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Indians Vs. Marlins Final Score: Small Ball Spells Trouble In 3-2 Cleveland Loss

An eighth inning sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez proved to be the difference as the Cleveland Indians lost 3-2 to the Miami Marlins on Friday night. This marked the first of a three-game series kicking off interleague play for the 2012 season.

Cleveland got to Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano in the second inning. A Casey Kotchman double scored Johnny Damon, and Shin-Soo Coo sent Kotchman home to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. Cleveland failed to take advantage of five walks issued by the Marlins' starter.

The Marlins used the small ball to chip away at the Indians' lead, including two sacrifice hits to score runners. All three Marlins runs were scored by hitters who got on base via a walk.

Justin Masterson worked seven innings for the Tribe, allowing two runs on six hits with five strike outs and two walks. Reliever Tony Sipp earned his second loss of the season.

The series continues on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Eastern.

For more on the Indians, head over to Let's Go Tribe. For more MLB coverage, make sure to visit Baseball Nation.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.