Timely Hitting Sweeps Tribe Right Out of Bronx; Yankees 5, Indians 4
By Craig Gifford
Despite a better effort by the Cleveland Indians this afternoon, a couple big hits by the New York Yankees were good enough to sweep the Tribe and defeat them 5-4 this afternoon.
With the exception of two costly mistakes Wednesday afternoon in New York, Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez continued his month-long resurgence. He entered the game having gone 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in his previous four starts.
The Indians’ No. 2 pitcher looked strong again in giving up four earned runs in six innings to the big-bopping Yankees. However, after a solid start to the game for the Tribe offense, Cleveland’s batters went back into the shell they had been in throughout this current 10-game road trip. They did reemerge in the ninth, but it was too little too late.
Cleveland fell 5-4, dropping to 1-5 on the first two legs of the trip through Houston and New York. Overall, the Indians have dropped to an even .500 at 37-37. With the AL Central Division leading White Sox winning, the second-place Tribe is now 2.5-games back in the standings after its season-high losing streak reached five games.
“We played better today,” said Indians manager Manny Acta. “We’re going through a rough stretch right now, but the guys understand they’ve got to work through it.”
Mistake number one for Jimenez came in the fourth as a two-run double by Eric Chavez put the Yankees up 2-1. It came with two outs in the inning.
The Indians quickly reclaimed the lead in the fifth. Back-to-back, run-scoring singles from Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis gave Cleveland a 3-2 edge. Earlier in the frame, Pettitte was knocked out on a line drive single by Casey Kotchman that hit off the lefty’s ankle. It was later learned to be a fracture and Pettitte will be out at least six weeks. Both big hits came off reliever Clay Rapada.
That’s where the Tribe offense stalled. Following the Kipnis knock, veteran Freddy Garcia relieved and shut the Indians bats down for 2.1 innings. David Robertson also tossed a hitless eighth inning.
Meanwhile, Jimenez made his second mistake as Robinson Cano touched him up for a 2-run home run in the sixth.
The usually stingy Vinnie Pestano coughed up New York’s final run, after two outs were recorded, in the eighth inning. Again, it was Chavez coming through with a two-out hit, a single this time. The insurance run, pushing the Yankees’ lead to 5-3, provEd Huge.
Cleveland’s offense woke up in the final stanza against Yankees closer Rafael Soriano. Lonnie Chisenhall, pinch-hitting for Carlos Santana, started the inning with a single. A Shin-Soo Choo walk and Lou Marson single loaded the bases with one out. After Johnny Damon struck out, Michael Brantley was walked to score Chisenhall and pull the Tribe to within a run. Asdrubal Cabrera, a hero in past games, could not come through, flying out to end the game.
The loss dropped Jiminez’s record to 7-6. He struck out seven and walked four, tossing 108 pitches in his six innings.
“Ubaldo threw the ball well,” Acta said. “He made a couple of mistakes and they ended up making him pay for it. The Cano home run was a good piece of hitting.”
“I felt (Jimenez) pitched behind in the count, but did a good job to work back. He gave us a sold effort, he was very good.”
Cleveland will look to snap its losing skid as they begin a four-game series in Baltimore Tomorrow night. Cleveland will face a tough left hander in Wei-Yen Chen (7-3, 3.38 ERA). The Tribe will face Zach McAllister (1-1, 3.96 ERA) to the mound. McAllister was recalled from AAA-Columbus to take the place of a struggling Jeanmar Gomez in the rotation.
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