To win consecutive baseball games, you have to play a clean game. That’s something the Indians are just not doing right now.
Leading the American League with 16 errors, the Indians defensive woes continued today. Even though there were no errors recorded by the Indians, there were plenty of misplays that led to the Blue Jays scoring in the first inning. Corey Kluber struggled today after cruising for the better part of the season. After his horrendous first start, he’s bounced back very nicely in his last two outings, but after giving up five runs, four earned runs, Kluber was knocked out of the game before the end of the seventh inning. Mark Buehrle (4-0) continued to pitch dominantly as he came into the game with a 0.86 ERA and a career 4-1 record against the Cleveland Indians.
In the first inning, David Murphy misplayed a ball jolted to right field by Melky Cabrera which inevitably led to a triple. He would later be driven in by a bloop single by Jose Bautista that was dropped by Nick Swisher. A passed ball by Gomes would then move Bautista up to second, and then another misplay by Swisher at first would lead a single by Dioner Navarro and drive in Bautista to make the score 2-0 Toronto.
The Indians came back to lead off the inning with a single by Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher woes continued as he struck out in his first at bat. Swisher is batting a pitiful .176 coming into the game today, and he needs to turn things around if the Indians hope to be successful this season. Jason Kipnis would go on to get hit by a pitch from Buehrle. With two men on base, Carlos Santana came to the plate and hit an inning ending double play. Santana is now leading the league with seven double plays.
Kluber then led off the second inning with a walk to third basemen Brett Lawrie. He was able to move to third base from the ground out by Juan Francisco and a fly out by Ryan Goins. Jose Reyes then came up to hit a sharp single to centerfield to get his first hit and first RBI of the season to make the game 3-0 Toronto.
The Indians then got their second hit of the game with two outs from Yan Gomes, and David Murphy got on base from a walk to again have two men on base. With Mike Aviles at the plate, he flew out to right to end the inning. One of the Indians biggest problems this season has been hitting with runners in scoring position, and continued to show its ugly self again today.
After a scoreless third on both sides, Kluber continued to cruise until back-to-back infield singles by Francisco and Goins in the fourth. Kluber would dance out of danger after Reyes grounded out to Swisher to end the inning. Buehrle on the other hand continued to tear up the Tribe as he had a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
Kluber (1-2) went on to grab his first strike out of the game in the fifth when he struck out Navarro to end the inning. The Indians came back to have another scoreless inning. The sixth inning was much like the fifth. Both pitchers had been pitching very well up to this point in the game.
The seventh inning is where the wheels began to fall off for Kluber. After getting two quick outs in the inning, he went on to walk Bautista and gave up a double to Edwin Encarnacion. The killing blow came from Navarro as he hit a two RBI single driving in Bautista and Encarnacion and knocking Kluber out of the game leaving the score 5-0 Toronto. Marc Rzepczynski was then summoned for the second time in as many days to close out the seventh inning. The Indians would, for the fourth time this game, again go 1-2-3 against the veteran left-hander.
Rzepcyznski stayed on for the eighth inning, and after walking the leadoff man Lawrie, induced a ground out and two fly outs to get out of the inning. Buehrle came back out to start the eighth inning, but wouldn’t get an out after giving up a single to Murphy and walking Aviles, he was removed from the game. Right-hander Esmil Rogers, was summoned from the pen to replace Buehrle.
Rogers, who was traded to Toronto from Cleveland for Gomes and Aviles last offseason, came out throwing fire as he struck out both Cabrera and Swisher. So with two men on base, and Kipnis at the plate, he flew out to center field to end the inning. The Indians again would not cash in with runners in scoring position.
With one inning left to play with, Blake Wood was brought into the game to start the inning. After a solid showing against the Tigers in his last outing, he had another solid inning against the Blue Jays. Wood had a 1-2-3 inning with two strike outs and a fly out. Santana went on to fly out to start the inning, Raburn struck out. Brantley was able to draw a walk to keep the inning going, but it was a moot point as Gomes struck out to end the game.
This was the first time the Indians were shut out this season, and they’re 0-14 with runners in scoring position in the last two games. They’ve also lost six of their last eight games. The Indians will try to get a win out of this series on tomorrow with Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.84) on the mound for the Tribe. Toronto will be throwing out right-handed Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.52) to face the Tribe. This game is set to start at 1:05 on Sunday at Progressive Field.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images