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Published: Sunday, 7/24/2011

Bats, gloves fail Indians

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Indians manager Manny Acta watches the team play the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning Sunday. The Tribe lost 4-2. Indians manager Manny Acta watches the team play the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning Sunday. The Tribe lost 4-2.
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CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians’ list of problems seems to grow by the day.

Already hampered by a stagnant offense, the Indians committed three errors — leading to three unearned runs — in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

A dropped fly ball by rookie center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, a fielding error by usually sure-handed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and a throwing error by catcher Carlos Santana spoiled another strong outing by Justin Masterson, who allowed one earned run in seven innings.

Manager Manny Acta’s team has lost four straight and nine of 13 as it struggles to stay in the AL Central race.

“When you’re not scoring runs, you can’t be giving outs away,” Acta said. “That was the case today.”

Masterson (8-7) allowed his only earned run in the first, but the Indians tied the game on Carrera’s RBI single in the fifth. Adam Dunn lofted a pitch from Masterson to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth and runners on first and second. Carrera camped under the towering fly near the warning track. He looked up, stumbled to his right, then ducked as the ball glanced off his glove and fell to the ground.

It put Chicago ahead 3-1, scoring Omar Vizquel, who had singled, and Paul Konerko, who was intentionally walked to face Dunn, hitting .161.

Carrera, called up from Triple-A Columbus during the All-Star break, is replacing Grady Sizemore, who will be out until September with a sports hernia and a knee injury.

“I stumbled a little bit when I reached the warning track,” Carrera said through bullpen catcher Francisco Morales, who served as translator. “I was right underneath it, but when I stumbled, my head moved a little bit and I lost sight of it. I thought I was in the right spot. I just missed it.”

Masterson admitted the error was deflating, but he struck out Carlos Quentin to end the inning.

“I’m sure there’s a hint of that, but you have to bear down and get the next guy,” he said. “There’s no time to weep or moan. No one is going to feel sorry for you.”

A lack of run support has been a problem for Masterson all season. He has allowed two earned runs or less eight times in his last nine starts, but is only 3-3 in that stretch.

“As a team, we should have won,” Masterson said. “Unfortunately, we made a few mistakes and it didn’t happen. For me, I continue to battle. I felt like I did what I needed to do. I can’t do much more than that.”

Acta is looking for answers to turn around his struggling team.

“We need to win a ballgame,” he said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Edwin Jackson (7-7) beat Cleveland for the ninth straight time. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings to go to 9-1 in his career against Cleveland. He is 9-0 with a 2.61 ERA against the Indians since losing to them on Aug. 17, 2007, when he was with Tampa Bay.

The White took both games of the rain-shortened two-game series at Progressive Field.

“Cleveland’s ahead of us,” Jackson said. “We have to capitalize against them. This was a good win.”

The Indians fell to 1-6 against the White Sox this season.

Sergio Santos got the final two outs for his 20th save in 23 chances.

The Indians got one of the runs back in their sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera walked and took off for second before Travis Hafner lined a ball to right-center. Cabrera never stopped, scoring all the way from first on the hard-hit single to make it 3-2.

Two more Cleveland errors restored Chicago’s two-run lead in the seventh. Alex Rios reached when Cabrera backed up on his soft liner, which bounced on the infield dirt and then off the shortstop’s glove. Rios stole second and continued to third when Santana threw wildly. Mark Teahen singled home Rios to make it 4-2.

Notes: Fans gave Carrera a loud cheer when he caught a routine fly ball hit by Juan Pierre in the eighth. ... The Indians have scored two runs or fewer in 10 of Masterson’s 21 starts. He is 1-5 in those starts. ... Masterson has allowed six earned runs in his last 44 1-3 innings, a 1.22 ERA.

Summers urges aggressive euro zone crisis response

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Former White House aide Lawrence Summers Sunday urged Europe to take a more aggressive response to the debt crisis sweeping the region and suggested patience with its approach was running thin.

In an opinion piece published by Reuters, Summers — a Harvard professor and former Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton — said that if Europe does not get the crisis under control soon, other G20 countries should become more vocal in pressing Europe on doing what they think is best.

“It is to be hoped that European officials can engineer a decisive change in direction but if not, the world can no longer afford the deference that the IMF and non-European G20 officials have shown towards European policy makers over the last 15 months,” Summers wrote.

His comments came ahead of a summit of Euro zone leaders Thursday in Brussels aimed at a second rescue deal for Greece.

Alarmed by the spread of market jitters over Greece to Italy and Spain, where bond yields have surged in the past 10 days, European governments are struggling to put together a second bailout of Greece that would supplement a 110 billion euro rescue launched in May last year.

Summers argued that if there is any chance for success in stemming the financial crisis, policymakers must first recognize that maintaining systemic confidence is key.

“There must be a clear and unambiguous commitment that whatever else happens, the failure of major financial institutions in any country will not be permitted,” Summers wrote.

He said the European Central Bank (ECB) was right to be concerned that punishing creditors for the sake of teaching lessons or building political support was reckless in a system that depends on confidence.

Summers, who headed the National Economic Council for the first two years of the Obama administration, called for a fundamental shift toward an approach that focuses on avoiding systemic risk.

He also laid out measures for containing the euro-debt storm including:

+ Interest rates on official sector debt be reduced to a European borrowing rate defined as the rate at which common European entities backed with joint and several liability by all the countries of Europe can borrow.

+ Countries whose borrowing rate exceeds some threshold — perhaps 200 basis points over the lowest national borrowing rate in the Euro system — should be exempted from contribution requirements for bailout funds.

+ Countries judged to be pursuing sound policies will be permitted to buy EU guarantees on new debt issuances at a reasonable price payable on a deferred basis.

“The alternative to forthright action today is much more expensive action — to much less benefit — in the not too distant future,” Summers wrote.

“The next few weeks may well be among the most consequential in the history of the European Union.” (Reporting by JoAnne Allen; editing by Todd Eastham) REUTERSŒ 



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