Indians tripped by Sox in 12th inning
Elarton takes loss after Tribe misses out on earlier chances
CLEVELAND -- Scott Elarton will take the loss. The Indians' offense, once again, will take the blame.It was Elarton's roughshod return to big league relief work that allowed the White Sox to score the go-ahead runs in the Tribe's 6-3, 12-inning loss in front of a Memorial Day crowd of 31,006 at Progressive Field on Monday. But it was the offense's continuing inability to come through in the clutch that allowed this game to drag so deep into extras. The Indians were a woeful 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in this loss, which was their ninth in 10 games. It didn't matter, then, that they cranked out more than 10 hits for the first time in eight games, because they stranded 13 runners. It all added up to a four-hour, two-minute affair that somehow felt longer. "No excuses," said third baseman Casey Blake. "Just, once again, we didn't get it done." Such is theme of the season and the last couple of weeks, in particular. The Indians were in first place in the American League Central Division and coming off a 6-1 homestand when they packed their bags and headed to Cincinnati after a win over the A's on May 15. It feels like a lifetime ago. Since that time, the offense has hit just .163 (14-for-86) with runners in scoring position, and the team has fallen into third place, 5 1/2 games back of the first-place Sox. "Hopefully," said starter Paul Byrd, "we can turn it around just as quickly as we've fallen down." Some early signs of hope from the offense staked Byrd to a 3-1 lead in this one. David Dellucci hit a solo homer off Javier Vazquez in the first, Victor Martinez ripped an RBI single in the third, and Jhonny Peralta hit one in the fifth. Byrd tried to keep that lead, but the Chicago bats just kept coming. They ripped 10 hits off him, in all, and he managed to limit the damage to three runs. But with the offense unable to get anything else going in his support, he was still kicking himself for the mistakes he made. In the sixth, Byrd left a pitch up to Jim Thome, and Thome hit a towering solo shot out to left-center field. In the seventh, the two-out double Byrd allowed to Orlando Cabrera ended his night. Reliever Rafael Perez came on and served up the game-tying single to A.J. Pierzynski. So it was that Byrd, for the second outing in a row against the Sox, was unable to notch his 100th career victory.
|"Hopefully, we can turn it around just as quickly as we've fallen down."|
|-- Paul Byrd|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.