For the third time in the past four games, the Cleveland Indians were forced to walk off the field with their heads down as the opposition sprinted past them in jubilation.
Cody Allen allowed a walk-off solo homer to Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard in the bottom of the 11th, as Cleveland lost the series opener to the Phillies on Friday night, 4-3.
Howard’s bomb to the right field seats came after Allen relieved Jeff Manship in the bottom of the 10th and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam. The home run was the fifth of the campaign for the left-handed hitting Howard.
The victory was Philadelphia’s fourth in a row (13-10). The loss for Cleveland (10-10) was their third of the walk-off variety this week.
Allen was the victim in two of the three games.
Indians starter Corey Kluber worked seven strong innings, allowing five hits and three runs on Friday night. The right-handed ace struck out six, did not walk a batter, and also contributed a double and run for the Cleveland offense in the National League park.
Kluber’s fifth-inning two-bagger down the left field line was the first extra-base hit by a Tribe pitcher since C.C. Sabathia homered against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.
Center fielder Rajai Davis drove Kluber in later in the inning with an RBI single, and Jason Kipnis immediately followed with a two-run homer, the third round-tripper of the season for Cleveland’s second baseman.
Philadelphia responded in the bottom of the fifth on RBI base hits by Carlos Ruiz and David Lough. The game was knotted at three when Darin Ruf bounced into a double play, which allowed Cesar Hernandez to score the tying run.
Phillies southpaw Adam Morgan also allowed three runs, working five innings in the ballgame. Philadelphia’s starter struck out seven, walked one and scattered five hits.
Indians hitters combined to strike out 18 times on Friday night against Phillies pitchers.