Jordan Bastian of MLB.com may have said it best when he wrote that “The Indians will score again this season. That is about as sure as it can get in terms of predictions.”
With just over 30 games left in the season, perhaps not even that certainty is guaranteed. Not with the way the Indians were playing.
What is certain is Oakland’s continued dominance over the Indians this series, winning again Tuesday night with their second straight shutout.
Again the A’s threw out a young, promising starter, and again he cruised through the Tribe lineup with ease.
Tommy Milone won his 11th game of the season with his first scoreless outing since July 20th.
Unlike game one, the Indians scattered eight hits.
Indians fail to drive home runs
But throughout this second-half collapse, one constant of Indians losses has been an inability to drive in runs. Tuesday night, the Indians went 0-8 with runners in scoring position.
On this home stand, the Tribe is 2-36 in those situations, good for an .055 batting average.
Indians starter Zach McAllister showed signs of life early, striking out the side in the first inning.
So did the Tribe offense, with a quick single and walk putting two men on for the heart of the order.
But while the bass drum in the bleachers beat strongly, the Indians lineup skipped a few thumps and left the two on base.
Athletics offense heats up
Then came the Athletics beats of their own, with three straight singles to open the frame and RBI hits from Brandon Moss and Adam Rosales.
Moss came through again an inning later, following a Seth Smith double with a two-run home run to put the lead at 4-0.
The Indians’ best chance to climb back came in the fourth, with a base hit from Shelley Duncan and Brent Lillibridge doubling him to third.
Then reality struck Progressive Field.
Casey Kotchman struck out swinging, Jason Donald struck out swinging, and Kipnis grounded out weakly.
If an inning ever represented the Indians’ season.
AL Central Scores for August 28, 2012
Chicago White Sox @ Baltimore Orioles: 6-0
Oakland Athletics @ Cleveland Indians: 7-0
Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers: 9-8
Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins: 5-2
AL Central Standings for August 29, 2012
Chicago White Sox:..71-57….0 games back
Detroit Tigers:………..69-59….2.0 games back
Kansas City Royals:..57-71….1540 games back
Cleveland Indians.…..55-74….16.5 games back
Minnesota Twins:…….52-77….19.5 games back
AL Central Schedule for August 29, 2012
Chicago White Sox @ Baltimore Orioles – 7:05 p.m.
Oakland Athletics @ Cleveland Indians – 7:05 p.m.
Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City Royals – 8:10 p.m.
Seattle Mariners @ Minnesota Twins – 8:10 p.m.
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Will the Indians score tonight against the A’s? Leave your thoughts below in the comment section!