Reaction: Cleveland Indians’ Wasted Opportunities Lead to 5-1 Loss Against Rangers

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Despite pulling off their first series win since the opening set against the Houston Astros, the Indians had a disappointing end to their time in Texas, as the Tribe dropped the final game 5-1 to Nick Martinez and the Rangers. Martinez went just five innings, but allowed only one run on five hits and five walks, while striking out six. Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco pitched all eight innings for the Tribe, but gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks, despite nine strikeouts.

Key Moments
The Rangers scored first, when Adrian Beltre led off the second inning with a single and scored on a throwing error by Nick Swisher after Mitch Moreland doubled to right field. Prince Fielder tacked on a run with an RBI single in the third inning, scoring Shin-Soo Choo, who had walked earlier in the inning.

The Tribe’s lone run came in the fifth inning off of Martinez, who walked Jason Kipnis and allowed David Murphy to single to put runners at first and third for Michael Brantley. Brantley came through with an RBI double, and the Tribe went on to load the bases, but they just couldn’t capitalize on those runners.

Texas tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning, when Fielder singled and Moreland follow with a two-run home run to put the Rangers up 4-1. The final blow came in the eighth inning, when Delino DeShields singled and scored on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Beltre, despite a spectacular jumping catch against the outfield wall by Murphy.

The Positives
It wasn’t as though the Indians’ offense was absent on Sunday. Most notably, Kipnis and Brantley were 1-for-3 with a walk, and Murphy was 2-for-4 with a walk, as the Tribe compiled six hits and five walks. Thanks to a hit-by-pitch, Kipnis has now reached base three or more times in his last eight games. Carrasco also wasn’t as terrible as his numbers made him seem. Some of those runs can be contributed to plays not made, and he actually had a better overall game score than Martinez, thanks largely in part to the fact he pitched all eight innings. If nothing else, he did a great job of sparing the bullpen as the Tribe heads into a key series against the White Sox.

The Negatives
Defense continues to be a problem, and that isn’t something the Indians can afford. With their struggles both at the plate and out of the bullpen, each run allowed is a huge risk. The Tribe also stranded nine base runners, including two runners in the third inning and leaving the bases loaded in the fifth inning.

More from Away Back Gone

Check It Out
– On Monday, the Indians head to Chicago to take on the White Sox, where Corey Kluber will take on lefty Chris Sale in a battle of aces. Kluber is looking to build on his one-hit, 18-strikeout game last Wednesday against the Cardinals, where the Cy Young winner picked up his first win of the season. Sale didn’t perform too badly in his last outing either, allowing two runs over eight innings, with eleven strikeouts. It should be a terrific game to watch.

Mike Aviles is expected to rejoin the team on Monday, after being on the Family Medical Emergency List for the past ten days. Aviles has hit .288/.373/.462 this season, and should see plenty of playing time as Jose Ramirez continues to struggle. Additionally, the Tribe expects to face plenty of lefties, which bodes will for both Aviles and Ryan Raburn.

Next: Clevelinks: Cleveland Indians Lineup; Shortstop struggles

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