Errors and botched plays hand Tribe 3-2 loss in series opener
Indians beat themselves in more way than one in frustrating loss to Twins
Lefty Scott Kazmir (5-4, 4.32) received the start to counter Twins’ righty Mike Pelfrey (4-7, 5.55). Kazmir received the win in his last start as he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings against the Kansas City Royals.
As Kazmir was dominant, the Indians provided him some run support in the third. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall led off the inning with a double to center and right fielder Drew Stubbs was plunked by a pitch. With one out, centerfielder Michael Bourn launched a double to center to plate both runners, giving Cleveland the 2-0 advantage.
That was all Kazmir needed as he cruised through five innings, allowing just one hit that was arguably an error on shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Minnesota finally scored in their share of the sixth as an error proceeded to haunt the Indians. With two out, Kazmir issued a walk to shortstop Pedro Florimon. Second baseman Brian Dozier followed with a ground ball that Chisenhall couldn’t handle, allowing Florimon to advance to third and Dozier to take second. Cue third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who singled to score both runners, leveling the score at 2-2.
Kazmir managed to escape the remainder of the inning without further damage before giving way to reliever Cody Allen to start the seventh. That sealed Kazmir’s line at six innings, yielding two unearned runs on two hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Pelfrey also pitched well through 5.2 innings as he allowed two runs on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
After a scoreless inning from Allen, sidearmer Joe Smith entered to pitch the eighth, where blunders hurt the Tribe once again. Florimon struck again with a leadoff single and Dozier reached on an error as first baseman Nick Swisher dropped the throw from third. A double-play ball eliminated Dozier at second, but catcher Joe Mauer singled to left to score Florimon, giving the Twins the 3-2 lead.
That was all Twins’ relievers Casey Fien and Glen Perkins needed. Fien received the win as he tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Perkins slammed the door shut in the ninth with some defensive assistance from Flormion in center.
Next, the Indians look to Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.88) to face Twins’ righty Kevin Correia (6-6, 4.23). Correia received a no-decision in his last outing while Kluber tossed a 7.2-inning gem in which he allowed just three hits.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.