo home run, but the Indians' offense more than made up the difference.

McAllister did not mind being the secondary storyline on this night.

"That was a lot of fun," he said. "I think any pitcher will tell you they're happy to have offense like that, and they'd gladly have more time in the dugout with longer innings than not having any runs and going out there to try to pitch."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.