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Cleveland Indians offense struggles in 2-1 defeat

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Four hits?!?

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Indians 1, White Sox 2

Box Score

Indians fall to 84-62

—-

At least Detroit lost.

The Tribe’s offense struggled mightily Thursday afternoon, tallying just four hits in their 2-1 defeat to the Chicago White Sox.

Cleveland was shut down by veteran James Shields, who had been pitching absolutely horribly. Shields entered the game with a 10.75 ERA over his last eight starts, allowing 17 home runs during that span. With numbers like that, how couldn’t the Tribe feel confident?

Well Shields shocked us all, keeping the Indians off-balance for much of the day. Shields went early and often to his off-speed stuff, throwing 22 changeups and 20 knuckle-curves. While he didn’t earn the win, he did allow just one run on three hits and three walks over six innings.

The Tribe started Mike Clevinger, who’s getting a chance to claim a starting rotation spot down the stretch. Clevinger got into a jam right away, allowing back-to-back singles to Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreau in the first inning. After a Todd Frazier walk, the bases were loaded and panic was already full-blown over at Cleveland dot com (and, to be fair, a little here too). Clevinger stayed calm and got out of the inning with no damage by getting catcher Omar Narvaez to pop out.

Things then went smoothly for the rookie right-hander, pitching clean second and third innings (helped in part by an amazing snag at third by Jose Ramirez). In fact, besides a 94 mph fastball that got absolutely destroyed by Jose Abreau for a solo home run in the fourth, looked the part of a guy who could help out our rotation. He only went four innings due to a high pitch-count, but allowed just three hits and struck out three.

The bullpen went to work in the fifth, with Shawn Armstrong, Jeff Manship, and Cody Anderson putting up scoreless outings. Bryan Shaw finished up the bottom of the eighth, but gave up the winning run in the ninth inning after allowing a single, a stolen base, and a game-winning hit from Carlos Sanchez.

Up next for the Tribe will be a huge series against Detroit. Tomorrow’s matchup is a dandy, with Corey Kluber expected to square off against rookie stud Michael Fulmer. Let’s Go Tribe!