Masterson’s Removal and Plethora of Pitchers Prevent Success; Orioles 7, Indians 2
Laurel Wilder | On 02, Sep 2013
The Indians returned to Progressive Field from a disappointing road trip that had them going 1-5 against the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers. However, they came into today’s game still relevant in the American League Wild Card race, chasing Oakland and Tampa Bay right on the heels of their current adversary, the Baltimore Orioles.
However, pitching woes struck the Tribe early, with Justin Masterson being removed in the second inning, and left the Indians trailing throughout the game as they fell to the Orioles 7-2, despite solo home runs in late innings.
Both teams started the game with scoreless first innings.The wheels began to fall off during the second inning, when Masterson was removed from the game after suffering reported soreness in the left side of his rib cage. No further information regarding a timetable related to the soreness has been released. He had allowed a hit from Matt Wieters.
Recently called-up Preston Guilmet replaced Masterson, allowing a single to Nick Markakis and gave up a long hit to center field to Nate McLouth. Michael Bourn attempted to make the catch but was sent careening into the center field fence. As Markakis rounded the bases on the hit, he seemingly did not tag second base, a mistake that was noticed by players and announcers alike. On an appeal play, Jason Kipnis tagged second to get Markakis out. McLoth’s hit was ruled a fielder’s choice, though he was granted an RBI.
The Indians had their first baserunner in the second inning with a hit from Michael Brantley. Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk, which placed runners at first and second. However, nothing came from the base runners as Brantley was picked off at second following a steal attempt to end the inning.
Guilmet left the game in the third inning with his ERA increasing to a 12.46. Nick Hagadone took the mound against Chris Davis to start the third. Hagadone struck out two and did not allow any runs to score, keeping the Orioles to their 3-0 lead.
McLouth delivered another long shot in the fourth inning with a two-run homer to right field, bringing the Orioles lead to 5-0. Bryan Shaw took his turn on the mound in the fifth inning, throwing a scoreless fifth inning while allowing two hits. Bud Norris continued to dominate Tribe hitters into the fifth, posting his seventh strikeout of the game to end the inning.
Blake Wood was also given a chance to throw for the Tribe in his debut, throwing one inning and issuing two walks.
Lonnie Chisenhall gave the Tribe their second hit of the game with a double to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning with no outs. The rest of the inning passed relatively quickly, with no additional hits allowing for advancement from Chisenhall. The Orioles stayed on top 5-0 heading into the seventh inning.
Yet another pitcher found himself on the mound for the Indians, as Clay Rapada made an appearance in the top of the seventh inning. As the sixth pitcher to appear of the Tribe, Rapada walked the first two batters he saw and allowed a single to Wieters to load the bases. Following a pop out from Markakis, Rapada was removed and replaced by Matt Albers. The first batter he faced, J Hardy, grounded into a double play to end the inning before Baltimore could add to their score.
The Indians avoided a shutout in the seventh inning with a solo home run from Jason Kipnis. Brantley had his second hit of the game with a single, although Cabrera and Jason Giambi could not advance the runner.
Albers stayed in the game into the eighth inning, not allowing any more runs to score for Baltimore. McLouth had his third hit of the night in the eighth inning, leading off with a single. Casilla hit into an unassisted double play to Nick Swisher, quickly adding two outs to the inning before an inning-ending ground out from Brian Roberts.
The bottom of the eighth inning marked the Orioles first pitching change of the game, bringing in Tommy Hunter to replace Norris. Norris pitched seven innings, giving up four hits and allowing only one run on the home run by Kipnis. He walked one batter while striking out eight.
Chisenhall repeated Kipnis’ inning lead off home run with a solo shot of his own in the eighth inning, shrinking the gap to 5-2 Orioles. Jason Kubel made a pinch hitting appearance in the eighth and struck out swinging. He remained in the game in right field in the ninth inning. Marc Rzepczynski also came into the game in the ninth inning to replace Albers. He allowed a single to Manny Machado to start the inning, as well as a home run to Wieters to raise Baltimore’s lead to 7-2 headed into the bottom of the inning.
Brian Matusz ended the game for Baltimore and gave up a double to Brantley with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. With a full count, Cabrera struck out to end the game. The Orioles boosted their record to 73-63 as they took the first game of the series, while Cleveland fell to 72-65.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images