August 13, 2012
CLEVELAND (AP) — A 14-1 loss is hardly the best way to wrap up a homestand.
Indians pitchers were knocked all over the ballpark on Sunday in the lopsided loss to the Boston Red Sox. Already trailing 6-1, Cleveland allowed eight runs in the fifth inning to turn this one into a rout.
Corey Kluber (0-1) gave up six runs in 3 1-3 innings. Josh Tomlin followed Kluber and was even worse in allowing seven runs in 1 1-3 innings. Tomlin and Frank Herrmmann combined to throw 57 pitches in the fifth when the Red Sox sent 13 men to the plate.
“It was catch-up baseball from the get-go,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “It’s not fun at all when you come to the plate and you’re down by five runs.”
Tomlin, who lost his spot in the rotation in late July, will have his right elbow examined this week in Cleveland and won’t make the trip out west that begins Monday in Los Angeles. He didn’t pitch last September because his elbow was sore, and Tomlin said Sunday that it has bothered him for more than a month.
That was a fact he didn’t share with his manager.
“I felt like I could go out there and get outs,” Tomlin said. “Apparently I couldn’t.
“It didn’t hurt every single day, but there were days it did hurt.”
After winning 12 games last season, Tomlin is 5-8 with a 6.36 ERA in 21 appearances.
“Usually when a guy isn’t 100 percent healthy that’s when the command goes away a little bit,” Acta said. “He had (symptoms) last year and he’s had them once in a while. We’re going to check him out. That’s not him.”
Sunday marked the second lopsided loss on the seven-game homestand. Minnesota scored 10 runs in the second inning in a 14-3 blowout on Monday. The Indians broke an 11-game losing streak — one shy of the franchise record — with a win over the Twins on Wednesday. Cleveland took two of the first three against Boston, but fell behind early and was stopped by left-hander Jon Lester, who struck out 12 in six innings.
The Indians have lost 13 of 16 and have allowed double figures in runs six times in that stretch.
Carlos Santana made his first outfield appearance in 300 career games. He began the game at first base, but was moved to left field in the sixth inning. Acta decided to rest right fielder Shin-Soo Choo for the last four innings, and Shelley Duncan moved from left to right. Scott Podsednik hit a line drive to Santana, who had to backpedal for the catch in the seventh.
Santana last played the outfield in 2008 in Class A.
Kluber, making his third career start, allowed three runs in the first on Dustin Pedroia’s RBI double and Adrian Gonzalez’s 13th homer. That prompted a visit from Acta, who spoke sternly to the pitcher and catcher Lou Marson. Kluber allowed six runs in the first inning in his first start in Kansas City.
“I didn’t want to go through what we did (in that game) when after he gave up six runs and that’s when they started throwing his best pitch, which is that slider,” Acta said. “That’s a swing-and-miss pitch for him. The game started the same way today.”
Santana hit a sacrifice fly in the first, but then the Red Sox poured it on, totaling 16 hits. Carl Crawford lined a two-run double in the second, and Kelly Shoppach’s broken-bat RBI single in the fourth made it 6-1.
Lester (6-10) was on cruise control with the big lead after struggling to an 0-5 record and 7.49 ERA in seven starts since beating Toronto on June 27. He gave up three hits and one run to move to 5-1 lifetime against Cleveland.
Boston, which had seven doubles, won for the fourth time in 12 games.
“We sure hit a lot of balls in the gap,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “I liked it. I liked it a lot.”
NOTES: 2B Jason Kipnis missed his fourth straight game with a stiff neck, but Acta expects him to play Monday. ... OF Michael Brantley was given the day off. ... INF Jose Lopez, designated for assignment on Aug. 7, was released. Cleveland released OF Johnny Damon and RHPs Derek Lowe and Jeremy Accardo earlier in the week. ... Boston reliever Clayton Mortenson struck out in the ninth. He batted after Valentine rested players with the big lead and lost use of the designated hitter in a series of lineup changes. ... The Indians open a nine-game trip Monday against the Angels. RHP Justin Masterson (8-10) meets LHP C.J. Wilson (9-8). ... The trip includes stops in Oakland and Seattle.