For six innings, it looked like the streak was finally over. The Indians led 5-1 after six innings on the strength of Corey Kluber and his second Major League start. Instead, just like last night, a Jason Kipnis error opened the door for Chris Perez to blow yet another save and the Indians streak of futility reached 11 in front of a very unhappy 14,000-plus in Cleveland.
Corey Kluber deserves credit for giving the Indians their best start in probably two weeks. While the Indians offense showed signs of life, Kluber mowed the Twins down, allowing just a lone first inning run on a Justin Morneau RBI single. The Indians picked up runs in the first, second, and what looked like an insurance run in the sixth. Just like last night, the Indians got a prime run-scoring opportunity started in the first, just to have it fizzle out. Kipnis walked and Cabrera singled to put runners on first and third. Shin-Soo Choo bounced into a fielder's choice that plated Kipnis. Carlos Santana then hit into a double play.
In the second, Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer to put the Tribe ahead by two. The inning continued as the Indians scored another run on a walk and a couple of singles, with Cabrera ultimately driving in Jack Hannahan. With runners on second and third, Choo struck out to end the inning. Santana doubled in an insurance run in the sixth, scoring Kipnis who had walked to lead off the inning.
The top of the seventh was the building block for the latest soul-crushing defeat. Brian Dozier began the inning with a double and Jamey Carroll reached on a Cabrera error. Kluber left the game with those two runners on. They would both score. Tony Sipp relieved Kluber and retired the first two hitters he faced, one being a run-scoring groundout. He walked Joe Mauer to extend the inning and then turned the ball over to Joe Smith. Smith hit Josh Willingham with a pitch to load the bases for Justin Morneau. Morneau hit a routine ground ball to second that skipped right between Jason "Buckner" Kipnis to plate two runs. The fourth pitcher of the inning, Chris Seddon, the starter from Sunday's game, got Ryan Doumit to ground out to end the inning. The score was 5-4. The mood was tense. The ending was expected.
Chris Perez entered with a one-run lead after the Indians failed to add on in the seventh or eighth. Perez struck Mauer out to start the inning, but it was all downhill from there. Willingham furthered his dominance over the Indians with a single. The pinch runner, Darin Mastroianni, stole second. Morneau bounced a cue shot down the first base line that evaded Casey Kotchman and went into right field. The runner scored and the game was tied. The next batter, Doumit, doubled to deep center to put the go-ahead run at third. A sac fly and a single later and the Indians were down 7-5.
They went lifelessly in the ninth on pitches against Glen Perkins. The loss drops the Indians to 50-60 and extends the losing streak to 11. Corey Kluber was robbed of his first Major League win despite going six innings, allowing three runs, one earned. Chris Perez gets the BSVL, the blown save loss, falling to 0-4. Some clown named Tyler Robertson got the win. The Indians can no longer see the shadow of the White Sox and Tigers in front of them, but the Twins and Royals are now clearly in the rearview mirror. A loss tomorrow would tie the Twins with the Indians for third place.
Stat of the Night: 11 straight losses. Simply mind-blowing.
Player of the Game: Corey Kluber.
Tomorrow's Game: Pain.