CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen has lost twice in his last nine appearances, but there is something more important than a game that the hard-throwing right-handed reliever has not misplaced, and that is his confidence.
Despite the two losses, which dropped him to 0-4 on the season, Allen has a 1.93 earned run average with 10 strikeouts against three walks, and opposing hitters are batting just .176 against him over his last 9.1 innings of work.
“You’re out there to get three outs and help your team try and win a ballgame,” Allen said. “It was one of those nights where I felt like I had pretty good stuff, was making some good pitches. I just flat-out got beat, so tip your cap, come back and try to get one.”
With one swing of the bat, third baseman Adrian Beltre broke a tie score in the top of the ninth inning and buoyed the Texas Rangers’ efforts in a 2-1 win over the Indians at Progressive Field Tuesday night.
On the first pitch from Allen, Beltre took a powerful uppercut swing and launched the offering into the bleacher seats in left field for his fifth round-tripper of the season and the game-winning run in a contest that was in stark contrast to the slugfest that ensued between the teams Monday night.
With the win, the Rangers improved to 39-38 on the season and 17-21 away from Globe Life Park in Arlington, while the Indians fell to 40-36 overall and just 16-21 in front of the home fans at Progressive Field.
“It was just kind of what we were doing right there, and he got me,” Allen said. “He took a good swing. It wasn’t a bad pitch. It was just he was ready for it and didn’t miss it. He’s done it quite a few times.”
Bench coach Brad Mills added, “It was a fastball that got elevated on him, and he was able to get it there. Sometimes, you’ve got to tip your hat, but at the same time, he threw the ball so well. Just one pitch got up.”
The loss spoiled an otherwise strong performance from Cleveland’s pitching staff, as starter Mike Clevinger allowed just two hits, two walks and one earned run over six innings of work against the Rangers. Clevinger struck out nine Rangers hitters and found the strike zone with 61 of his 102 pitches.
Out of the bullpen, the end-of-game relief combination of Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Allen struck out a combined seven hitters over three innings of work. Shaw and Allen each recorded two strikeouts, while Miller struck out three of the four batters he faced.
“He pitched unbelievable,” Allen said of Clevinger. “He did everything he could. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold it down there at the end, but that’s baseball.”