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AL Central Deficit Now 10 as Indians End Homestand with 6-3 Loss to the Rays

The 11-game homestand for the Indians in which they probably would have needed 8-9 wins out of 11 to keep close with the Twins is over.

Instead, the final tally of 11 games saw the team go 4-7, including getting swept by the Oakland A’s, and losing three of four to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sunday was the same script that has been seen by Indians fans over and over as of late. Fall behind early, get not so great starting pitching, and watch an offense that does little to excite anyone.

The result – another lackluster loss – 6-3, that now drops the team to 26-26, 10 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central – a division they have owned the last three seasons.

And FYI it’s only Memorial Day.

Here’s a couple takeaways from Sunday’s latest loss.

1. Bauer Continues to Scuffle

Trevor Bauer has been struggling in his last few starts, and Sunday was another tough start, as he allowed four runs on five hits in six innings.

The Rays got to him right away with an Austin Meadows solo homer to start the game, and overall he again just did not have the same gusto with his pitches like normal.

The Indians are now 1-4 in the last five starts for Bauer. He has allowed 22 runs in those five starts, which isn’t awful, but with an offense going nowhere it’s too many runs for this team.

Decisions with this team are coming – some may wonder if Bauer is going to be on the trade block sooner than later.

Oh, and in case you are wondering – Bauer thinks he threw the ball well in the loss.

2. Another Awful Day at the Plate

Three runs, one in the 8th and two in the 9th, on eight hits with four walks was the tally of offense on the day for the Indians.

The team was already behind 4-0 when Oscar Mercado hit his first homer of his Major League career in the 8th, and then in the 9th the team scored two runs on a late rally on a ground out and single.

The offense is going nowhere fast, on a daily basis Terry Francona and the coaching staff seems to try to mix things up to try and get a spark, which on this day included hitting Mercado second, and putting Jason Kipnis in the four hole.

Doesn’t seem to matter.

3. What’s Next

Now that the Indians wasted a chance with 11 straight at home to right the ship, the team is heading on the road to take on the World Series champion Boston Red Sox for three games, and then they go to Chicago to play the White Sox for four.

The series against the Red Sox will show what this team is made of. Maybe playing on the road is a good thing right now for this team, as they are not doing themselves any favors playing at Progressive Field.

If this team is going to show any fight in their season, they have to start ASAP, as the deficit is growing by the day, and the Twins don’t appear to have any letup in them.

Matt Loede has been a part of the Cleveland Sports Media for over 21 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and even high school and college events. He has been a part of the Cleveland Indians coverage since the opening of Jacobs/Progressive Field in 1994, and spent two and a half years covering the team for 92.3 The Fan, and covers them daily for Associated Press Radio. You can follow Matt on Twitter HERE.

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