The Indians' chances of winning Tuesday night were given a big boost when a two-hour rain delay after the 3rd inning forced both starting pitchers out of the game. Justin Masterson had allowed only one run, but he'd also thrown 65 pitches, and didn't seem to have his best stuff (though we all need to adjust our understanding of just what his "best stuff" is anymore, because it ain't what it used to be). He probably only had two more innings in him as it was, maybe three. Meanwhile, Chicago's Chris Sale was dominating, having struck out 4 in three innings without allowing any hits, and having thrown only 40 pitches. He looked set to go 8 innings, and the Tribe lineup looked helpless.
Getting a free pass to the bullpen for the 4th inning should have given the Tribe a boost, but it didn't.
They did manage 8 hits, so I guess on that level, they did better but they only managed to push one run across, and a home run allowed by Mark Lowe to the first Sox batter after the delay had already put the Indians in a 2-0 hole, so the one run wasn't enough.
Yan Gomes had the roughest night, going 0 for 4 and coming up short on two of the best scoring opportunities of the night: With runners on first and third and one out in the 4th, the Indians had a chance to tie the game with even a productive out, and maybe take command of the game coming out of the rain delay if they could get a couple more hits, but Gomes hit a weak pop up into foul ground near third base for the second out. Then in the 6th, with runners on first and second and one out, Gomes rolled into a double play.
Three days ago the Indians had gotten back within two games of .500 and were on a roll, having won 5 of 6. Now they've lost three in a row, and are almost right back to where they were before they swept Detroit. Today marks the final game before the season will be one third of the way through, and no matter how you slice it, it's been a frustrating couple months.
Looking to avoid being swept out of Chicago, the Indians turn to T.J. House, which doesn't inspire a ton of confidence. The bats need to step up and put some real runs on the board.
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