SEATTLE -- Every winning streak eventually ends, and over the course of the long season of Major League Baseball, the best clubs are going to have nights like the one the Indians endured in the Emerald City on Tuesday night.Nothing went particularly right for Cleveland in its 7-1 loss to
SEATTLE -- Every winning streak eventually ends, and over the course of the long season of Major League Baseball, the best clubs are going to have nights like the one the Indians endured in the Emerald City on Tuesday night.
Nothing went particularly right for Cleveland in its 7-1 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field, and it added up to the surging team's first defeat in its last seven games.
Then again, one of the keys to the Indians' success so far this season has been its ability to put the previous day's game -- be it a win or a loss -- in the rearview mirror.
There is a goal ahead for this team, and that goal is to be playing the most meaningful baseball games of all, the ones in late October. That's why a slip-up like Tuesday's didn't seem to faze the Indians, who remain in first place in the American League Central heading into Wednesday's series finale.
In other words, it was just a bad game, and there were reasons for it.
The first one was the fact that spot starter Cody Anderson made a couple of mistakes in the first inning that put his team in a hole.
Anderson was called up from Triple-A Columbus to make this start because Wednesday's scheduled pitcher, Danny Salazar, needed an extra four days of rest after coming out of his last outing with right shoulder fatigue. That bad break resulted in a rotation shuffle, and Anderson wasn't able to keep the momentum going.
With two outs in the first, Robinson Cano singled and Nelson Cruz followed with a home run to left-center field.
"Obviously, I made a couple of bad pitches, and they capitalized on it," said Anderson, who will now go back to Columbus to allow the Indians to activate reliever Joba Chamberlain from the disabled list. "You have to make good pitches and pick guys up and go as deep as I could into the game. I didn't execute my pitches and I didn't come out of it."
The Indians couldn't quite come out of the fourth inning, either. Once again, Anderson got two outs, but once again, that wasn't enough. With runners on first and second, Adam Lind hit a ground ball up the middle and shortstop Francisco Lindor, in a defensive shift and playing near second base fielded it.
Lindor appeared to look to first base before looking back to second for an easy flip to Jason Kipnis for the third out. But Kipnis, also in the shift, was late to arrive at the bag, and by the time Lindor threw to first, Lind was safe.
The next batter, Steve Clevenger, doubled home two runs, and the hitter after that, Shawn O'Malley, tripled home two more. Just like that, the Indians were down 6-0.
"That's unfortunate," manager Terry Francona said. "You give teams extra opportunities and a lot of times, not-so-good things happen. [Anderson] elevated a changeup and a fastball and they tacked on four, which really hurt."
Everything seemed to hurt Tuesday night.
Jose Ramirez fouled a ball off the top of his left foot in the top of the second inning and was in obvious pain before continuing on at the plate and in left field.
Catcher Yan Gomes took a foul tip to his testicular area in the bottom of that frame, showed clear discomfort during several minutes with the team trainer, and then went to a local hospital for an ultrasound. The team referred to the injury as a contusion and said it would learn more later in the night.
Anderson managed to keep some perspective on his own situation and that of his team's fortunes in what still looks to be a very promising 2016, when he was asked if it's been bothersome to have to keep shuttling back and forth from the big club to Triple-A.
"It's not too bad," Anderson said. "Whenever they need me, I'm going to just try to go out there and help them win."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.