Clevenger notched his third win of the season Thursday in Baltimore, holding the Orioles to two runs over 5.0 innings. He allowed six hits and four walks but managed to strike out four batters.
The right-hander settled in after giving up a leadoff home run to Seth Smith and limited the damage the rest of his outing. Still, it was clear that Clevenger didn't have his best stuff as he hit two batters in addition to issuing four free passes, and his four strikeouts in five innings were well off his usual strikeout rate (10.5 K/9 over his last five starts). He should maintain a spot in the rotation for the foreseeable future, which means he's lined up to start again Tuesday against Texas.
Clevinger, who was optioned back to Triple-A after being called up as the 26th man for Saturday's doubleheader with the Twins, will return to start Thursday against the Orioles at Camden Yards, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Clevinger was pitching well before his start Saturday was cut short by rain. The decision to make Clevinger the 26th man for the doubleheader negates the 10-day timetable for a player to remain in the minors after being optioned, thereby giving the Cleveland bullpen more depth for a few days until his eventual return this week.
Clevinger gave up one run on two hits and one walk while striking out four in four innings in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Twins.
He was having a lot of success, but after a lengthy rain delay in the top of the fifth inning, the Indians turned the game over to the bullpen, so Clevinger was unable to qualify for the win. Clevinger was able to get his ERA back under 4.00 (3.89), and his 1.16 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 37 innings are obviously appealing to owners in most formats. His next start will likely come Thursday in Baltimore.
Clevinger will start Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Twins, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports.
It's been expected for over a week that Clevinger would get to start one installment of Saturday's scheduled doubleheader, and pitching coach Mickey Callaway has now confirmed it. Clevinger had an effective three-start stretch in May in which he went 18.2 innings with 21 strikeouts and a 3.38 ERA before being derailed by a tough outing at Coors Field. He'll get another chance to make an impression Saturday, but it's unclear how long he'll stick with the big league club.
The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Columbus after allowing five runs over four innings Tuesday, but manager Terry Francona said that Clevinger's poor outing was not an issue. "We have three off days in eight days, that's why [he was demoted]," Francona said. "It's not a reaction to last night's game. He knows he's going to start one of those games (on June 17). He'll pitch once in between in Columbus." Through six starts in 2017, Clevinger is 2-2 with a 4.13 ERA with 37 strikeouts through 32.3 innings.
|6/25/2017 vs Minnesota|
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|2012||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||1||1||3.73||8||8||0||0||0||41.0||37||18||17||3||3||13||34|
|2014||AFA-Inland Empire 66ers||1||3||5.37||13||13||0||0||0||55.1||58||41||33||8||4||27||58|