The secret worst thing about crummy pitchers isn't that they get lit up, it's that they get lit up and then leave work lying around for others. Allowing seven runs in two innings loses a single game, but it also leaves seven innings to pitch for guys that would be better used elsewhere. Hector Noesi has been a statistically bad pitcher, but he's been a present one; sopping up goo-gobs of innings in mediocre fashion and saving a weary bullpen.
Friday night in Cleveland, Noesi saved the pen again--not from work this time, but from responsibility. After two gut-punch walk-off losses to end the series in Boston, Noesi rescued the bullpen from what promised to be a hectic night trying to hold a 4-3 lead, and just coughed the whole thing away in the fifth inning.
A booming, two-out, two-run go-ahead bomb to center from Nick Swisher put the Indians up for good and capped a three-run fifth that Noesi wouldn't stay around to see the end of.
It was already the third time Noesi had blown a Sox lead on the night. He spurned an early 2-0 advantage by throwing a two-run bomb to Daniel Murphy in the second inning, and wasted a 3-2 edge in the fourth when he walked three batters in the inning, including recently acquired Chris Dickerson to push a run across. All six runs the Indians scored off Noesi came with two outs.
Thankfully, Andre Rienzo came on in relief and stopped the madness by allowing two hits off the bat in the seventh for his allowed run.
Another lousy pitching night blew a surprisingly sharp offensive attack against Corey Kluber, who inflicted real pain against the Sox lineup in their last matchup. Conor Gillaspie got things going in the second with a ground-rule double to right, and after an Alejandro De Aza single, he came home on a beautifully sliced opposite-field double from Adrian Nieto. De Aza would later score on a Leury Garcia groundout.
The Sox squeezed another entry in during the fourth, when an Adam Eaton liner to the left-center gap tailed just away from Dickerson's diving grasp, and Garcia (starting for a slumping and trade value savaging Gordon Beckham) slid under Yan Gomes tag.
Adam Dunn blasted a 2-0 hanger in the fifth out to dead center to put the Sox up one last, fruitless time, but the Sox couldn't put a baserunner aboard after Kluber left after six innings
The Sox are now on a three-game losing streak in which they have led every game in the fifth inning or later.
Team Record: 44-50
Next Game: Friday at 2:05pm at Cleveland on CSN
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