Split Squad Tribe Drops Two; Rangers 6, Indians 1. Angels 17, Indians 2
By Mike Brandyberry
The Indians split squads took on the two favorites of the American League West this season and what they received were solid defeats in each game. The contests each had a lack of Indian offense and poor defense and pitching. The Indians were defeated by the Texas Rangers, 6-1 and the Los Angeles Angels, 17-2.
In the contest against the Texas Rangers, the bats were quite silent as the Tribe only managed five hits on the day. Shin-Soo Choo remained hot this spring with two hits. Russ Canzler and Aaron Cunningham each continued their pursuit of roster spots with base hits and Andy LaRoche rounded out the offense. They were the only hits on the game. Choo and Cunningham each doubled.
Kevin Slowey’s battle for the fifth starter’s position was a little bumpy as he allowed two runs over three innings and allowing five hits. The Bullpen Mafia continued its early spring struggles when Tony Sipp allowed three runs, two earned in only an inning of work. Cory Kluber worked two innings, allowing an unearned run, and Frank Herrmann pitched the final two frames with a scoreless effort. The Tribe did themselves few favors, making four errors on the day.
While the performance left something to be desired against the Rangers, it was a stellar performance compared to the outcome against the Angels. David Huff, who has been spectacular this spring, was roughed up early against the Angels frontline players. Huff allowed four runs in the first inning and five in his three innings of work.
He was followed by Chris Ray, Danny Salazar, Bryan Price and Chris Seddon. Ray, Salazar and Price each allowed at least two earned runs. Seddon pitched the final two and one-third innings without allowing a run. The Tribe again made three errors, not supporting their pitchers. The Tribe is expected to thin the roster by the end of the week and several of today’s relief pitchers could find themselves headed to minor league camp soon.
Offensively, the Tribe was paced by two hits from Travis Hafner, including a 420-foot home run to dead centerfield. Matt LaPorta also registered his first two hits of the spring. LaPorta replaced Casey Kotchman in the lineup when the Tribe’s new first baseman was scratched for the day with a stiff back. The Tribe did have eight hits in this contest.
Monday the Tribe will be back in Goodyear against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 4:05 pm ET. The game can be seen on Sports Time Ohio. Ubaldo Jimenez will start for the Tribe with Jeremy Accardo, Nick Hagadone, Vinnie Pestano, Joe Smith and Dan Wheeler all slated to pitch in relief.
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