Chris Assenheimer | The Gazette
CLEVELAND — The Indiansâ€™ losing stench has reached a new level of stink.
Already sporting the American Leagueâ€™s worst record for the majority of the season, Cleveland arrived at another dubious milestone Monday night, now owning its worst mark of the season after a 6-3 loss to the White Sox.
At 31-47, the Indians are a season-high 16 games under .500, with losses in 12 of their last 15 games and in six of their last seven at Progressive Field. They entered the night trailing the first-place Tigers by a season-high 12 games in the Central Division standings.
â€œYou canâ€™t let it beat you,â€ said Indians manager Eric Wedge, who was ejected in the seventh inning. â€œWeâ€™ve got to do a better job in multiple areas of our club, but weâ€™ve got a long ways to go. Weâ€™ll show up again (today) and try to win a ballgame. I know weâ€™re going to get better.â€
Itâ€™s tough to tell from the results the Indians have produced as of late.
Offense was at the root of the latest defeat, the Indians doing next to nothing against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, who shut them out on five hits over 7 2/3 innings.
Cleveland scored three runs in the ninth inning on a pair of home runs from Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Garko to avoid the shutout.
Floydâ€™s effort was enough to offset a positive one from Cleveland starter Carl Pavano, who shook off his recent struggles to allow just two runs on five hits, striking out six through seven innings.
The right-hander allowed single runs in the first two innings, paving the way for his third loss in four starts.
â€œI felt better than I have in my last few outings,â€ said Pavano, who allowed 23 runs on 31 hits in his three previous starts (13 1/3 innings).
â€œThose first couple innings, it took me a while to get comfortable and that was enough for them.
â€œYou have to tip your hat to the opposing pitcher sometimes. He worked through a tough lineup and made it look easy.â€
The Indiansâ€™ only real scoring opportunity against Floyd arrived in the seventh with them trailing 2-0, and ended with Cleveland loading the bases and failing to score and Wedge drawing his third ejection of the season.
Walks to Choo and Travis Hafner were sandwiched around a hit from Jhonny Peralta to load the bases with two outs and Garko at the plate.
Garko hit a tapper down the first-base line that Floyd grabbed before it went foul and threw to first to end the inning. However, home plate umpire, Scott Barry, just up from Triple-A, ruled the ball had gone foul.
After Sox manager Ozzie Guillen protested, the umpiring crew huddled and reversed the call, sending Wedge out of the dugout and out of the game shortly after.
â€œIt was the home plate umpireâ€™s call and he called it foul,â€ said Wedge, who was tossed by crew chief Tom Hallion. â€œHe told me he got blocked out, which wasnâ€™t true, either. He had the best view of anyone.
â€œYou canâ€™t reverse that call — bases loaded, 2-0 game in the seventh inning, ridiculous.â€
Not as ridiculous as the Indians debut of newly acquired reliever Chris Perez, who came on in the ninth inning with his team still in the game.
Perez failed to make it out of the inning after allowing four runs. The right-hander hit the first batter he faced, Alexei Ramirez, in the head with his third pitch, then hit the following batter, Jermaine Dye in the hand. He also allowed a run on a wild pitch and failed to cover first base in time to complete a double play that would have got Cleveland out of the inning without a run scoring.
â€œObviously not the best first impression,â€ Perez said. â€œHopefully the next one will be better. After I hit the first two guys I kind of lost confidence in my stuff.â€
â€œHe just looked like he was overamped,â€ Wedge said. â€œHe got the first one out of the way. Heâ€™ll be better next time.â€
Itâ€™s tough to say the same about the Indians these days.
â€œWe canâ€™t change the past,â€ Pavano said. â€œYou just have to keep pushing forward. Weâ€™ve got nothing to lose. Weâ€™ve already dug ourselves a hole. Thereâ€™s nothing left for us to do than to try and dig our way out of it.â€
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.