Ump Dale Scott ejects Indians manager Eric Wedge.
The Indians' losses are really piling up, now. A 13-9 loss at home to the Texas Rangers extended their losing streak to seven. The services of starting pitcher Fausto Carmona may be lost for a while because of an injured left hip. And as if the offense wasn't struggling enough to score, Cleveland had two runs taken away by the umpires, who failed to see a ball hit by Ben Francisco was a homer.
It was that kind of night for the Lost Tribe of Cleveland. Despite scoring nine runs (just four fewer than they had during an 0-6 trip to Cincinnati and Chicago), the Tribe failed to capitalize on a multitude of scoring chances. Texas pitchers issued eight walks; Cleveland batters stranded nine runners on base.
Indians pitchers, however, allowed 17 hits, including a Texas team-record nine doubles -- three of them by former Tribe benchwarmer Ramon Vazquez, who lifted his season average to .356.
The biggest downer could be the loss of Carmona for any stretch of time. The big right-hander, a 19-game winner a year ago, came in with a 4-1 record and 2.25 ERA. He yielded four runs in the first inning, three of them coming on a double by Murphy.
In the third, Carmona couldn't get to first base in time to take the throw from first baseman Ryan Garko, who had fielded a roller behind the bag hit by Murphy. Replays showed Carmona limping as he went to cover the bag.
Carmona threw one pitch to Brandon Boggs before trainer Lonnie Soloff went out to the mound. Carmona flexed his left leg a few times, tossed one practice pitch, and headed for the dugout.
Jorge Julio came out of the bullpen and the fans may have well headed for the exits.
With inherited runners on first and third, Julio walked the first two Rangers he faced to force in a run, then yielded a grand slam to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Vazquez and Ian Kinsler followed with doubles and Michael Young got an infield single before Julio fanned hot-hitting Josh Hamilton. The stunned fans let out a mock cheer, then mixed in a few boos the rest of the inning as another run scored before Grady Sizemore crashed into the center-field wall to take away Murphy's bid for another extra-base hit and more runs.
"I'm proud of the guys because they didn't quit, they kept coming back, kept swinging the bats," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
Cleveland got four walks off Rangers starter Kason Gabbard in the first inning and scored twice, on a double by Francisco and a wild pitch that brought home Travis Hafner. The rally fizzled when Kelly Shoppach fanned with the bases loaded.
The Tribe loaded them again in the second and Hafner sent a booming drive towards the Indians' bullpen in center. On a warmer night, when the ball flies a little farther at Progressive Field, the slump-ridden Hafner would have had a grand slam. Instead, he got a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3.
After Texas' seven-run third, Sizemore hit a three-run homer in the bottom half to get the Tribe within 11-6.
They trailed, 12-6, when Francisco hit an apparent three-run homer in the sixth. But third-base umpire Damien Beal ruled the ball did not hit over the yellow home-run line atop the left-field wall. Wedge said it did, and was ejected for telling all four umpires about it. TV replays showed Wedge was right.
"The puzzling thing was they all missed it when pretty much everybody in the stadium saw it," Francisco said. "Having those runs taken away hurt."
The call caused Wedge to think long and hard when asked if instant replay should be used in the game. Umpires have made several bad home-run calls around the majors this week.
"I think every time something like this happens there is more conversation about it," Wedge said. "I am a traditionalist and don't necessarily think that much about replays or much like them. But I'm starting to think more about them in a positive way.
"That call was big and definitely changes the way the game plays out."
But the Indians failed to build on Francisco's RBI double. With runners on second and third, Garko and Jhonny Peralta both struck out.
Jamey Carroll's two-run double got Cleveland within 12-9 in the seventh, but the Indians didn't get another hit the rest of the way.