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Miscommunication Fuels Cleveland Indians' 9th Inning Collapse In Loss To Cincinnati Reds

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 11, 2018 10:52 PM EDT
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A miscommunication by the Cleveland Indians in the 9th inning helped the Cincinnati Reds rally from a four-run deficit en route to a 7-4 win on Tuesday at Progressive Field.

The Reds entered the ninth trailing by four runs, but launched their comeback against Indians closer Cody Allen, who hit Scooter Gennett to put a man on first.

Allen gave up an infield single to third baseman Eugenio Suarez before getting the first two outs of the game. The Reds then inserted pinch-hitter Jose Peraza, who hit an RBI single. Another pinch-hitter, Adam Duvall, delivered a two-run double to further cut the Indians' lead to 4-3.

Miscommunication Cost Indians The Game

After Allen intentionally walked Scott Schebler, Indians manager Terry Francona instructed pitching coach Carl Willis to call the bullpen and have Oliver Perez warmed up in case Joey Votto steps up to the plate.

When Francona issued the instruction to Willis, he used Perez's initials "O.P.", which was mistakenly heard by the pitching coach as "O.T.", the nickname of their other reliever Dan Otero.

Bullpen coach Scott Atchison then asked Otero to warm up. After Allen issued another walk to Dilson Herrera to load the bases, Francona decided to make a pitching change and signalled for Perez.

However, it was Otero who came out of the bullpen gate. Left with no other choice, Francona allowed him to face Votto, who was 0-for-4 against Otero before Tuesday's game.

Votto then drilled Otero's full-count pitch into the right-center-field gap, clearing the bases for a 6-4 lead. Eugenio Suarez later added an RBI single for the insurance run.

Kyle Crockett (1-0) got the win for the Reds while Raisel Iglesias earned his 19th save of the season for the Reds, who improved to 41-51. The Reds could complete a three-game sweep of the Indians with a win on Wednesday.

Francona Puts Blame On Himself

After the game, Francona admits that he was surprised when Otero came out of the bullpen gate and not Perez. Then, Francona realized that he made a communication error, which he blamed squarely on himself.

"We had a communication (error). That one lands squarely on me, no getting around it. I know Carl is beating himself up right now, but that one lands on me," said Francona.

Willis, for his part, said he should have asked Francona to repeat his instruction. Willis also admitted that while Otero can get the job done, his matchup against Votto wasn't the best one.

The loss wasted a gem by Trevor Bauer, who tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts. Allen (2-4) took the loss after allowing six earned runs as the Indians (49-41) suffered their fourth consecutive defeat. 

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