October 21, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
47°F

Tribe Sunday: Back-to-back homers doom lefty Kazmir

OAKLAND, Calif. — Jason Kipnis stopped worrying about Cleveland’s latest loss as soon as the final out was made.

There’s no sense in letting it linger.

The Indians’ Scott Kazmir struggled for the second straight start Sunday against the Athletics. (AP PHOTO)

“It’s go time,” Kipnis said after the Indians dropped a 7-3 decision to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

“We don’t have time to sit around and fell sorry for ourselves about losing two of three here. It’s time to take care of business.”

The Indians, who have still won three of their past five, head to Los Angeles to take on the Angels and are 4½ games behind in the AL wild card race.

“We’re still playing good baseball,” Kipnis said. “We’re just losing close games to good teams.”

Cleveland went into the eighth inning down two runs, but an error on Nick Swisher allowed two unearned runs to score.

In fact, had Chris Young not been able to track down Michael Brantley’s long drive to the center field wall to end the eighth, the game might have had a different outcome.

“He made a great play in center field, a real nice catch,” Kipnis said. “That changed the game a lot.”

The Indians took advantage of an error and Kipnis’ RBI single to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Scott Kazmir (7-6) gave up a pair of solo home runs that gave the A’s the lead again.

“That’s the big point,” Kazmir said. “We tie the game up and we needed that shut down inning. I just didn’t do that.”

Kazmir had allowed only two home runs total over his previous nine starts. He was given a few extra days off since his last start, a move manager Terry Francona thinks will help Kazmir in the long run.

“He’s fine. The layoff is good for his arm,” Francona said. “He didn’t command very well. A lot of deep counts. We fought back into it and we needed the shutdown inning and they hit the two solo home runs.”

Young hit his 11th home run off Kazmir to break a 3-all tie in the fifth. Three pitches later, Callaspo followed with his sixth homer and first since being acquired from the Angels in late July.

Kazmir allowed five runs and 10 hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out four. He needed 102 pitches to get through the outing.

“I feel fine. I wasn’t able to hit my spots, especially early,” Kazmir said. “I threw a lot of pitches early and that took its toll going into the later innings.”

Ryan Raburn homered for Cleveland, which has lost six of its past seven in Oakland.

Raburn homered in the second, hitting a towering solo shot that bounced high off the wall beyond the center field fence.

Notes

Indians’ IF Asdrubal Cabrera had his second straight multi-hit game since snapping an 0-for-20 streak.

• Kazmir lost his first day game this season and is 4-1 with a 3.46 ERA in seven day starts.

• Kipnis is batting .375 over his past six games.

• Indians catcher Yan Gomes is hitless in his past 11 at-bats and 3-for-16 on the road trip.