CLEVELAND: What is one of the best ways to keep the Indians from scoring? Let them load the bases.

Loading the bases is supposed to be a nightmare for a pitcher. Not so, if that pitcher is facing the Tribe. The Indians have filled the bases 20 times this season (including reloading the bases the same inning) and have scored only 15 runs.

Granted, the offense has put three men on base five times with two outs to make scoring more difficult. Even so, averaging .75 runs per opportunity is far from satisfactory.

On one occasion, the Tribe scored three runs after loading the bases, three times the offense scored two runs and six times, the attack produced one run. Shockingly, the Indians scored no runs 10 times after loading them up.

TAKING A BREAK — Casey Kotchman got the day off after going hitless in his previous 22 at-bats.

“This isn’t how you want to start the year, but all you can do is try and see the pitch and put a good swing on the ball,” he said.

OTHER STUFF — Josh Tomlin failed to get through the fifth inning for only the second time in 41 career starts … Travis Hafner walked in the eighth inning, allowing him to reach base for the 10th game in a row and 14th in 15 for the season … In the three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, the Tribe scored eight total runs, with four driven in without benefit of a hit.

FARM FACTS — Lonnie Chisenhall doubled, singled and raised his average to .317, and Matt LaPorta had two singles to raise his average to .364 as Columbus lost to Toledo 6-4 in Class AAA. Andy LaRoche homered, and David Huff (1-0, 9.00 ERA) gave up five runs (four earned) in four innings. … Jeremie Tice homered twice and singled, driving in four runs, as Carolina beat Lynchburg 5-2 in Class A. Giovanny Urshela had three singles and a double, and T.J. House (2-0, 1.44 ERA) gave up two runs and three hits in six innings. … Luigi Rodriguez singled three times and Francisco Lindor doubled and singled, as Lake County defeated Peoria 6-3 in Class A. Cody Anderson (2-0, 2.70 ERA) gave up two runs (one earned) and six hits in five innings.

— Sheldon Ocker