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Indians make losing reappear


Indians make losing reappear
Kansas City, Mo. - The Indians found out Monday night that bad starts do not vanish with one victory. In fact, the occasional victory only serves to make a bad start that much more aggravating.

After beating Toronto, 8-4, on Sunday to end a five-game winless start to the regular season, the Indians lost to Kansas City, 4-2, at refurbished Kauffman Stadium on a cold and damp April night.

Kauffman Stadium has undergone $250 million of upgrades over the past two years, but the Indians' problems in the small sample size of the 2009 season are still in need of serious work.

Their starting pitchers don't pitch well and their batters don't hit when it counts. Fausto Carmona (0-2, 9.00) allowed four runs on five hits in five innings. He once again walked more than he struck out, while throwing 106 pitches, including 42 in the first inning.

Tribe starters are 1-5 with a 10.92 ERA. Anthony Reyes, who beat Toronto, is the only starter with a victory.

Zack Greinke, like Carmona, took forever to get through five innings. He had one thing working in his favor - he was facing the Indians instead of the Royals. He stranded eight runners through five innings, leaving the bases loaded in the third.

Greinke (2-0, 0.00) has a scoreless inning streak of 25 innings dating back to last season.

The Indians made things interesting in the ninth. Trevor Crowe and Asdrubal Cabrera started the inning with singles off lefty Ron Mahay. That brought closer Joakim Soria out of the bullpen for the save possibility even though the Royals had a 4-0 lead.

Grady Sizemore singled to load the bases. Shin-Soo Choo singled to score Crowe and prevent the shutout and Cabrera scored on Soria's wild pitch. Soria, however, retired the next three batters to earn his fourth save. He struck out Victor Martinez, who had three of the Tribe's 10 hits, retired Travis Hafner on a bouncer to the mound, and struck out Jhonny Peralta on a beautiful breaking ball.

The Indians went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. They're hitting .186 (11-for-59) for the season with runners in scoring position.

"We squandered too many opportunities," said manager Eric Wedge. "We kept creating opportunities to score runs, but didn't take advantage of them until the ninth inning. In the ninth, Soria did a fantastic job."

Hafner and Peralta stranded eight runners each for the game.

"We were trying to drive in runs, but their pitchers made good pitches," said Peralta. "On my last at-bat against Soria, I wasn't looking for that pitch. I was looking for a cutter away. It was a good pitch by him. Good for him."

The Royals took a 3-0 lead off Carmona in the first. Carmona created his own problems by walking Coco Crisp and David DeJesus, two of the first three batters. Mark Teahen singled home Crisp for a 1-0 lead. Billy Butler doubled home DeJesus, but Carmona retired Mike Jacobs for the second out. Alberto Callaspo followed with a single to right to score Mark Teahen for the third run.

"I threw a lot of pitches in that first inning," said Carmona. "I wasn't throwing enough first-pitch strikes. The ball was moving."

The Indians left two runners on in the first, the bases loaded in the third and two on in the fourth.

In the first, Choo doubled and Martinez singled off Butler's glove at first to put runners at first and third with one out. Greinke struck out Hafner and retired Peralta on a grounder. In the third, the Indians loaded the bases on two walks and a single with one out. Greinke struck out Hafner and Peralta.

In the fourth, Cabrera doubled Ryan Garko to third with two out. Greinke struck out Sizemore.

"If you keep putting yourself in position to score runs, more often than not, you're going to do it," said Wedge. "This is where the discipline comes in."

Jacobs started the fourth with a homer to right-center off Carmona to make it 4-0. It was Jacobs' first homer as a Royal and the second Carmona has allowed in two starts.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: phoynes@plaind.com, 216-999-5158

BOX:

Today

What: Indians at Royals.

When: 8:10 p.m.

Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.

TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio; WTAM AM/1100.

Pitchers: Carl Pavano (0-1, 81.00 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (0-0, 0.00).


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 15, 2009

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