CLEVELAND -- The Indians finally got some positive news in the health department.
Center fielder Leonys Martin, who has been recovering from a life-threatening bacterial infection, left the Cleveland Clinic on Sunday.
The thought of Martin playing again this season seemed impossible, but now it appears likely.
“To think about the progress he’s made over the past week, it’s been nothing short of amazing,” team president Chris Antonetti said prior to Sunday afternoon’s series finale against Baltimore. “We don’t have a lot of additional details about what the plan will look like from here other than he’ll have a series of followup checks this week with doctors, just to continue to monitor his health. And then at some point we’ll begin to think about how we build up his activity and see where that leads us.”
Antonetti said he visited Martin on Friday. Needless to say, there was a sense of relief for all parties concerned.
“When I was over there on Friday you could tell, not only for him, but his wife, his dad and his brother were there, too ... it’s beyond a relief, especially given where things were a week ago,” Antonetti said. “And his spirits were really lifted. A bunch of the guys stopped by to visit. Tito and (bench coach Brad Mills) stopped by. He continues to draw energy from that and I know he’s really motivated to get back healthy and begin building up his activity.”
Though Martin’s prognosis was positive, Antonetti said the Indians have no set timetable for his return. He has been sidelined since Aug. 8 -- a little over a week after joining Cleveland at the trade deadline.
“I think it’s important to remember we don’t know,” Antonetti said. “We’re in uncharted waters. There’s no precedent you can look back to and say, ‘What does a return to activity look like?’ It’s very much going to continue to be day to day.”
Mike Clevinger recorded his fifth pick-off, catching Jonathan Villar off first base in the opening inning. The total ranks second in the American League behind Seattle’s Marco Gonzalez.
The major league leader in the category is none other than Padres left-hander Eric Lauer, a Midview High product who had picked off 10 baserunners through Saturday.
Clevinger is the 17th pitcher in franchise history to record at least five pick-offs in a season and the first since Tony Sipp in 2010. Rick Sutcliffe holds the club record with 12 in 1983.
Center fielder Greg Allen extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games with an RBI single in the second inning. It equals the longest streak in the majors by a rookie this year.
Allen is batting .386 (17-for-44) and has scored 10 runs over the span.
“The streak Greg’s on is pretty unbelievable in and of itself,” Clevinger said. “He’s been playing his butt off, not only at the plate. At the plate just stands out to everybody. But defensively, he’s been doing his thing, too.
“He’s been doing a much better job of staying on balls, where earlier he was chasing balls down out of the zone,” manager Terry Francona said. “He doesn’t really chase balls down out of the zone. He’s now either laying off or hitting the ball to left field or wherever and keeping the ball on a line, so he’s giving himself a chance.”
The Indians are on the road for the next seven days, beginning a four-game series against Boston tonight at 7:10.
Corey Kluber (15-6, 2.68 ERA) opens the set, opposing RHP Rick Porcello (15-5, 4.04), while Shane Bieber starts Tuesday (7:10 p.m.) against RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-0, 1.99).
Carlos Carrasco (15-6, 3.33) goes for Cleveland on Wednesday (7:10 p.m.) against RHP Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.00), while Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.62) starts the series finale Thursday (1:10 p.m.) and Boston counters with LHP David Price (13-6, 3.69).
Francona is 15-18 -- not including a 3-0 postseason record -- against his former team since joining the Indians in 2013.
- Right-hander Josh Tomlin (right hamstring strain) made his fourth rehab appearance Saturday in Triple-A Columbus’ 8-3 loss to Syracuse. He has posted a 5.11 ERA and allowed 20 hits (three home runs)
- Top pitching prospect Triston McKenzie improved to 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts for Double-A Akron, allowing a run on three hits and striking out eight over 6 1/3 innings of a 5-1 win at Harrisburg.
- Outfielder Will Benson went 3-for-3 and drove in a run in Class A Lake County’s 4-2 win over Western Michigan on Saturday. Cleveland’s first-round draft pick (14th overall) in 2016, entered Sunday with 17 homers and 45 RBIs in 109 games, but was batting only .174, having struck out 130 times in 363 at-bats.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer threw while standing in the outfield prior to Sunday’s game. It was a first for Bauer, who is on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower right leg. A team spokesperson said Bauer would not join the Indians on their current road trip. ... It was a day off for shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was not in the starting lineup for just the second time in 123 games. ... Cleveland entered Sunday tied for the major league lead with 98 stolen bases. ... Monday, 7:10, STO; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM.