Ineffective pitching hurts Tribe
Laffey chased in fourth as Indians drop two to Texas
CLEVELAND -- The wait certainly wasn't worth it for Aaron Laffey, or any of the other Indians for that matter.Following a rainout Monday, the Indians were forced to play a doubleheader Tuesday with uninspiring results. Laffey was hit hard in a rare off night and the Tribe's comeback attempt fell short in a 10-5 loss to the Rangers in the second game of a twi-night doubleheader Tuesday in front of 12,976. Laffey looked on as the Tribe also lost the first game, 11-9. The Rangers made a long day even longer for the Tribe by hitting everything thrown their way. "They knocked the ball around all day today," manager Eric Wedge said. "I liked our fight today, but we kept letting it slip away once we crawled back into the game." Laffey had been the Indians' best pitcher and has been very good of late. He had given up three earned runs or less in each of his last six starts. But not much went right for him Tuesday, as the left-hander was hit hard early and often. "It was one of those days," Laffey said. "I threw some good balls that were hit hard and threw some bad balls that were really hit hard. A lot of those balls on many of my other starts are right at guys. But we were just a step away. "I'm going to have days like this, I've just been lucky that it's only been one or two so far." It didn't look like it was going to be a good night for Laffey from the beginning. Laffey wriggled his way out of trouble in the first when Andruw Jones lined hard into a double play. But that's just about the only hard hit ball that found a glove. With Nelson Cruz on first with one out, Laffey walked Taylor Teagarden and then gave up three straight singles as the Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead. They would score one more in the inning on an Elvis Andrus groundout to put the Indians in a 4-0 hole. "They were able to string all those hits together and just kept piling it on after that," Laffey said. The Rangers scored two more in the third when Cruz doubled and later scored on David Murphy's single. Teagarden then hit Murphy in with a double of his own to extend the Texas lead to 6-0. Laffey would give up one more run in the fourth before being pulled. In all, he gave up six earned runs on 12 hits with a walk and a strikeout in just 3 1/3 innings. "The last time we faced him, he pitched on the edge of the plate and we chased him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Tonight, we laid off those pitches and made him throw the ball over the plate." Laffey gave way to reliever Tomo Ohka, who had one of his better outings of the season, and the Indians were almost able to mount a comeback. Trailing, 7-0, in the fifth, Kelly Shoppach got his team on the scoreboard with a solo homer. Jamey Carroll led off the sixth with a single, and then Asdrubal Cabrera hit his sixth homer of the year to cut the Rangers' lead to 7-3. Chris Gimenez walked and Shoppach doubled with one out in the seventh. Gimenez was then able to score on an Eddie Guardado wild pitch. Michael Brantley, who has now had a hit in all eight of his Major League games, drove in Shoppach with a single to get the Indians within two. Ohka was then replaced by Jose Veras in the ninth after pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings. "Tomo gave us a chance," Wedge said. "He was outstanding." But with two outs, Andy Marte made a crucial error, which later led to a three-run home run by Chris Davis that would put any thought of an Indians comeback to rest. It was the second time in the almost seven hours of play that the Tribe had rallied only to allow the Rangers to score three ninth-inning runs to put the game out of reach. "I don't think we played particularly well today," Wedge said. "But we had a lot of a fight and there was a lot of battling."
Matt O'Donnell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.