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Cleveland Indians suffer 6-5 loss despite comeback bid

The Cleveland Indians pounded out 15 hits behind six shutout innings from their bullpen in a tightly contested 6-5 defeat to the San Francisco Giants. Josh Tomlin took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) in three frames.

Summary

A rocky beginning was too much to overcome for the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday afternoon.

Josh Tomlin surrendered six runs in the first two innings to hand the Tribe a 6-5 loss against the San Francisco Giants at Goodyear Ballpark.

Aside from the early six-run deficit, the home nine registered 15 hits as part of a well-balanced offensive attack.

Tomlin tumbles

Two Cactus League starts have yielded a pair of drastically different results for Tomlin.

The 32-year-old veteran was unable to build off his scoreless 2017 debut by giving up two-run homers to Jarrett Parker and Justin Ruggiano in the first. Brandon Belt accounted for the other two RBIs with a double and sacrifice fly in consecutive innings to open the game.

"You still try to go up there and get outs," said Tomlin to reporters after his outing. "The main thing at this point is trying to get built up, trying to get your pitches to the point where you need to get them to."

Originally scheduled for four frames of work, Tomlin was able to exit on a positive note by retiring three of the final four hitters he faced in the third.

Young prospects fill the stat sheet

Although one name did not stand out, the Indians welcomed a bevy of contributions from the minor league players on Tuesday's dress list, including one hit from Yandy Diaz, Erik Gonzalez, Richie Shaffer, Mike Papi, Connor Marabell, Francisco Mejia and Bradley Zimmer.

With their backs to the wall, Shaffer (double), Jose Ramirez (single) and Tyler Naquin (ground out) each tallied an RBI to cut San Francisco's six-run lead in half by the end of the fourth inning.

While the bullpen continued to post zeros on the scoreboard, the Tribe failed to take advantage of valuable opportunities as the game progressed by leaving 13 men on base and batting 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

The remaining offense came courtesy of Zimmer's double to plate Marabell and Mejia in the seventh.

"He's sitting there for three hours and the first pitch he saw he rifles one into left-center," Terry Francona said of Zimmer. "That was a gorgeous swing. That last at-bat, he faced a pretty good pitcher who pitched him tough. He took a good swing on a breaking ball and missed it. That's going to happen. But, he's had a heck of a camp so far."

Bullpen allows five base runners in six innings

Amid the Indians' comeback bid were five straight shutout appearances from Josh Martin, Carlos Frias, Boone Logan, Chris Narveson and Matt Whitehouse. 

The bullpen unit has only surrendered two runs in the last three contests (17.1 innings).

Up next

The spring slate moves on to Surprise, AZ where the Tribe and Texas Rangers will clash at 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday.

Trevor Bauer will face off against Nick Martinez in the opening day preview.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.


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