December 20, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
25°F
 

Indians’ offense can’t get untracked in loss to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — Scott Kazmir had opposing hitters going back to the dugout talking about his fastball. He didn’t throw it quite enough.

Jonathan Pettibone pitched neatly into the seventh, Kevin Frandsen and Domonic Brown hit solo homers and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Tuesday night.

John Mayberry Jr. had three hits and three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run double for the Phillies, who won their third straight game to get within two games of .500.

More photos below.

Kazmir (2-2) gave up four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. He had three strikeouts after getting 10 in six innings in his last start.

“I was just pretty much fighting myself all game. I never really got into a rhythm,” Kazmir said. “I kind of fell in love with my change-up a little bit and ended up throwing it three times in a row (to Mayberry). He didn’t miss it.”

The hard stuff impressed the Phillies.

“He had zip on his fastball,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I thought we beat a good pitcher.”

The Indians had won seven of nine. They swept a two-game series at home against the Phillies two weeks ago, outscoring them 20-2.

Perhaps they were a bit fatigued after playing a doubleheader on Monday and 13 games in 12 days.

“I don’t know if I’d call it a valley,” manager Terry Francona said of the offensive slump. “We played a lot of baseball in a short amount of time. We were pretty hot. You can erupt any night or you can’t score. I don’t see it as a trend either way.”

Pettibone (3-0) allowed two runs and four hits in 6⅔ innings, the longest of his five career starts. Three relievers got the next four outs and Jonathan Papelbon finished in a non-save situation after Philadelphia tacked on two runs in the eighth.

Pettibone, a 22-year-old righty, came up from Triple-A when John Lannan went on the disabled list. With Roy Halladay now out indefinitely, Pettibone isn’t going anywhere, especially if he keeps pitching like this.

“He does a tremendous job,” Manuel said. “He pitched a good game, kept his composure, stayed focused on what he was doing.”

The Phillies improved to 12-4 when Pettibone, Kyle Kendrick or Lannan start. They’re 7-16 in games started by the $64.5 million trio of Cole Hamels, Halladay and Cliff Lee.

“My first start, I didn’t get any sleep the night before,” said Pettibone, who lowered his ERA to 3.41. “Now I can get a full night’s sleep. You just build confidence and try to build off each start.”

Brown got Philadelphia’s rally going in the fourth by lining a one-out single. Carlos Ruiz then walked to bring up Mayberry. He ripped a two-run double to left-center to put the Phillies up 3-2.

Brown roped his seventh homer into the right-field seats to make it 4-2 in the sixth. Mayberry and Freddy Galvis had RBI singles in the eighth.

Frandsen hit a 1-2 pitch into the flower bed just beyond the left-field wall to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first.

Nick Swisher led off the second with a single and Carlos Santana followed with an opposite-field double down the left-field line. After Mark Reynolds popped out to shallow right, Michael Brantley hit a two-run single up the middle off a 1-2 pitch.

Asdrubal Cabrera led off the eighth with a triple off Antonio Bastardo, but was stranded. Bastardo struck out Nick Swisher looking. After Santana walked, Justin De Fratus entered and retired Reynolds on an infield pop. Jeremy Horst then came in and fanned Brantley to end the inning.

“He kept us off balance tonight,” Michael Bourn said of Pettibone. “We had a chance to score but they held us. They came up with some big hits. That’s part of the game. That happens sometimes. We’ve been pretty successful with runners in scoring position at this point of the season. It’s going to happen in the course of 162 games. They got the best of us tonight.”

Pettibone had location issues in the third when he loaded the bases on a walk and hit consecutive batters. But he retired Reynolds on a pop-up to escape the jam.

Today

  • WHO: Cleveland vs. Philadelphia
  • TIME: 1:05
  • WHERE: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
  • PITCHERS: Kluber (2-2, 5.64 ERA) vs. Hamels (1-5, 4.18)
  • TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM

Click any image to view larger.