DETROIT -- The woes of the Indians' rotation have been so extreme on this road trip that the lineup's struggles have gone mostly unnoticed.
Part of the problem is that the starting pitching issues have forced the offense to fight from behind over the current seven-game losing streak. That has increased the pressure on the Tribe's bats, and the group has not responded well as a result.
Indians manager Manny Acta was not willing to blame the poor pitching for the subpar hitting.
"It doesn't help, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse," Acta said. "We could be losing games 10-7 or, whatever, 13-6. We're not swinging the bat well, either. When you're going through what we're going through right now, it takes more than one thing not to go right for you to lose five, six, seven games in a row."
Entering Saturday, Cleveland's rotation had posted a 12.40 ERA (45 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings) and the pitching staff as a whole had an 8.44 ERA (55 earned runs in 58 2/3 innings) over the seven-game losing streak. The Indians' offense, meanwhile, had hit just .197 with 19 runs scored and 41 runners left on base.
In the seven losses, the Indians were outscored, 38-10, through the first four innings. Another way to put it is that Cleveland has faced more than a four-run deficit on average by the fourth throughout this losing streak.
"Right now, we're not pitching and we're not swinging the bat well," Acta said. " When you're trailing by a ton of runs, obviously it changes the way you play the game a little bit. But it shouldn't be used as an excuse. Guys should be able to separate that, but it's hard to do."