CLEVELAND » The Cleveland Indians will have to wait a little longer to get consecutive wins for the second time this season.
After beating Minnesota on Sunday, Cleveland was unable to take the first game of its interleague series against St. Louis as the Cardinals broke it open in the eighth with four runs en route to an 8-3 victory Tuesday night.
The Indians have won only five of their 16 games at Progressive Field, and have dropped all six series openers. Cleveland hasn’t won consecutive games since the second and third games of the season at Houston April 8-9. The Cardinals, who lost the last two of a weekend series in Pittsburgh, avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.
The Indians, trailing 4-0, scored three times in the seventh. Run-scoring doubles by Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn got Cleveland back in the game, but St. Louis scored four runs in the eighth as they took advantage of a Cleveland error.
With one out, shortstop Jose Ramirez was unable to handle Bryan Shaw’s throw at second, allowing Jason Heyward to be safe and Peter Bourjos to go to first on a fielder’s choice. After Kolten Wong struck out, Matt Carpenter had an RBI single and Matt Holliday a three-run homer to right. Holliday, who has reached base safely in each of his 30 games, had four RBIs as St. Louis scored all of its runs with two outs.
"I’d love it to always be clean, that makes the game a lot easier," Indians manager Terry Francona said of his team’s defensive problems. "I don’t know if we have Gold Glove players at every position, I’m not sure how many teams do, but we’re trying to get better."
Cleveland was 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. They had the bases loaded in the fifth trailing 3-0 but Brantley and Brandon Moss struck out.
Lance Lynn (2-3) held the Indians to four hits and struck out nine as he pitched six scoreless innings.
"We need to play defense, hit the ball, play aggressive and kind of clean it up a little bit," Kipnis said. "We need to come with a little more urgency here."
Carlos Carrasco (4-3) allowed four runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings. Francona said that the right-hander pitched better than the linescore showed as only a couple of balls were hit hard.
Mark Reynolds, who had three hits, put the Cardinals on top with a two-run single in the second.
A first-inning single by Brantley extended his hitting streak to 11 games, which is tied for the second-longest in the AL this season. Oakland’s Josh Reddick and Billy Butler each had 12-game streaks earlier in the season. Brantley had two 15-game streaks last season.
Cardinals: OF Jon Jay (sore thumb) didn’t start for the second straight game, but was available to pinch-hit.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (sprained right knee) did work out of the crouch, threw and ran the bases Tuesday.
Cardinals: RHP John Lackey is coming off his best start of the season against the Cubs on May 7. He struck out a season-high 10 and allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber is 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA in seven starts after winning the AL Cy Young Award last season. He has allowed 38 hits in 23 innings and has a 7.43 ERA in his last four starts.