Mitch Talbot has made it a habit of giving up runs in the first inning, and with his teammates struggling to score runs, that's a recipe for a loss. 24 of his 85 runs given up this year have come in the first inning, and the two given up in this game just about clinched the loss.
Talbot struck out the first batter of the game, but then Mike Aviles took him deep. After that, it seemed every pitch was running away from the strike zone. He walked Billy Butler quickly, and then missed snaring a grounder that probably would have been a double play; instead the ball got through the infield for a single. Another walk followed, and a run scored on a grounder up the middle that Luis Valbuena grabbed but failed to turn into an out, for he tried to flip the ball to second with his glove in order to start a spectacular double play instead of taking his time and getting one out. It turned out that the play didn't hurt Talbot and the Indians, for he would get Alex Gordon to swing at a 3-2 ball and Alex May to fly out to center.
Talbot would pitch better, but the damage had been done both on the scoreboard and to his pitch count. Against a more potent lineup, that kind of pitching might have meant 5 or 6 runs and an exit in the first or second inning. But this was a Kansas City late September lineup, so Mitch was able to pitch five innings.
Sean O'Sullivan, who had given up 5 runs in four innings last week to the Indians, threw six shutout innings this time around. The Indians would score two runs in the seventh against former Met prospect Phillip Humber to get within one run, but Tony Sipp would give a home run to Kila Ka'aihue to open the eighth. That two-run lead would be insurmountable.