Reaction: Cleveland Indians Fall to San Francisco Giants

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The Cleveland Indians lost to the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale on Wednesday, in a 5-2 defeat that featured two of the league’s best pitchers. Corey Kluber was backed by 10 hits and four walks, but Madison Bumgarner and the Giants made much better use of the nine hits and one walk that the Tribe’s pitchers gave up. 

Key Moments
Fourth Inning: Nick Swisher Returns to the Lineup
Swisher’s return to the lineup was a triumphant one, as he scored the first RBI of the game in his second at-bat. With one out, Ryan Raburn hit a double to center field, and scored on Swisher’s single. The Giants fought right back, however, as Kluber allowed back-to-back-to-back singles to Joe Panik, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford in the bottom half of the inning.

Fifth Inning: Kluber Gives Up Another Homer
With two down in the fifth inning, the Tribe took the lead again after Michael Bourn singled, Jason Kipnis walked, and Yan Gomes brought Bourn home with an RBI single of his own. But just like in the fourth inning, Kluber wasn’t able to hold the Giants. Instead, Justin Maxwell singled to lead off of the bottom of the inning, and Matt Duffy homered to put the Giants up 3-2.

Seventh Inning: Scott Atchison Allows a Run
The Tribe ran into two-out trouble in the seventh inning, after Atchison gave up a pair of singles to Joaquin Arias and Hector Sanchez. John Bowker followed with an RBI double to score Arias. Mac Williamson tacked on a solo homer against pitcher Giovanni Soto in the eighth inning, putting the Giants up by a final score of 5-2.

The Positives
Swisher was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout in his spring debut, which is pretty impressive against Bumgarner. Raburn had a pair of hits and a walk, and Jesus Aguilar had two hits of his own. Kyle Crockett, who relieved Kluber with two outs in the fifth inning, went 1.1 innings and allowed just one walk. Expect big things in 2015 from Crockett, who made his debut with the Tribe last season after a minimal amount of minor league time.

The Negatives
Jose Ramirez was hitless in two at-bats, dropping his average to .224 for the spring. He’ll have to wield the bat a bit better than that to keep Francisco Lindor at bay. Atchison had his worst outing of the spring, giving up three hits and a run, but he’s been so good so far that it’s best not to read anything into this particular appearance. Similar, Kluber had a less-than-efficient final tuneup, but the signs all point to a much more impressive regular season debut.

Check It Out
– The Tribe has 228 strikeouts this spring, the fifth-highest total in baseball. Last year, they had the most strikeouts in baseball, surpassing everyone from the Tigers to the Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Can they do it again this season?

– On Thursday, the Indians will take on the home-field Reds at Goodyear, when Zach McAllister and Mike Leake face off. McAllister, who won the final starting spot with a 3.32 ERA this spring, is slated to start the Tribe’s first home game in Cleveland next Friday. Leake will be in the Reds’ rotation this season, and has managed just a 0.64 ERA this spring.

Next: Tribe pummels Mariners, King Felix

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