The Indians had their second straight come-from-behind victory in the ninth inning all lined up tonight. In fact, they had the perfect situation: bases loaded, nobody out, down one run.
You know, where a sac fly would at least tie it, or a medium-deep single win it.
But then Matt LaPorta, who had provided the Indians with their only run up to that point with a homer in the seventh, bounced into a second-to home-to first double play. And then Jason Kipnis, with a chance to be a hero for the second night in a row, struck out.
Ballgame, and the Angels had a Houdini-like 2-1 win.
Josh Tomlin was good, very good, but fell to 11-5 with one mistake, a Mark Trumbo two-run double in the seventh that gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead, although that advantage was cut in half in the bottom of the seventh by LaPorta’s (predictable) bases-empty blast.
Tomlin went eight innings and surrendered just four hits, walking one and fanning three, but it was not quite good enough on this night.
The Indians went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and that right there was the story of the game. Of course, the two most painful were the final two of the game, but really, how much can you expect Chipnis to do when your veterans cannot hit a medium-deep fly ball or a slow grounder to avoid a double play?
In the fourth, Cleveland had runners at first and second with only one out. But LaPorta flied out, and Kipnis fanned to defuse that opportunity.
With the loss, the Indians fall to 52-49 on the season. At the time of this writing, Detroit and Chicago are tied at 4-4 in the sixth. If the Tigers win, the Tribe will once again fall two games behind in the AL Central.