For the fifth straight game, the Cleveland Indians played a one-run game. For the fourth time in that stretch, they came up on the wrong side of the final outcome as a pair of late rallies fell short and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tribe by a 4-3 final.
In a close game knotted at three in the bottom of the seventh, the Phillies flared the go-ahead run in off of reliever Tommy Hunter in his first outing for Cleveland. David Lough started the inning with a pinch-hit single to center and moved to second on a sacrifice from Peter Bourjos. Odubel Herrera flied out to left, but Freddy Galvis blooped a pitch in on his hands just in front of right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall to score Lough from second to give the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
The Indians nearly struck through in each of their final two innings at the plate. Against reliever and former Indians minor leaguer Elvis Araujo, Francisco Lindor singled to right with one out and stole second. After a walk from Carlos Santana with two outs, both runners advanced a base on a passed ball. With a chance to turn the tides in the Tribe’s favor, Juan Uribe came up just feet short of a three-run homer that died on the warning track in the glove of Herrera to end the threat.
In the ninth against another former Tribesman, Jeanmar Gomez, Tyler Naquin grounded out before Jose Ramirez delivered a pinch-hit single to center. Chisenhall followed with a single of his own to bring pinch-hitter Rajai Davis to the plate for catcher Roberto Perez. Davis grounded to short, moving the tying run to third while staying out of a double play. But after Davis stole second to put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position, Jason Kipnis hit a deep drive to right that Bourjos just barely got to to secure the final out of the day.
The Phillies (14-10) have now won five straight games and move to 7-5 at Citizens Bank Park. The Indians (10-11) end the month a game below the .500 mark. After starting their road trip with an impressive display in a sweep in Detroit over the Tigers, they have now dropped four of their last five contests, all decided by one run.
Philadelphia wasted no time starting the scoring on the night as Herrera jumped on the first pitch from Indians starter Trevor Bauer and singled to center to start the bottom half of the first. Two pitches later, Galvis lifted a homer to right to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
The Phillies added another run in the next inning after Darin Ruf doubled to center. He moved to third on a line out from Cesar Hernandez and scored on an RBI-single from pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, who supported his own cause nicely.
The Indians got a run back in the third as Chisenhall doubled to lead off the inning, his first of three hits on the night. He moved to third on a sacrifice from Bauer and scored on a sacrifice fly from Kipnis to cut the Phillies lead to 3-1.
Cleveland tied the game at three in the fifth after Naquin tripled to deep right center. Perez lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score the second run. After Chisenhall reached on an infield single, Bauer struck out. Chisenhall stole second with Kipnis at the plate, which would prove big at the time as the Indians’ second baseman would single to shallow center to drive home the tying run.
The Phillies gave the Indians a scare in the fifth, but twice had runners get caught up trying to score. Bourjos walked and moved to third on a single from Herrera, which ended the night for Bauer. Kyle Crockett induced a ground ball to Uribe at third, who was able to get Bourjos in a run down and retired him at third base after Bourjos ran out of the base line. Joba Chamberlain entered for Crockett and got a line out to right before a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. With Ryan Howard at the plate, Chamberlain skipped one in front of the dish. Perez blocked the ball and kept it mere feet in front of him, but Herrera broke for home. Perez recovered the ball and dove to the plate, tagging Herrera to end the inning. It was reviewed on the field, but the call stood.
BAUER BACK ON THE BUMP
Bauer, making his first start of the season while filling in for the injured Carlos Carrasco in the rotation, lasted four-plus innings on the mound. He allowed three runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out four in the no-decision.
QUALITY START FROM EICKHOFF
Phillies starter Eickhoff gave his team a quality start on the mound, going six innings while allowing three runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked none in his no-decision.
GOMEZ PERFECT ON THE YEAR
Former Indians pitcher Gomez is now a perfect eight-for-eight in save situations this season for the Phillies. He made it a bit dicey, putting the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position after a pair of hits and a stolen base in the ninth, but got the fly out to right off of the bat of Kipnis to end it.
HUNTER THE TOUGH LUCK LOSER
Making his first appearance for the Indians after being activated from the 15-day disabled list, Hunter threw just seven pitches (six strikes) as the Phillies aggressively attacked the Tribe reliever. He allowed a pair of hits and the deciding run while being dealt his first loss of the season.
Despite only appearing in Indians losses this year, reliever Chamberlain is off to a good start in the Cleveland bullpen. He has worked seven innings over seven games and allowed just one hit, a pair of walks, and has struck out two.
A WELL DESERVED NIGHT OFF
One night after striking out four times in five at bats, Mike Napoli got his first day off on Saturday night.
PATIENCE PAYS OFF, SOME
After striking out 18 times in Friday night’s loss, the Indians fared much better at the plate, striking out just five times and drawing one walk. They stole three bases on the night, but just one of those runs would come around to score as the Indians were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
The Indians will look to salvage the series and avoid giving the Phillies their second consecutive sweep on Sunday afternoon. Danny Salazar (2-1, 2.35 ERA) will take the mound for the Tribe, while Vincent Velasquez (3-1, 1.78) will look to continue his hot start for the Phillies.
First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 PM ET from Philadelphia.
Photo: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton