CLEVELAND -- Who needs Francisco Lindor any way?
Despite the two-time All-Star shortstop getting a day off, the Indians’ offense still rolled on in an 8-0 victory over the Orioles in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Cleveland broke open the game in the fourth inning, scoring six times, with four runs riding home on a grand slam from veteran right fielder Melky Cabrera.
Cabrera was one of a number of low-profiled players contributing in a big way for the Indians, who also got production from center fielder Greg Allen and designated hitter Yandy Diaz.
Allen extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games, collecting two hits, driving in a run and scoring twice, while Diaz plated Cleveland’s first run in the opening inning on a two-out double.
“It’s a fun day,” manager Terry Francona said. “You set out to win, but when you do it maybe in a different way, you can give Frankie a day off and Greg slides into the leadoff spot and contributes in a number of ways ... Yandy swinging the bat the way he has, Melky with the big hit. It helps, not just for the win, but it helps your roster. It helps everybody feel like they’re doing something.”
Cabrera has taken advantage of his second opportunity with the Indians, joining them from Triple-A Columbus to replace an injured Lonnie Chisenhall in right. He has produced a major league-leading 12 RBIs over his last seven games.
“Since he’s come back he’s been really good,” Francona said of Cabrera. “I think he’s just dangerous. He gets the barrel to the ball a lot. He’s come up with some really big hits to boot. I just think his ability to switch hit and make contact, it’s kind of solidified us out there.
“I think he (appreciates the opportunity). I mean, he was kinda sitting at home. Now he’s playing right field for a team that’s in first place. I think he’s enjoying it.”
Right-hander Mike Clevinger was the beneficiary of the run support, but it wasn’t required. He allowed seven hits and struck out seven over six innings to notch his ninth win.
Clevinger joined Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco to give the Indians four pitchers with at least 150 strikeouts -- something that has happened only two other times in franchise history (2015-16). The current foursome is the quickest (123 games) to accomplish as much.
Despite allowing the leadoff hitter to reach in each of the first four innings, Clevinger avoided trouble every time.
“It was weird,” he said. “It almost took me a batter to get going. It almost seemed like, even location-wise, after the first batter got out there I was throwing everything where I wanted to. But it seemed like the first hitter of each inning I was kind of off just a tick. I don’t know … baseball. (It was) just finding it.
“(The) focus and intensity kind of picks up with guys on base, especially in scoring position. (I’m) trying to find that mentality to start the inning off. It’s kind of hard to replicate. But it’s been solid with runners on base.”
The Indians, who had their six-game winning streak stopped Saturday, improved to 13-4 in August. Cleveland entered the day owning a 2.45 ERA during the month, which ranked second in the majors.
The shutout was an AL-high 13th for the Indians, who are tied with Pittsburgh for the second-most in the majors behind the Cubs’ 14.
Cabrera’s grand slam was Cleveland’s ninth, which is tied with Cincinnati and Boston for the most in the majors.
Clevinger is 2-0 and hasn’t allowed a run in two starts (15 innings) against Baltimore. He is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles.
Left-hander Andrew Miller made his seventh appearance since leaving the disabled list, striking out two of the four batters he faced in a scoreless seventh inning.
Since leaving the DL, Miller has posted a 1.35 ERA, allowing three hits and striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings.