Orioles 7, Indians 3
Tribe falls to 27-29
I believe the day will come when the Indians get back to .500, but it is not this day.
For the third time this week, the Tribe put itself in position to even their record, but for the third time the needed victory remained elusive. They fell behind in the 1st inning when Carlos Carrasco gave up a home run to Adam Jones. The rest of the game was a slow but steady process of falling farther and farther behind until they eventually wound up with their most lopsided loss in three weeks.
Carrasco did not have his best stuff this afternoon. Including that home run, he allowed 7 hits and 2 walks, while lasting only 4+ innings. Most of what went wrong for him happened in the 4th, after he'd retired the first two batters of the inning. A pair of singles and a walk (after Carrasco got ahead in the count but couldn't put Ryan Flaherty away) loaded the bases. Carrasco got a really weak grounder from the next man, but Lonnie Chisenhall couldn't field it cleanly and a run scored. The next man drove in two more with a base hit, and that was pretty much the ballgame.
I don't know that even a clean play by Lonnie would have gotten the out, because it was just one of those plays, but Lonnie made two other bad plays on the day, his 4th and 5th errors of the season. His defense has been a lot better this season than last, but he's been horrible at the plate. I'd be happy to see him playing less, bit the same is true of Jose Ramirez, and Mike Aviles can only fill in for one of them at a time. (Francisco Lindor should be given a chance to take over at shortstop, but I'd be stunned if he's called up before the team is confident he's clear of Super Two cutoff. He could be clear of it already, and in another two weeks he almost certainly will be. I'm fine with the team waiting that long, but will be very disappointed if he's healthy and still in Triple-A much longer than that.)
In any event, it was a terrible day for Chisenhall. The standout for the Indians was the same guy it's been in more games than anyone else this season, Jason Kipnis. He picked up another 3 hits, which gives him 77 for the season, only three behind Prince Fielder for the American League lead.
Many of us have been tracking the team's push to get back to .500 by the time they have 100 games left to play. They'll hit that point a week from today, so if Operation .500/100 is going to be a success, they'll have to take a combined 4 of 6 from the Mariners and Tigers this week. The series against Seattle is at home, and I feel reasonably good about the Indians' chances of taking 2 of those 3. The weekend series is in Detroit though, where things have been very difficult for the Tribe in recent years.
Speaking of the Tigers, they won today, as did the Royals. The Twins are (at this moment) up two runs heading into the 9th inning. So, unless Minnesota blows it, this afternoon will have been a total loss for the Tribe in the standings.
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