Indians offense goes cold, fall to the Phillies 6-2
Quiet Tribe bats lead to the team's second straight loss
After outscoring the Philadelphia Phillies 20-2 in Cleveland just two weeks ago, Philly returned the favor Tuesday night defeating the Tribe, 6-2.
It was another stagnant performance by the Indians offense, as the team would only score two runs on seven hits against Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone. The rookie right-hander limited the Tribe to just two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, improving to 3-0 in his first five starts.
Outscoring the opposition 21-8 during their recent four-game win streak, offense is proving to be a bit of a concern for the Wahoo’s of late. Over their last three games, the Tribe has now managed to score just three runs on 17 hits.
Philly jumped on Tribe starter Scott Kazmir from the very first inning on a solo homer by Kevin Frandsen. It was the 30- year-olds' second home run of the season, and only his tenth long ball of his career.
Despite giving up the early lead, Cleveland came right back to score two runs in the second inning on a two-run single by left fielder Michael Brantley. With the clutch base-hit, “Dr. Smooth” quietly extended his hitting streak to five straight games.
The Indians would get their best scoring opportunity one inning later in the third, loading up the bases on three straight walks by Pettibone with two outs. Then, it was Cleveland that would come at the center of another controversial umpire call.
No, there weren’t any blown home run replays in this one, but rather what looked to be a botched foul ball call by first base umpire Dan Iassogna. Reynolds would pop up a ball in short right field bouncing off the glove of Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard who touched the pop up in fair territory.
Tribe manager Terry Francona would argue to no avail, as Reynolds popped out to second base to end the inning one pitch later.
Indians bats would go cold with the weather the rest of the night, banging out just four hits over the last seven innings.
While Kazmir (2-2, 5.33 ERA) didn’t have his best stuff Tuesday, he still gave the Tribe a chance to come back and win late. The southpaw took the loss giving up four runs on six hits in five innings. Kazmir also allowed his sixth and seventh home runs of the year, moving three homers shy of team leader Brett Myers for most long balls given up this season.
Cleveland would get one last chance to cut into the two run deficit in the top of the eighth with a leadoff triple by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. The second triple of the season for Cabrera would go for nothing, as the team Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo ended the threat getting Reynolds to fly out and Brantley to strikeout.
Indians reliever Bryan Shaw would end any thoughts of a ninth inning comeback, yielding another two runs to Philadelphia in bottom half of the eighth.
The loss puts the Indians (21-17) 1 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central Division. Scoring two runs in the ballgame, Cleveland is now 5-14 when scoring three runs or less.
The Tribe will now look to avoid losing straight in the series finale with the Phils Wednesday afternoon. Right-hander Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.64 ERA) will try and bounce back from his last rough outing as he takes on lefty Cole Hamels (1-5, 4.18 ERA).
Notes: Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn is hitting just .167 (3-for-18) with no RBI and seven strikeouts since returning from the 15-day DL....Kazmir threw 60 of his 96 pitches on the night for strikes.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Lets wake up the bats today!!