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.
The Indians did battle back with a two-out base hit by Grady Sizemore to score a pair in the sixth inning. Sizemore has started to demonstrate signs of life at the plate in recent days. Pinch hitter, Travis Hafner, also lined a base hit to drive in a run in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 7-5, but the Indians could not climb any closer in the contest.
Chad Durbin and Joe Smith each worked scoreless innings while the Indian offense attempted to get back into the game. Smith has now worked 22 consecutive scoreless innings this season and dropped his ERA to a minute 0.95.
The loss for the Tribe drops them back to only a one-half game lead in the American League Central division. This game also concludes their nine game interleague road trip, where the team was able to win two of the three series, but still only manage to go 4-5 on the trip. The Indians open a quick three game homestand with the New York Yankees, beginning Monday at 6:35 pm.
Josh Tomlin (9-4, 3.86) will take the ball for the Indians against A.J. Burnett (8-6, 4.05) and the New York Yankees. The Yankees enter Progressive Field having won six of their last eight games and will activate team captain, Derek Jeter, before Monday’s game. Jeter is only six hits shy of reaching the 3,000 hit milestone in his career.
NOTE: Fausto Carmona was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. With the All-Star Break around the corner, Carmona could only miss one start. Chris Perez was activated from the bereavement list to fill the roster spot. Considering Jeanmar Gomez pitched eight innings on Sunday evening for Columbus, and Thursday is Zach McAllister’s scheduled day to pitch, expect to see McAllister activated to pitch Thursday’s contest in Carmona’s spot.