CLEVELAND — The sustained stink that accompanied the Indians during their disastrous road trip followed them back to Cleveland.
Looking as dead as they have all season Monday night at Progressive Field, the Indians took a major league beating in the series opener with Minnesota — the Twins throttling the Tribe 14-3 to extend Cleveland’s losing streak to 10 games.
Once again, a brutal performance by a member of the rotation — Zach McAllister — was at the root of the loss, with the Twins scoring a whopping 10 runs in the second inning to put the game away.
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“I don’t believe in superstition, but I’ve done a couple things different lately and I still have not been able to get even close to a quality starting pitching performance,” manager Manny Acta said.
“It’s mind-boggling. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it.
“It continues to be just rough and disappointing, the way we’re throwing the ball. We’re going out there every day and we’re down 10 in the fifth inning.”
Over the recent 10-game slide, Indians starters have posted an 0-8 record and 11.66 ERA. It has contributed mightily to the 88 runs Cleveland has allowed — the most by an Indians team over a 10-game span since 1938.
Instead of 10, it was an 11-run deficit that Cleveland faced after the fifth inning Monday, with McAllister (4-4, 3.60 ERA) allowing nine (two earned) of the 10 runs in the second.
McAllister served up back-to-back home runs to Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau to lead off the inning, then after a two-out throwing error on second baseman Jason Kipnis, the right-hander fell apart.
“I wasn’t able to pick up a guy when that error was made,” McAllister said. “It definitely cost us and hurt us. Once (the hits) did start coming, they didn’t stop.”
McAllister, who has shown a tendency to be shaken by errors behind him, was booed off the mound.
“Oh, it’s terrible,” McAllister said of the booing. “No one wants to hear boos, especially in our own place. The boos are definitely not fun no matter where they are.”
“We’re not here to tell people what to do,” Acta said. “We’re not playing well. This is the land of the free. People have the right to do what they want.”
Cleveland actually had the lead, scoring once in the opening inning. But as has been the fashion for much of the season, the Indians failed to take advantage of the opportunity for a big inning, loading the bases with no outs before first baseman Carlos Santana bounced into a double play and Lou Marson struck out.
The Indians’ losing skid has reached historic proportion.
It is the ninth time since 1918 that Cleveland has produced a losing streak of 10 or more games — the first since losing 11 straight in 2009. The Indians’ longest losing streak is 12 games, taking place during the 1931 season.
Cleveland is just the 13th team in major league history since 1918 to own a losing streak of 10 or more games while allowing at least five runs in each of the games.
“I’m not counting,” Acta said. “I can’t wait to win a ballgame. That’s all.”
Though the Indians were all but taken out of contention following a disastrous nine-game road trip that started the current skid, general manager Chris Antonetti gave Acta of vote of confidence before the series opener with Minnesota.
Acta was asked if he worried about his job status.
“I never think about any of that stuff because I can’t control that,” he said.