CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians returned to Progressive Field Friday night when they hosted the Chicago White Sox after losing all six games on a West Coast trip against the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels last week.
To break the stress after losing six straight games, pitchers Cody Allen and Corey Kluber dressed up as chickens prior to shagging fly balls during batting practice, and the light-hearted moment certainly worked, as the Indians earned a 12-5 win over the White Sox.
"I don't care who takes credit, it was nice to shake hands," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We needed that.
"It was either Kluber or Cody, one of the two. I'm not really sure which one. I don't really care. If we get a win again, they can all show up in chicken outfits. Just for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), they weren't real. I got enough bad emails this week."
Last year, the Indians were 18-5 when they called upon the "rally chicken," something that left fielder Michael Brantley said the team might want to keep in mind.
"If there is (something to it), we're going to do that a lot more often. I know that," Brantley said. "It was great. It was a great team effort in the first. We put a lot of quality at-bats together in the first to get those runs across. We defended our home territory, and it was a good win, a good win to start our home stand.
"Every day's a new day. You've got to take one game at a time. The past is the past. April's gone. It's time to work into a new month. Everybody in this locker room works hard, each and every day, and we've just got to apply it each and every day and we'll be fine."
With the win, the Indians are now 12-17 overall, after scoring one run less Friday (12) than they did on the entire road trip (13).
"I thought it was awesome," first baseman Nick Swisher said. "I think it's great. There's been a lot of stress in here that first month of the season, people saying things, people writing things, but we've got to step up together as a group because if we're going to get it done, it's going to be done in here. Regardless of what's going on outside this locker room, we've got to stick together.
"For us, a nice little laugh here and there definitely loosens the hinges a little bit. With where we are right now, it's not where we want to be. Obviously, we'd love to be undefeated right now, but it's a tough league. In that first month of April, two West Coast trips, a couple doubleheaders mixed in there, it's been a rough go. It's nice to get out of April, get into May and start off with a win."
Swisher acknowledged that the Indians are "a streaky team," and feels they are primed for a long winning streak.
"It's all about the wins and losses," Swisher said. "That's all it really boils down to. A lot of other people think about a lot of other things, but I think, for us, all we care about are those wins and losses.
"Last year, we had such a great year, changed the attitude of this organization, changed the way people think about us, and we've just got to continue to go out there. We know it's not going to be an easy run for us, but this team is streaky. When we can get hot, we can rattle off five, 10, 15 in a row. It'd be nice to do that right now."