CLEVELAND — Ryan Raburn spent the first eight innings at designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians, and David Murphy began Wednesday’s game in left field.
Both of them wound up on the mound in the ninth.
Raburn and Murphy allowed seven unearned runs in pitching the final inning, including a grand slam by Kris Bryant, and the Chicago Cubs crushed Cleveland 17-0 on Wednesday.
The Cubs’ outburst was the most runs they have scored in a shutout win since they beat San Diego 19-0 on May 13, 1969. The Indians suffered their most lopsided defeat since a 23-2 drubbing at Minnesota on June 4, 2002.
It marked the second career pitching performance for both players, who were the eighth and ninth pitchers used in the game by the Indians.
“I’m just trying to show my versatility, which is why I was pumped when I got the call,” Murphy said, chuckling.
“Ryan couldn’t get the job done, so I had to come in and bail him out. I was trying to pound the strike zone, but these are big league hitters, not some guys like you’d face in high school.”
Raburn was charged with two runs in two-thirds of an inning, walking one and allowing one hit. The right-hander, who hit 88 mph on the ballpark radar gun, was lifted with two on and a 2-0 count to Cubs catcher David Ross after grimacing during a delivery.
Left-hander Murphy replaced him by jogging in from left field — exchanging broad smiles with Raburn along the way — as the crowd of 15,572 roared its approval. His first pitch was popped up by Ross to shortstop Francisco Lindor, but he allowed it to drop for an error and opened the way to a huge inning.
“I told Ryan around the sixth inning what we probably were going to do, but I didn’t expect to use Murph as a pitcher, so I didn’t talk to him at all until I made the signal to bring him in,” Francona said. “Ryan’s arm was getting a little cranky (after 25 pitches), so we did what we had to do there.
“Getting in that situation doesn’t feel good. It’s not a lot of fun.”
Murphy faced six batters, five of whom scored, in a 19-pitch outing. He walked one, hit Mike Baxter with a pitch, gave up one single, and allowed Bryant’s 435-foot slam to center field.
“If you’re going to give them up, give them up big, right?” said Murphy, who topped out at 78 mph. “I think (Lindor) dropped the ball for me so I was able to enjoy the game more and give up a couple of missiles.”
Raburn was the most recent Indians position player to pitch, tossing one perfect frame against Detroit on Aug. 8, 2013. Murphy went one scoreless inning for Texas at Boston on June 5, 2013.
On Tuesday, Philadelphia outfielder Jeff Francoeur threw two innings against Baltimore, and Tampa Bay used infielders Jake Elmore and Nick Franklin for one inning apiece against Washington.
“It’s just an awful moment, but it’s what you have to do sometimes,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “You can’t waste those bullets in your bullpen. It’s a bad feeling. I get it. Tito (Francona) did exactly what he had to do.”
Cleveland right-hander Shaun Marcum (3-2) took the loss by allowing six runs in two innings. Cubs lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) went a season-high seven innings for the win.
Rookie Lindor went 0 for 4 in his first home game. Cleveland’s top prospect was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 14.
KIPNIS ON A ROLL
Indians 2B Jason Kipnis singled in the sixth to extend his team season-long hitting streak to 12 games. The AL Player of the Month is batting .333 (15 for 45) during the run. He also extended his home hitting streak to 21 games.
Cubs: C Miguel Montero (back stiffness) was a late scratch from the lineup. Maddon said the two-time NL All-Star “would play if it was September, but it’s not, so we’re being cautious.”
Indians: OF Nick Swisher (left knee soreness), who is batting .198, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday. No timetable has been set for his return, according to Francona.
Cubs: RHP Jason Hammel makes his first start against Cleveland since June 26, 2013. He is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in eight career appearances, including four starts, against the Indians.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar seeks his career-high seventh victory of the season. He has won three straight decisions at Progressive Field, posting a 3.16 ERA over 25 2-3 innings.