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Astros edge Indians 3-2, sending Tribe to fifth straight loss

Myers pitches well as Tribe offense remains cold

Astros edge Indians 3-2, sending Tribe to fifth straight loss
April 19, 2013
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HOUSTON - Frustrating is one way to put it. Baffling could be another.

Offensive woes continued for the Tribe Friday night, as Houston starter Lucas Harrell and the Astros edged out Cleveland to a 3-2 victory, sending the Indians to a season-high five game losing streak.

Things looked bleak early on, as starter Brett Myers gave up back-to-back homers in the second inning to Astros outfielders J.D. Martinez and Rick Ankiel to put Houston up 3-0. Little did the Tribe and Myers know, that would be all the runs the Astros would need as Cleveland would score three runs or less for their fifth consecutive game.

Harrell made just one mistake through his 5 2/3 innings of work, a two-run homer to third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 3-2. Tribe hitters did make the Astros right-hander throw a lot of pitches as he gave up five walks in the contest, a potential encouraging sign for a stale Cleveland offense.

Facing his former club, Myers did settle in despite the early homers, giving up just two hits and striking out four over his final three frames. It was another solid start turned in for the 32-year old veteran, finishing the ballgame giving up just three runs over five innings, walking two and striking out four.

Home runs continue to hurt the Indians right-hander though as Myers (0-3, 8.02 ERA) has now given up a major league leading 10 homers in just over 21 innings this season.

It was the Tribe offense that was unable to pick up their starter again though, as the team was 0-for-7 on the night with runners in scoring position, leaving nine runners on base.

Cleveland also grounded into three crucial double plays in the ballgame, none bigger off the bat of first baseman Mark Reynolds in the eighth inning.

Facing former Indians reliever Hector Ambriz, right fielder Nick Swisher started the eighth with a leadoff double. With the game still 3-2, Tribe manager Terry Francona chose to stick with Jason Giambi instead of trying to bunt Swisher over to third base with a pinch hitter. Giambi popped out on the infield for the first out of the inning.

After catcher Carlos Santana walked putting runners on first and second, Reynolds chopped a 2-0 pitch on the infield for the inning ending double play.

Houston reliever Jose Veras, another former Indian, pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the year.

For Cleveland, they have now scored 11 runs over their last five games with a dismal team batting average of .206. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Tribe is just 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position over the last three games, and 2-for-27 over the five game losing skid.

Lefty Scott Kazmir will look to change all that on Saturday, as he makes both his Indians and season debut against Houston starter Philip Humber (0-3, 2.89 ERA). For Kazmir, it will be his first start in the major leagues since Apr. 3, 2011.

Notes: Second baseman Jason Kipnis returned to the Tribe lineup on Friday after missing the last five games. He went 2-for-4 at the plate.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

User Comments

shy
April 20, 2013 - 12:11 PM EDT
So many things have gone wrong, where do I start. Little hitting, no hitting w RISP, no starting pitching, no defense, injuries, suspensions, bad memories from previous losing seasons, they all go together when you come out of the box like this to start a new season. There were a few things you could project- the holes in the rotation, the windmill at bats from the 2 guys they brought in with the highest strikeout to AB ratios of any everyday players in the bigs, using a 43 yr old DH who hit in the low .200's at Colorado last year. But you don't expect Dru Cabrera to be striking out 4x in a row and hitting a buck and small change- esp in his contract year. Things will get better, you play these games one at a time and you have to play in the moment, do your best and not be attached to yesterday's outcome- the test of character is not how much you can dish out but how much you can take. There could be some sparks in the rotation among Kazmir, Carrasco, Bauer. Let's see what happens....
beestang
April 20, 2013 - 11:26 AM EDT
Injuries, a plague every Cleveland team seems to suffer from, bad pitching, and slumping hitters = disaster for the Indians. Swisher & Bourne have got to be wondering what they got themselves into...
anonymous
April 20, 2013 - 11:23 AM EDT
Myers needs to go on the DL and we need to find someone who can get major league hitters out pronto. The pitching staff is in a shambles, which was predictable since camp, and the hitters have all gone cold. Different year, same Tribe...
Steve
April 20, 2013 - 9:49 AM EDT
The Tribe was just as flat as the beer I had to drink while watching them lose their fifth in a row!!!
C'mon Man!!!
League Park
April 20, 2013 - 8:15 AM EDT
Thank goodness we have Giambi's leadership in the clubhouse!

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