The Indians are very fortunate that the Seattle Mariners took two-of-four in Detroit this weekend. That version of a gift from Eric Wedge has kept the Tribe in first place, even as Cleveland lost its 9th out of 10 games and the New York Yankees prevailed 9-1.
Josh Tomlin lost his second straight decision and lasted less than six innings. Tomlin (7-4, 4.14 ERA) went five frames, surrendering six runs on 12 hits, although in fairness the defense was a little shaky and a couple of the hits could perhaps have been ruled errors. A generous official scorer did not help Tomlin’s line.
Any hope the Indians had was dashed in the bottom of the eighth, after Frank Herrmann and Tony Sipp each tossed a scoreless inning, when Chad Durbin was touched for four hits and three runs to turn a 6-1 deficit into the final 9-1.
Freddy Garcia (5-5, 3,60) was the winner, going 6.2 innings and allowing a run on seven hits with two walks and six K’s.
Three Yankees’ relievers held the Tribe at bay for the final 2.1 innings as the Yankees remained two games behind the Boston Red Sox.
The only Tribe run was plated in the seventh, but only after New York erupted for five in the sixth. In that Cleveland seventh, Austin Kearns led off with a double and moved to third on a ground-out from Jack Hannahan. Michael Brantley picked up the RBI on another ground ball.
Even with that the Indians managed to frustrate in the same inning when the next three hitter all reached base on an Asdrubal Cabrera single, a Grady Sizemore walk, and when Carlos Santana reached on an error. But with a chance to draw closer — or perhaps even to within a run — Shin-Soo Choo ended the threat when he lined out to short.
Asdrubal Cabrera collected three of Cleveland’s eight hits. but the Tribe left 12 men on base as the prolonged offensive slump continued.
One bright spot was the five stolen bases for The Good Guys today — two each from Asdrubal Cabrera and Choo and one from Orlando Cabrera.
All that is left now in this series is to try and salvage a win tomorrow night behind Carlos Carrasco.
And then it is on to Detroit for a battle for first place — if indeed any team that has lost 14 of 18 can be said to be battling anything…except themselves.