CLEVELAND -- Zach McAllister thought he had minimized the damage for the Indians in the second inning Tuesday night.
With the Tribe trailing just 2-1, McAllister got Minnesota's Denard Span to ground to Jason Kipnis at second base. Kipnis threw to first baseman Carlos Santana who couldn't make the play and was charged with the error. The Twins wound up scoring 10 runs in the frame.
Unfortunately for McAllister, Monday's game was hardly the first time he has had trouble bouncing back from a defensive miscue. The 24-year-old McAllister leads the Major Leagues with 18 unearned runs allowed this season, five more than Tampa Bay's James Shields. McAllister has allowed that damage in only 70 innings of work, while Shields has logged 146.1 frames.
"It could [be an issue]," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "People have to be able to turn the page, especially when they're here. A guy makes an error, you've got to pick him up. That's what happens with the fielders, too. When a guy walks a guy, they make a play for him. Hopefully, that's not the case. We've seen that a couple of times, but he just didn't make good pitches at all."
McAllister has pitched like the staff's ace ever since he was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 28, but he has allowed several big innings following errors.
In a game against the Rays before the All-Star break, the right-hander cruised into the sixth inning with a shutout. But after a couple of miscues by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, McAllister allowed a four-run inning, and the Indians eventually lost the game.
McAllister maintains that the errors don't affect his composure on the mound, but he's allowed at least one unearned run in five of his last seven starts.
"You just try to focus on the hitter that you've got to get out and do what you can to get out of the inning," McAllister said. "That's about all you really try to focus on.
"It's definitely frustrating for me. I'm not happy with it, especially being a guy that wants to pick up his teammates and has that type of pride in himself to pick guys up."