Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/26/12

Derek Lowe's second-half downward spiral continued Wednesday, but at this point it's a tossup whether a lack of pitching or a lack of hitting is the Cleveland Indians' biggest problem. Both deficiencies were responsible for Cleveland's 5-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Lowe gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings and was in almost constant trouble. The Indians, meanwhile, were held to five hits, and they scored three runs for the fourth consecutive game. Cleveland has failed to score more than three runs in 11 of 13 games since the All-Star break.

After starting off the season on a roll, Lowe has seemingly hit a wall. He has won just two of his last 12 starts. In his first eight starts, he was 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA. In his past 12 starts, Lowe is 2-8 with a 7.59 ERA.

Manager Manny Acta said the cause of Lowe's second-half fade is his inability to consistently get ahead in the count. "In order to get hitters to chase, you've got to pitch ahead in the count. He hasn't been able to do that," Acta said.

The Cleveland offense, meanwhile, is overly dependent on the home run, and since the Indians aren't really a homer-hitting team, they frequently go through long droughts of inconsistent scoring. Earlier in the current homestand, they went 48 consecutive innings in which they failed to score a single run that didn't come as the result of a home run.

All of their runs Wednesday night came on home runs, by Casey Kotchman and Travis Hafner. The offense was otherwise non-existent, a common theme in most Indians losses this season.

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