Top of the first inning: Michael Brantley and Cord Phelps open the game with singles, putting runners on first and second. Then — Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana fan and Grady Sizemore grounds out. Chance missed.
Top of the sixth (game still 0-0): Brantley leads off with a double. Then — Phelps moves the runner to third with a ground out, Asdrubal Cabrera grounds out, Santana walks, and Sizemore pops out. Chance missed.
Top of the eighth (Giants leading 1-0): Travis Hafner, pinch-hitting, singles. Adam Everett runs for Hafner and Brantley singles. Again, first and second with nobody out. Phelps lays down a sacrifice bunt. Then — Asdrubal Cabrera grounds into a fielder’s choice and Everett is retired at the plate, a passed ball moves Brantley to third and Cabrera to second, Santana is intentionally walked and Sizemore grounds out. Chance missed.
A one-two-three ninth inning from Brian Wilson and it was game over in San Francisco as the Giants defeated the Indians 1-0, with the only run scoring in the seventh on a Tony Sipp balk — but only because two errors on Phelps in the inning had helped to load the bases.
The victim and losing pitcher? Why, Justin Masterson, of course, who might very well be the poster child for lack of support.
In the Giants’ seventh, Masterson allowed a leadoff double to Nate Schierholtz, who was gunned down at third while trying to advance after he tripped between second and third and was caught in a rundown. Then Miguel Tejada reached on the first Phelps’ miscue,
A pop-up followed for the second out, but then pitcher Matt Cain reached on the second Phelps error, putting two on and ending the day for Masterson (5-6. 2.98 ERA). Tony Sipp came on and immediately walked Andres Torres, loading the sacks.
Then Sipp flinched from the set, which is a balk, and Tejada scored the one and only run of the game.
The beneficiary and winning pitcher was Cain (7-4, 3.22 ERA). Javier Lopez came on in the eighth and got out of the inning, holding the lead intact, and Brian Wilson picked up his second save in two nights, and his 23rd save of the season.
So the Tribe’s only chance to salvage a game out of this series will come on Sunday evening at 8:05 when Fausto Carmona will try to avoid losing his tenth game of the season.
The loss dropped Cleveland to 8-15 in June. The second-place Tigers will play on Saturday evening, and with Justin Verlander going for Detroit, there is a good chance that the Indians’ lead will once again be only percentage points by later tonight.