Tribe Falls to Yanks as Offense Continues to Flail; Yankees 4, Indians 2
By Dave Roberts
The Indians looked to build upon their great victory last night and string together consecutive wins in hope of winning their first series since taking two out of three against the Tigers on July 26. In the rubber match of the series with the Yankees, Cleveland sent Ubaldo Jimenez to mound against Freddy Garcia for this Sunday daytime affair. What unfolded in Cleveland was more of the same game play fans have been used to as the offense sputtered yet again in a 4-2 loss.
Pitching wise the Tribe arms yet again managed to keep the Yankees high-powered offense in low gear throughout the game. Jimenez gave the Indians a decent start going five innings allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking only one. Of the five frames he tossed, the Yankees were only able to capitalize in the second inning. It was the one inning that Jimenez allowed himself to get into trouble and the Yankees took full advantage.
Eric Chavez led off the inning with single to left, Ibanez followed with a walk, then with two on and no outs Ichiro Suzuki hit a sharp single into center that scored Chavez and put runners at first and second. Then Chris Stewart laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners netting Jimenez the first out of the inning. Jimenez looking to minimize the damage and was able to get Derek Jeter to ground out to third for the second out, which allowed the second run to score. With two out and two runs in Nick Swisher stepped to the plate and singled to left to drive in the third and final run of the inning. Jimenez finally recorded the last out of the inning on a Robinson Cano fly out to right field.
Jimenez held the Yankees offense in check the rest of the way through the fifth inning keeping the Indians in the game. Acta made the move to the pen in the sixth and brought on the lefty Tony Sipp to pitch. Curtis Granderson was the first man to bat in the inning and he greeted Sipp with a solo blast to right field promptly making it a 4-2 game. Sipp finished the sixth setting down the next three Yankee hitters in a row but the damage had been done. Smith came on and pitched a scoreless seventh and then Esmil Rogers pitched the final two frames of the game. The Indians staff when it was all said done had done a commendable job holding the Yankees offense in check but it was again the offense that held the team back.
The Indians offense was presented with several opportunities in the game to score runs but only succeeded in cashing in on one. In the bottom of the first, Jason Kipnis had a leadoff single and then proceeded to steal second with nobody out but was subsequently stranded at second. Again, in the third, Hannahan led off the inning with a leadoff double but then Carerra struck out. Kipnis then reached on an error by Cano at second and stole second, his second steal of the game, after which Cabrera struck out. Choo then stepped to the plate and walked with two outs to load the bases for Santana who then flew out to right field stranding another huge scoring opportunity.
The Tribe had one last serious run scoring opportunity against the Yankee arms in bottom of the fifth and this time they did not disappoint. Jason Kipnis doubled with two outs in the inning and was then followed by Cabrera who got on board after being hit by a pitch. Choo then subsequently walked to load the bases again for Santana. This time though El Oso came through with a two run single that put the Tribe on the board and knocked Garcia out of the game. With runners at first and second, Boone Logan then came out in relief and got the final out to end the Indians threat.
The Indians offense made little to no headway against the Yankees pen the rest of the way, save for another Jason Kipnis single in which he followed up with his third steal of the game in the seventh. The Indians would end up dropping this one 4-2 but on a bright note in the three game series against the Bronx Bombers they were only outscored 10-6, which should be an encouraging sign at least from the pitching standpoint for the Tribe.
The Indians will continue their home stand tomorrow night at 7:05 in the first of four with the Oakland Athletics. Tomorrow’s matchup features Roberto Hernandez (0-2, 6.75) against Brett Anderson (1-0, 1.29) as the Tribe looks to get back on the winning track.
Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan