The Indians have now gone scoreless in Mitch Talbot’s last two starts. After being blanked by Texas last week, the Tribe drew another goose-egg this afternoon, this time against ex-Indians Bartolo Colon and the New York bullpen, as the Yankees won their second straight at the beginning of this four-game series, 4-0.
Talbot (2-3, 4.01 ERA) once again pitched well enough to win, giving up only two solo homers — one to Alex Rodriguez and another to Curtis Granderson — in his 5.2 innings, but when he seemed to slip and hit A-Rod in the leg in the sixth, he was immediately tossed from the game in an obvious sop to the Yankees, whose feelings were hurt so badly last night when Fausto Carmona hit Mark Teixeira and was not ejected.
The Tribe was shut down into the seventh inning by Colon (5-3, 3.10 ERA), who gave up only two hits and a walk and fanned six before leaving with a hamstring injury suffered when he raced to the bag at first to take Teixeira’s throw to retire Shin-Soo Choo.
A chance for the Indians to come back? One could have hoped so, but David Robertson and Boone Logan were able to keep Cleveland off the board for the final 2.1 frames.
The Tribe’s futility at the plate this afternoon was illustrated in the eighth.
Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson — the Indians’ eight and nine hitters — led off with singles, which meant that the top of the order was coming to the plate with each batter representing the tying run.
Michael Brantley, Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore all struck out. Rally over, and basically, game over.
Rodriguez homered with two outs in the fourth for the first run of the game, and Granderson hit his shot in the sixth, two batters before Talbot’s ejection for plunking Rodriguez.
Rafael Perez came on to finish the sixth. In the seventh the Yankees increased their lead to 3-0. Nick Swisher led off with a single and Jorge Posada followed with a base-hit to right. When Posada’s hit was misplayed by Choo, Swisher scored.
New York’s final run came in the eighth when Vinnie Pestano gave up a long-ball to Teixeira.
Hannahan had two of the Indians’ five hits, including a ground-rule double. The Tribe’s Achilles’ Heel of late — batting with runners in scoring position — was again evident when Cleveland went 0-for-4 with RISP.
So now we move on to Sunday, where the Tribe and Yanks will go at it again at 1:05 with Josh Tomlin going for the Indians against Freddy Garcia.