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Braves blank struggling Indians offense in Atlanta, 2-0

Two runs is all Braves need as they blank Tribe in series opener

Braves blank struggling Indians offense in Atlanta, 2-0
August 27, 2013
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ATLANTA—Even a few knocks on wood couldn’t cure the struggling Indians offense.

Playing at Turner Field for the fourth time since Game 6 of the 1995 World Series, the Braves blanked Cleveland Tuesday night, 2-0.

Tribe starter Danny Salazar (1-2, 3.67 ERA) wasn’t at his best, as he was unable to reach the fifth inning for the second time in his last three starts. With the rookie still on a strict pitch limit, Salazar allowed two runs on three hits through four innings tossing 48 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

His lone mistake was a two-run triple by second baseman Elliot Johnson that bounced off the glove of Drew Stubbs on a bad route in right field. On a night where both offenses looked bleak, the second inning hit essentially became the game winner.

The rookie on the Braves side was better, as left-hander Alex Wood(3-2, 2.27 ERA) shutout the Wahoo’s through 5 2/3 innings surrendering just five hits. While he did yield four walks, a cold Indians offense couldn’t take advantage of anything in Hotlanta.

Getting their leadoff hitter on in three of the first four innings, the Tribe had chances to score, but would finish the night 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position leaving 10 on base. Over their last six games, the Indians offense have hit just .170 (8-for-47) with RISP while leaving 54 runners on base.

Historically, problems continue for the Indians at Turner Field, as the team has been shutout in each of the last three losses at the Braves home ballpark dating back to the ’95 Fall Classic.

With the tough loss, Cleveland (71-60) falls to three games in back of the Oakland Athletics for the final wild card spot, and remain 5 1/2 games behind Detroit in the A.L. Central.

Tuesday marked the first of a crucial six-game roadtrip that takes the Tribe to Atlanta before traveling to Motown to play the first place Tigers for three games, then finally returning home to play the Baltimore Orioles.

If there was a bright spot for the Indians it was their bullpen, as relievers Mark Rzepczynski, Matt Albers and Carlos Carrasco combined to pitch four scoreless innings, retiring 12 straight.

With two shutout frames in relief, Carrasco has looked sharp in his new role out of the bullpen. In three appearances, the hard throwing right-hander has allowed only two hits in nine innings of work, walking four and striking out nine.

Despite his .243 batting average, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera also extended his hitting streak to eight straight games adding three of the Indians six hits on the night.

Cleveland falls to 17-38 on the year when the opposition grabs the first run of the ballgame.

The Tribe will look for better luck in Braves Country Wednesday night, when ace Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50 ERA) toes the rubber against Atlanta’s Paul Maholm (9-10, 4.51 ERA). In his last three starts, the Braves southpaw is 0-3 with a 10.66 ERA.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

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