Tribe's Parade Of Pitchers Can't Stop Twins
Fernando Cabrera ... yields consecutive homers.
Fernando Cabrera ... yields consecutive homers.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 15, 2006


One little, two little, three little Indians ... four little, five little ... you know the refrain. So does manager Eric Wedge, who trotted out nine pitchers to no avail in a 9-4 loss to the rampaging Minnesota Twins. The Twins' sixth win in their last seven games got them where the Indians could only dream of being -- one game out of first place in the AL Central and two up in the wild-card race.

At this rate, Wedge may soon use as many pitchers as there are fans in the stands. There weren't many left at the end of Cleveland's third straight lackluster game.

"We used a ton of guys tonight for the matchups and we saw some good things and some not so good things," Wedge said.

Andy Marte pretty much provided the only Cleveland highlight with a three-run homer in the sixth inning that tied the score, 4-4.

Victor Martinez had an RBI single to put the Indians ahead, 1-0,in the first. The Tribe got only two more singles over the next four innings.

Meanwhile, Indians starter Cliff Lee made a whopping 102 pitches in only four innings, yet somehow left the game with a 1-1 tie.

"For as hard as he worked, we didn't want to put him in harm's way," Wedge said.

That began the inexorably march of the moundsmen.

Brian Sikorski worked one inning and coughed up the lead by allowing an RBI double to Rondell White that made it 2-1.

Andrew Brown opened the sixth and couldn't find the plate -- walking three and giving up one hit and two runs while getting only one out.

Lefty Rafael Perez faced only one batter, Justin Morneau, who reached base on an RBI fielder's choice.

Jason Davis came on with the bases loaded and quickly retired the Twins' too hottest hitters, getting Torii Hunter to foul out and fanning White.

After Marte's homer tied it, Davis got a quick strikeout in the seventh before showing his usual inconsistency and yielding two singles and a tiebreaking sacrifice fly.

So Juan Lara was summoned from the bullpen and retired the only man he faced, Joe Mauer, to keep it at 5-4.

Wedge went to Fernando Cabrera to open the eighth and disaster soon followed. The right-hander hit Michael Cuddyer with a pitch. After Cuddyer stole second as Morneau struck out, Hunter hammered his 25th homer deep into the left-field bleachers for a 7-4 lead. White hit the next pitch into nearly the same spot for his seventh homer to make it 8-4.

Twirler No. 8, Edward Mujica, yielded another single, but got two outs to end the inning.

Then closer Tom Mastny, with nothing to close, opened the ninth and soon yielded a single to Mauer, who scored on Hunter's two-out double.

Minnesota went a miserable 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position and stranded a season-high 16 on base.

"So what?" said Torii Hunter, who hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs. "We won."

Indians fans, what few were around until the end, probably just went home thinking, "So what?"


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