After a mostly successful start to the baseball season, the Cleveland Indians are limping into the All-Star break.
The Tribe lost its third straight game Sunday to the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-1, falling a half-game out of first place, behind the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland goes into the break at 47-42, with the Tigers standing at 49-43.
Following a dramatic comeback victory Thursday night against these same Blue Jays, the Indians fell short in the next three, all at Progressive Field.
Sunday’s game provided little for the Wahoo Warriors to be thrilled about.
There was late inning magic once again Saturday night at Progressive Field. Unfortunately, for the Indians, there was not quite enough for the home team.
The Tribe forced extra innings with a run in the ninth, but fell to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 in ten frames.
Cleveland, which slipped to 47-41, entered the ninth trailing 4-3. This time it was right fielder Travis Buck playing the role of hero. He hit a two-out, RBI double. The hit scored Austin Kearns, pinch running for Travis Hafner, who led off the stanza with a base hit.
At the beginning of the night, many thought that Mitch Talbot may be pitching for his spot in the rotation. By the middle of the 6th inning, most would agree that he did not hold on to that spot. Whether it’s bad luck or bad pitching, Talbot showed tonight that something just isn’t right and he may need some time in Triple A to get things back on track, especially with the arms that the Indians have warm and ready to show their worth down in Columbus.
The Blue Jays jumped on Talbot in the second inning, picking up three runs, two of which came with two outs. Toronto was successful in that line on the stat sheet a couple times, as they also had two two-out, run scoring hits in the top of the 4th inning. After the Indians had picked up two runs in the bottom of the second, the Blue Jays were sparked by the number nine hitter, Rajai Davis in the 4th.
Thursday night was a grand night for the Cleveland Indians and their fans.
With one out and the bases, the Tribe trailed the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth. Travis Hafner stepped to the plate and found a pitch to his liking. He hammered it to deep right field, sending the crowd of 18,816 into delirium and home happy.
After struggling to put anything together on offense for eight innings, the Tribe entered the home half of the ninth trailing 4-0. They were looking like sure losers in the first of a four-game series with the Blue Jays.
The two storylines headed into the rubber match of this three game series with the New York Yankees were Derek Jeter‘s pursuit of his 3,000th career hit and Phil Hughes coming off the DL to make his first start since April 13th, but Justin Masterson stole the show by throwing eight scoreless innings in the Cleveland Indians 5-3 win over the Yankees.
Despite rumors that Asdrubal Cabrera would be sitting out this game after tweaking his ankle in last night’s 9-2 loss, the All-Star was in the lineup playing second base and singled in his first at bat after Michael Brantley drew a leadoff walk. Travis Hafner followed Cabrera’s one-bagger with a hit of his own to score Brantley. Cabrera then came around to score on a wild pitch and fielding error by Yankees catcher Russell Martin, giving the Tribe an early 2-0 lead.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s twisted ankle from Tuesday’s game currently has him listed as day-to-day, but it is expected he could miss a couple games after landing awkwardly after making a jump-throw to second base on a ball in the whole. Asdrubal had only been out of the Indians’ lineup for seven innings all season before the injury. Orlando Cabrera made his first appearance of the season at shortstop, his long time natural position. Asdrubal has been the leader of the team for the first half of the season, and an American League All-Star selection, who the Indians can’t afford to lose for any considerable amount of time, while the offense continues to struggle.
The game was billed as the Battle of CCs, but it was more the story of The Master and The Apprentice as Carlos Carrasco was touched for five runs in the second inning and C.C. Sabathia cruised to lead the Yankees to a 9-2 victory Tuesday evening.
The game turned when the Yankees had two on and one out when a ground ball was hit to Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera made the throw to Cord Phelps, but Phelps could not make the easy relay to first. The throw bounced several feet in front of first base. While Phelps should have made a good throw, it would be safe to expect Carlos Santana to pick the throw from the dirt.
Austin Kearns issued the punishing blow for the Cleveland Indians, as they came from behind to defeat the New York Yankees, 6-3. Josh Tomlin pitched seven innings allowing only two runs to earn his tenth victory of the season for the Tribe. Tomlin retired 18 consecutive Yankees at one point of the game.
Tomlin was the story early, throwing a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but as has been the story for much of the last two months, the Indians could not muster any run support. Mark Teixeira broke up the no-hit bid, then Robinson Cano followed with an infield hit before Nick Swisher lined an opposite field double to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. With only two hits through six innings, the Indians offense looked to be over-matched by A.J. Burnett.
Shelley Duncan gave the Cleveland Indians a fast start with a two-run home run in the second inning, but Mitch Talbot continued his inconsistent ways and allowed ten hits and six runs over just four innings, as the Indians lost the season finale to the Cincinnati Reds, 7-5. Talbot has struggled early in games all season.
Talbot was spotted a 2-0 lead when Shelley Duncan hit his third home run of the season. Duncan was the hitting star of the day for the Tribe, going 3-4, in addition to his two RBIs, however, Talbot never had control or command of his pitches. Talbot missed several spots and was hurt by the Cincinnati offense. The Reds offense was ignited by Chris Heisey‘s home run in the second inning. The Reds were able to post three in the second inning, and three more in the fourth before chasing Talbot from the game.
By Mike Brandyberry
Michael Brantley hit a three run home run and the bullpen only gave up one run, over seven innings as the Indians defeated the Reds, 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Indians are now 5-0 on the season against the Reds and will look for the sweep in Sunday’s series finale.
Lou Marson started the top of the third inning with a base hit. Fausto Carmona attempted to sacrifice Marson to second, but Scott Rolen’s attempt to cut down Marson resulted in pulling second baseman Brandon Phillips off the base. Meanwhile as Carmona stumbled running to first and face planted as he crossed the bag. It appeared he pulled his right quadricep and was forced to leave the game. Michael Brantley proceeded to hit his sixth home run of the season and gave the Tribe a 3-0.
During a June swoon that saw the Indians’ bats fall deafly silent, the offense busted out in a big way Friday night with an 8-1 pasting of the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
The win moved the Tribe (43-37) back into sole possession of first place by half a game, as the Detroit Tigers fell to the San Francisco Giants last night.