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2013 Spring Training Game #10: Padres 11, Indians 8

2013 Spring Training Game #10: Padres 11, Indians 8
March 3, 2013
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The power of Ryan Raburn enflamed Goodyear Ballpark once again on Saturday as the utility player continued to state his case for the Indians bench this season as he clubbed his fourth home run of the young Cactus League campaign as part of the Indians’ six-run first inning.

Unfortunately, that was not enough of a cushion as the pitchers faltered giving up 11 runs in the Tribe’s 11-8 loss to the Padres, including a seven-run third inning. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez started out well, but labored in the third inning allowing two runs and loading the bases before being pulled from the game.

Tribe Lineup:

Stubbs RF (McGuinness RF)
Cabrera SS (Aviles SS)
Kipnis 2B (Spears 2B)
Swisher 1B (McDade 1B)
Santana C (Jeroloman C)
Giambi DH (Gomes DH)
Chisenhall 3B (Hernandez 3B)
Raburn LF (Fedroff LF)
Carrera CF (Hunter CF)

Tribe Pitching:

Paredes (BS, 1)
Gil (L, 0-1)

Ubaldo Jimenez’s scoreless streak ended at four innings as he hit a wall in the third inning Saturday allowing two runs and loading the bases with no outs before being relieved by Edward Paredes. Paredes also struggled allowing the three inherited runners to score before giving up two of his own. Paredes is a non-roster invitee, however, and wasn’t expected to make much of an impression this spring anyway.

Many were quick to criticize Jimenez after the third inning, but in all honesty, four decent innings and one poor inning isn’t enough to make a judgment either way. This early in spring training, any pitcher can hit a wall when least expected. Manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway have been encouraged with Jimenez’s progress in the offseason heading into spring training. His mechanics are less herky-jerky and his delivery is smoother.  The concern and frustration of the fans is understandable given the inconsistent performance of Jimenez over the last season and a half, but don’t jump ship just yet. Keep in mind it’s still only been one week since exhibition play started.

Veteran reliever Matt Albers continued to struggle this spring allowing another run, his sixth in three innings pitched. It may be early, but Albers has not made a very good case for himself showing little or no indication thus far of being the effective reliever he was in 2012.

Jerry Gil cruised through the fifth inning continuing his impressive spring performance, but when he was sent back to the mound in the sixth he also hit a wall and walked the bases loaded with no outs. Right-hander Bryan Shaw came on in relief of Gil and did allow two of the inherited runners to score (both charged to Gil), though he did come away with two strikeouts.

Southpaws Rich Hill and Scott Barnes pitched well despite Barnes giving up a solo home run to former minor league teammate Gregorio Petit. Hill and Barnes finished the day with a strikeout each. Both pitchers are vying for spots in the bullpen as lefty specialists.

The offense did come out swinging once again in the ballgame as first baseman Nick Swisher and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera each collected three hits, Cabrera coming just a home run shy of the cycle. RBI’s by second baseman Jason Kipnis and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall continued the scoring capped off by yet another home run by utility player Ryan Raburn, his fourth of the spring. Mike McDade continued his strong spring performance reaching on an error and doubling in the ninth in two at-bats. This lineup once again has proven they can manufacture runs just as they were built to do.

Days like this remind us all how insignificant spring training games really are. Players are still rusty and pitchers aren’t at full strength yet. It’s nice to win in the spring, but the true purpose of exhibition play is to prepare players who haven’t played in several months for the regular season.

On Sunday, the Indians will travel to Glendale to take on the big spending Los Angeles Dodgers. Young right hander Corey Kluber will toe the rubber against former Red Sox ace and Tribe nemesis Josh Beckett.

Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.

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