Not only did the Indians lose a game to the dreaded New York Yankees and former Cleveland ace CC Sabathia, they also lost All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to an injury.
With Sabathia dominating his former mates for seven innings, the Indians limped to a 9-2 defeat, as the Yankees’ vaunted lineup outhit Cleveland’s inconsistent one 17-7.
In the midst of the loss, Cabrera left the game after suffering a right ankle sprain while making an off-balance throw to second base and landing awkwardly on his right foot. He is listed as day-to-day, but it would be surprising to see Cabrera in the lineup for the series finale tonight.
A pair of baseball’s hottest pitchers — Sabathia and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco — were on the mound to start the second game of the series, but only one looked the part.
Sabathia (12-4) allowed just five hits — one over the first three innings — and struck out 11. Carrasco, who owned a 7-2 record and 2.55 ERA over his previous nine starts, was in trouble early, allowing five runs in the second inning. He gave up six runs on 10 hits in just four innings.
With Sabathia in control, the second inning spelled doom for Carrasco and the Indians.
“That second inning pretty much did us in,” manager Manny Acta said. “That was too much against Sabathia. Carlos didn’t have very good fastball command and I didn’t feel he was aggressive with his fastball.”
After allowing a one-out single to Nick Swisher in the second, Carrasco walked two straight to load the bases and could have gotten out of it when Francisco Cervelli grounded to Cabrera on a tailor-made double-play ball. But second baseman Cord Phelps made a poor throw on the turn and bounced the ball to first baseman Carlos Santana, who couldn’t come up with the throw.
Derek Jeter followed with a two-run double and Curtis Granderson hit his first of two home runs off Carrasco for two more runs and a 5-0 New York lead.
“We have to turn that double play but the reason we were in that situation was because we walked two hitters at the bottom of the order,” Acta said. “It’s part of the game. You have to turn the page. You still have to attack hitters and be aggressive.”
Carrasco’s performance paled in comparison to his last start against the Yankees — a dominant effort in New York (seven shutout innings, five hits and seven strikeouts in a 1-0 win June 13).
“I didn’t have my fastball command last time but I was able to find it,” said Carrasco, who walked the bases loaded in the first inning at New York but was able to emerge unscathed. “This time, I didn’t do that. I tried to do better, but I allowed another run (in the fourth on Granderson’s leadoff homer).”
Sabathia, whom Carrasco beat in New York, toyed with Indians hitters as the game wore on. He allowed a leadoff single to Austin Kearns followed by a walk to Phelps in the fifth before striking out Lou Marson, Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall.
In the seventh, Sabathia surrendered a leadoff double to Grady Sizemore and a one-out walk to Phelps before striking out Marson and Brantley again.
“We don’t match up very good against him,” Acta said. “Our main guys in the lineup hit from the left side and he’s very good against lefties.”
The Indians employed three left-handed hitters — Sizemore, Hafner and Brantley — with the trio combining to go 2-for-12 with six strikeouts. Sizemore got both hits.
Jeter, who went hitless in his first game off the disabled list Monday, went 2-for-6, giving him 2,996 career hits on his quest for 3,000.