Through his first nine starts of the year, Tribe right-hander Zach McAllister has been quietly impressive, sporting a rotation-leading 2.89 ERA and solid peripherals (6.3 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9). Last night against the Reds, however, the 25-year-old hurler struggled through five and one-third innings, allowing three first inning runs and five of the six leadoff hitters to reach base.
McAllister battled command issues all night, throwing just 62 of the 108 pitches for strikes (57.4%), down from his season average of nearly 65%. He also managed to throw first-pitch strikes to just nine of the 27 batters he faced. And his final line for the night — 5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 6 K — left him with a below-average Game Score of 41.
After giving way to lefty Rich Hill, who walked Shin-Soo Choo, the only batter he faced, blossoming hard-throwing right-hander Cody Allen worked out of the two-on, one out jam.
Cincinnati did the rest of the offensive damage against off of a pair of ex-Diamondback relievers. Bryan Shaw coughed up four runs in one-third of an inning, and Matt Albers was touched for one in an inning of work.
The Reds’ pitchers, on the other hand, allowed just seven hits on the night, two of which belong to leadoff hitter Michael Bourn, while walking four and allowing two runs (one earned). Right-hander Mat Latos got back on track after a string of less-than-impressive starts, striking out seven in 6.1 innings.
Offensive contributors for Cleveland were: Bourn with two hits and a walk, and Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley, and Drew Stubbs all collected a hit. Stubbs also picked up his sixth stolen base of the year.
The loss marks the fifth in a row and seventh in the last eight games for the once-streaking Indians. Cleveland looks to get back on track tonight as Cincinnati travels up to Cleveland for a quick two-game series. Right-hander Justin Masterson, coming off of a poor showing against Boston, will try to stop the streak against the crafty Bronson Arroyo. Game time is 7:05.
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