Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Maybe it was a hangover from Sunday’s distressing loss. Maybe it was the trip home. Maybe they just are not that good.
Whatever the case, whatever the excuse, Monday night was again tough to watch for Indians fans, as the Tribe took it on the chin against Scott Diamond and the Twins 14-3 at Progressive Field.
Consider this – in the last four losses to the Twins in the course of the last 10 days, the Indians have been outscored by Minnesota 43-9, or an average of 10.7 to 2.2.
The Twins put the game away early, putting aside any doubt if the Indians would snap their 9-game losing streak.
They let the Indians build a 1-0 lead in the first, then bombarded Tribe starter Zach MCallister with a 10-run inning, helped out by a key error by second basemen Jason Kipnis.
The inning saw just about everything – back to back homers, two walks, the Kipnis error, two singles, two doubles, and then a three-run homer by Ryan Doumit off Josh Tomlin to conclude the scoring.
McAllister, who was the Indians best starter as of late, allowed 9 runs, two earned, on 6 hits in 1.2 innings. He walked two, struck out three and gave up two homers.
Josh Willingham hit his 29th for the Twins to start the second inning barrage, and then Justin Morneau hit his 14th, and first of two on the night, to make it 2-1.
The inning just kept getting worse, but the key was the error by Kipnis, who pulled Carlos Santana off first to keep the inning alive, allowing Denard Span to get on.
The Twins sent five more batters to the plate, ending with McAllister in the dugout, and Tomlin allowing Doumit to hit his 12th blast, a three-run shot to right to make it 10-1.
The Indians were little resistance for Scott Diamond, who had held them scoreless for 16 straight innings. The Tribe scored in the first, but even that was not easy.
Kipnis got on by an error by just called up second basemen Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo each singled, to load the bases with no outs.
Santana, looking for an early big hit, killed any chances of that with a grounder to third that turned into a 5-3 double play. Kipnis scored to make it 1-0.
The next Indians runs would come again by Santana, as he hit a two-run homer in the 6th to make it a 13-3 games. It was his 12th of the year.
The Indians used six pitchers in the contest, with McAllister and Tomlin being followed by Tony Sipp, Cody Allen, Esmail Rogers and Joe Smith.
Now at 50-59 on the year, the Indians fall to 6-18 since the All-Star break, and are a distant memory for any type of postseason hope.
Chris Antonetti may have given Manny Acta a vote of confidence on Monday, but it did nothing to stop the 2012 team from falling to depths we haven’t seen in quite awhile.
Tuesday is game two of the three-game set, with Samuel Deduno (3-0, 2.48) going for the Twins vs Corey Kulber (0-0, 12.46) for the Tribe.