Oakland A's starter Brett Anderson was making just his second start of the season. He flirted with perfection in a 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians at an empty Progressive Field on Monday night. For the Indians, it marked the seventh time that they were shut out this season and was their 28th loss of the season against a left handed starting pitcher. The details are few and far between in this game as it was a pretty boring affair that featured very little excitement and a crowd of fewer people than most high school football games.
Roberto Hernandez made his home debut with his real name in front of probably 1200 people, if we count the ushers, media, and various other Indians employees. Recently-acquired Stephen Drew singled with one out in the first before Yoenis Cespedes doubled off the left field wall to culminate a terrific 13-pitch at bat. Seth Smith lofted a deep fly ball to left center to put Oakland on the board. Hernandez stopped the damage there, but wasn't done allowing runs. In the second inning, Josh Reddick hit a solo home run to right center to push the lead to 2-0. The third inning looked like a carbon copy of the first. Drew reached again with one out, this time via a walk, and then Cespedes doubled to right center. During Smith's at bat, Hernandez motioned for catcher Lou Marson to come out and Manny Acta strolled out to the mound. Hernandez left the game with what was called a right ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day. Chris Seddon entered and allowed a RBI single to Chris Carter to finish the scoring for the night.
Hernandez went 2.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. As for the Indians, their offense didn't reach base until there was one out in the fifth. Michael Brantley reached on an infield single*, which was actually a blown call by first base umpire Jerry Meals. It didn't matter because Shelley Duncan hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The Tribe picked up a legitimate hit in the sixth when Brent Lillibridge smoked a leadoff double to left center. He was stranded there when the next two Indians were retired, Jason Kipnis walked, and then Jason Donald grounded into a fielder's choice.
Both bullpens put up zeroes as the Indians got 6.2 innings of scoreless relief from Chris Seddon and Cody Allen. After Brett Anderson gave up just two hits over seven innings, he turned it over to Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour who struck out five of the seven hitters they faced. With the loss, the Indians fell to 55-73. Roberto Hernandez is now 0-3 with his real name. Brett Anderson improved to 2-0 in his two starts and Grant Balfour recorded save #15.
The Indians offense has hit .197 over its last eight games and has scored 11 runs in that span.
Stat of the Night: The Indians are now 5-24 in their last 29 games. They are 11-32 since the All-Star Break. Only the 7-35 Houston Astros are worse.
Player of the Game: Chris Seddon. Seddon was terrific in relief of Roberto Hernandez, allowing the one inherited runner to score, but then giving the Indians a chance to climb back into the game. They didn't.
Tomorrow's Game: Zach McAllister and Tommy Milone will meet in an August 17 rematch. First pitch at 7:05.