In the offseason, the Indians picked up Edwin Encarnacion to add some power to their lineup. The 34-year-old slugger has done just that and he made his former team take notice in the opener of a three-game series in Cleveland against the Blue Jays with a four-RBI performance in the Indians' 13-3 rout of Toronto.
|Encarnacion: HR, 4RBI|
Capping off his 3-for-4 effort with an RBI single in the seventh, the rest of the tribe piled on, adding six more runs to complete the whipping.
The result improved Cleveland's lead in the Central to 1 1/2 games over Minnesota and Kansas City. Detroit is 5 1/2 back, while Toronto remains alone in last place in the East division.
The two teams go at it again on Saturday, with game two scheduled for 7:10 pm ET.
|McCutchen: 3-4, 3R, 3RBI|
Flying just under the radar most of the year, the Pittsburgh Pirates have awakened and are the hottest team in the NL Central.
Pittsburgh won its sixth straight on Friday, swashbuckling past the Rockies, 13-5, in Denver. Since the all-star break, the Pirates are 7-1 and 12-2 since the fourth of July.
|Bell, 4-6, 4 RBI|
The 2013 NL MVP, McCutchen is having another solid season, batting .294 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. He generally hits out of the three-hole, in front of second year first baseman, Bell, who has strikingly similar numbers, .248, 17 HR, 52 RBI.
The win left the Pirates just two games off the lead in the division. Milwaukee leads the Cubs by one, with Pittsburgh another game back.
Game two of the series is at 8:10 pm ET, Saturday in the Mile High city.