Being on the wrong end of a five-game sweep is difficult for any team. Capping it off by surrendering 13 runs and committing seven errors can make it even worse.
“That was the worst defensive effort I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said manager Tim Hullet, whose Indians (8-11) were beaten by the Eugene Emeralds 13-8, completing a five-game sweep. “Guys misplaying balls, the lack of effort, lack of hustle, that’s not how we play. That’s not how we’re going to play the next day, that’s for sure.”
The Emeralds (14-5) are 9-1 against the Indians and have now won 12 games in a row.
“For me, it’s not just missing plays, it’s missing execution of plays and that’s a big deal. That’s a lack of preparation.”
The Indians’ bullpen imploded in the seventh inning, surrendering five runs to concede a three-run lead.
Kevin Lenik couldn’t muster an out with two outs and the bases loaded. He walked Wladimir Galindo to score D.J. Wilson and cut the lead to two. Tyler Stubblefield entered the game and walked Kevonte Mitchell to allow Eugene to cut the lead to one.
Then, it got really ugly.
Indians second baseman Brallan Perez overran Marcus Mastrobuoni’s pop fly in right field and the ball hit the rim of his glove. The error allowed the bases to clear and the Emeralds to pull ahead 8-6.
“The bullpen was terrible tonight,” Hulett said.
“We gave them two runs before we missed a 3-2, bases-loaded popup. That doesn’t help either. The pitchers put us in that situation and they put themselves in that situation and that was awful as well.”
Blaine Prescott launched a solo home run and Anderson Tejeda slugged a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Indians a one-run lead.
Spokane pushed its lead to three after Tejeda’s RBI triple and Todd McDonald’s RBI single.
Tejeda, who finished 2 for 4 with the home run and an RBI triple, was a silver lining for the Indians.
“That’s a big performance for Tejeda,” Seth Spivey said of Tejeda, who was called up to Spokane on Aug. 3.
Demarcus Evans was another positive, leaving the game in the fifth inning in position for a win after giving up three runs on four hits.
“He really struggled the first inning,” Hulett said. “He had a bad bullpen (session), didn’t have command of anything … he settled down and got through five innings for us and left the game with the lead. I thought he did a good job of keeping his composure.”
As the Indians take off for a eight-game road trip, getting back to basics is the first step in turning it around, Hulett said.
“We’ll go out and work and we’ll work on fundamentals and execution,” Hulett said. “Those are the things as a manager that get you fired up.
“It’s not about making errors. It’s about not moving your feet and getting in front of a ball, it’s about not charging on a bunt play, it’s about misreading a ball.”