In his debut with the Tribe, relief pitcher Tommy Hunter got a rude welcome from the Phillies and saddled with a loss that he didn’t really deserve. Entering in the seventh inning with a 3-3 tie, the first batter Hunter faced, pinch-hitter David Lough, hit a dying quail to center field off the end of the bat for a soft lead-off single. Lough moved to second on a sac bunt. Then with two outs, Hunter busted Freddy Galvis inside. Galvis fisted a swing that appeared to break his bat — but another dying quail floated into shallow right field and scored Lough with the run that would hold up for a 4-3 Phillies win on Saturday night.
This was the Indians’ tenth one-run game already this season and their record stands at 4-6 in those contests. The loss also closed out April with a sub .500 record at 10-11.
But the Tribe didn’t go down without a fight — first scratching back to a tie after trailing 3-0 after two innings, then coming within inches of taking the lead in the ninth when Jason Kipnis nearly got a shot over the head of the Phillies’ right fielder with men on second and third.
But, alas, enough breaks did not go Cleveland’s way in this game. Making his first start of the year, Trevor Bauer fell behind after his first three pitches. Lead-off hitter Odubel Herrera jumped on Bauer’s first pitch for a line-shot single. The second pitch to the next batter, Galvis, landed in the right field stands for a quick 2-0 Phillies’ lead. Bauer gave up another quick run in the second, but then settled down to pitch scoreless third and fourth innings before being lifted in the fifth without notching an out.
The Indians’ defense helped keep this game within reach. In the fifth with runners on first and third and no outs, 3rd baseman Juan Uribe snagged a bouncer that caught Peter Bourjos in a run-down between third and home for the first out. After coaxing a fly out to right, reliever Joba Chamberlain uncorked a wild pitch that put runners on second and third. On another pitch in the dirt that bounced away from catcher Roberto Perez about six feet, Herrera tried to score from third base. Even though the ball wasn’t far in front of him, Perez had to turn in a superb effort to corral the ball, turn and dive to clip Herrera on the shoulder as he slid toward the back of the plate.
The Tribe started their comeback in the third. Lonnie Chisenhall — getting the start in right field — sliced an opposite field double, moved to third on a sac bunt by Bauer, and scored on a sac fly by Kipnis. In the fifth, Tyler Naquin led off by scorching a triple off the right-center wall and later scored on a single by Chisenhall. Lonnie stole second and scored on a single by Kipnis.
Chisenhall ended the game with three hits, while Naquin and Francisco Lindor collected two hits apiece. Even though the Tribe outhit the Phillies 9-7, it wasn’t enough to outscore them on this disappointing night.