As we discussed this morning, things haven’t been going well for the Cleveland Indians when it comes to scoring runs this season. Since June 1st, they rank last in all of Major League Baseball in runs scored, and things seem to be getting worse instead of better. With the potential loss of Jason Kipnis to the disabled list due to a sore right shoulder, the struggle will likely become magnified, especially if today is any indication as the Tribe fell 2-1 to the Oakland Athletics in extra innings.
The game started promisingly enough for the Indians. With A’s All-Star Sonny Gray on the mound, the Tribe knew they had a challenge ahead of them, but scored quickly to start the game. Lonnie Chisenhall opened the game with a walk. Two-batters later, Michael Brantley walked, and was quickly followed by a Carlos Santana single to load the bases. Jerry Sands then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Chisenhall and give the Indians a 1-0 lead. While they failed to score any more that inning, it seemed as if the Tribe might have had Gray’s number today.
That was not the case. Gray allowed just two more walks and three more hits over the following six innings. After putting two runners in scoring position in the first inning, Gray didn’t allow another runner to get into scoring possession in the rest of the seven innings he pitched.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer was nearly as good. Like Gray, Bauer allowed just one run on four hits and four walks, and retired just one fewer batter in pitching six and two-thirds innings. Bauer didn’t allow a run until the fifth inning, when he gave up a pair of two-out walks to Eric Sogard and Marcus Semien before A’s center fielder Billy Burns hit a single down the left field line to tie the game at 1-1.
From there, both teams were unable to score, and the fans in Oakland were treated to some free baseball. The Indians threatened with one out in the top of the 10th inning when Michael Bourn walked and Mike Aviles singled to put men on first and second, but failed to drive either man in. Then, in the bottom of the tenth, with Indians closer Cody Allen on the mound, Sam Fuld singled, and scored on a Mark Canha double to deep left center, giving the A’s a 2-1 win and series split.
The Indians will try to rebound tomorrow night, but things won’t be getting any easier as they face the current American League Wild Card leaders in the Los Angeles Angels. Hopefully the Tribe will continue to receive the outstanding pitching they have, and find a way to score some runs.