CLEVELAND, Ohio — Rookie outfielder Greg Allen couldn’t have picked a better time to ride a career-high 12-game hitting streak for the Cleveland Indians.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus for the fifth time this season, Allen is hitting .353 (12-for-34) with three RBI and six runs scored. He rejoined the club Aug. 9 when Leonys Martin went on the disabled list and the Indians are 8-2 in that stretch.
Allen was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, reaching base three times in Cleveland’s 8-0 win against Baltimore on Sunday at Progressive Field. His 12-game streak matches Cincinnati’s Jesse Winker for the longest by a rookie in the majors this year.
His production has boosted the bottom of Cleveland’s batting order and helped the Indians push their lead in the American League Central Division to 12 games while narrowing the gap on Houston for the No. 2 playoff seed in the league.
Manager Terry Francona said it’s fun to see a young guy like Allen slide into the leadoff spot for a game when Francisco Lindor gets the day off and then contribute in a number of ways.
“It helps, not just for the win, but it helps your roster, it helps everybody feel like there doing something,” Francona said.
During Allen’s 12-game hitting streak, Francona has noticed the 25 year old is doing a better job of staying on pitches, where earlier he had been chasing.
“He doesn’t really chase balls down out of the zone,” Francona said. “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.”
Allen says he is just trying to remain consistent in his approach and put the ball in play.
“Really just stressing preparation,” Allen said. “Coming in ready to compete each and every day, and again, just find ways on base, find ways to increase traffic on the base paths and give our guys some ways to try and drive guys in.”
Allen says the experience has helped, both in success and in failure.
“Obviously this year, there’s been some ups and downs, but I’ve been able to navigate through those,” he said. “Going through those processes and having those experiences teaches you a whole lot about how to approach the game. Usually [I] just try to use it as a teaching point to try and get better.”
Allen’s teammates are also taking notice. Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger said he gets a kick out of seeing guys like Allen and Yandy Diaz step in and contribute to the lineup.
“The streak Greg’s on is pretty unbelievable in and of itself. 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.”
President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti noted that Allen has continued to get better and more consistent in his last several big league stints.
“Hopefully it’s him just feeling more comfortable at the major league level and being able to translate some of the things he did so effectively in the minor leagues into his major-league plate appearances,” Antonetti said.