Jun 12, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians left fielder Johnny Damon (33) stand in the on-deck circle during the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The Indians have a strangely repetitive way of losing lately: starter gets behind early, reliever gives up more runs, and no chance of coming from behind. Tonight the starter was Derek Lowe, and the reliever was Nick Hagadone. Lowe was better than Jeanmar Gomez, but the general drift applied. When Lowe left the game, the Reds were but only by a run ahead. But an inning later, the Indians were down three runs and any chance of coming back was gone.
Lowe managed to walk six guys and allow five hits and still last six innings while giving up three runs. That's not exactly repeatable, and the flukey performance wasn't even taken advantage of. Mainly because the Tribe offense could only scrape together two runs off Mat Latos in seven innings. The key at-bat in the game was the fourth, as the Indians would load the bases with nobody out and only get a run out of it. Johnny Damon* struck out for the first out of the inning, Casey Kotchman drove in a run with a groundout, and Lonnie Chisenhall hit a routine grounder to second to end the inning.
Nick Hagadone, who has taken over Tony Sipp's old duties came out to face Joey Votto to start the seventh, but Votto singled, and then LGFT Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer to left field. And because of that homer, Jose Lopez's ninth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman didn't really mean anything, other than being the first homer Chapman had allowed all season.
*Damon has looked somewhat better lately, but his overall batting line is still .184/.276/.282. In his "hot streak," he's just hitting .238/.333/.381.