Despite a valiant effort by Corey Kluber, the Cleveland Indians’ offense just didn’t come through in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field. Kluber pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits and three walks, although he had just four strikeouts. Lefty Roenis Elias got the start for Seattle, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. It wasn’t a surprising result, given the Tribe’s struggles against left-handed pitchers this season.
The Mariners played with a lead the entire game. Logan Morrison singled to left field to lead off the game, but was thrown out on a fielder’s choice play off the bat of Austin Jackson. That put the speedy Jackson at first for Robinson Cano, who hit a double off of the wall in center field to score a run.
Kluber’s issues persisted into the second inning, when he gave up a one-out single to Brad Miller. Although Kluber got Mike Zunino to pop out, Miller stole second base to put runners in scoring position for Morrison. Morrison came through with an RBI double to left field to give the Mariners a 2-0 advantage. The Indians made an attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the inning, when Yan Gomes launched his first home run of the year into the center field bleachers.
It was Nick Hagadone who took the mound in the eighth inning, and he did not pitch well. After walking Dustin Ackley to start the inning, Hagadone gave up a double to Kyle Seager to put runners at second and third. Seth Smith followed with an RBI single to right field, putting the Mariners up 3-1. That was the end of the night for Hagadone, who was replaced by Zach McAllister. McAllister did his job perfectly, inducing a lineout and a double play ball to escape the inning with no further damage. The Tribe tacked on one more run in the ninth inning, when Gomes smashed a second home run into the bleachers.
Kluber got hit around a little bit, especially in the early innings, but he managed to escape with little damage. When the home plate umpire missed a key third strike call, Kluber simply induced a double play to end to the inning, rather than allow it to fluster him. Offensively, Gomes was the story – he blasted his first and second home runs of the year to the deepest part of the park. Aside from a pair of walks by Ryan Raburn, no other Indians hitter was able to reach base more than once.
The Tribe seemed like they weren’t quite ready to come back from Monday’s off-day just yet, with few hits and lackluster defense. Although Jason Kipnis made a couple of good plays at second base, the Indians seemed pretty lethargic overall. The team needs to look sharper on Wednesday, especially at the plate.
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Check It Out
– Giovanny Urshela made his much-awaited major league debut on Tuesday. The shortstop went 0-for-3 in his first big league start. Urshela was called up along with Zach Walters, after Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall were demoted to Triple-A on Sunday. Ramirez and Chisenhall had both struggled at the plate, and it seems likely that Urshela will replace Chisenhall as the everyday third baseman for the foreseeable future.
– On Wednesday, right-hander Taijuan Walker will take on Trevor Bauer. Walker is 2-6 with a 5.80 ERA, but he pitched eight strong innings the last time the Indians faced him. Bauer has a 5-2 record with a 2.94 ERA, and his 70 strikeouts in 70.1 innings are a big part of the reason the Tribe leads the league in strikeouts.