Cleveland Indians closer Cody Allen continues to fight through struggles

CLEVELAND -- The end of June has not been kind to Cleveland Indians reliever Cody Allen.

Despite striking out seven opposing hitters in four innings over the last four outings, Allen has allowed three home runs, four earned runs and five hits on the way to two losses for an Indians team with just a half-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division standings.

“He’s given up some runs,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

In Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers at Progressive Field, Allen came on in relief of Andrew Miller with a four-run advantage in the top of the ninth inning, but he struggled through the appearance, his third in as many days and fourth in the last five games.

Rangers shortstop Elvin Andrus led off the inning with a 409-foot home run to center field, and then, after getting third baseman Adrian Beltre to ground out to first base and striking out left fielder Nomar Mazara, Allen gave up a single to right field to catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Lucroy motored down to second base on defensive indifference and came around to score when second baseman Rougned Odor slapped a single into center field.

“I think his curveball actually is back to what it was early in the year,” Francona said. “Last night, he probably threw a pitch he shouldn’t have or didn’t need to Beltre because he was throwing the ball really well. Andrus is what? Seven for nine off of him?

“The next run is we’re not defending the stolen base. Sometimes, it’s more than just…you saw how he got out (Robinson) Chirinos. I think sometimes, when the score is the way it is, you’re going to give up an occasional run that if you’re holding them on, wouldn’t score.”

With one swing of the bat, Beltre broke a tie score in the top of the ninth inning and buoyed the 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.

“I wanted him to have a little bit of wiggle room,” Francona said. “I’d rather him be down for a noon game because we have a lot of baseball this weekend. I really wanted to kind of if we’re going to give him a blow, for it to be tomorrow.”

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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