Game #107: Cleveland Indians (50-56) at Detroit Tigers (56-50)
By Mike Brandyberry
Friday evening the Indians fell behind quickly and never caught up. Justin Masterson was unable to stifle the Tigers and they scored in the third, fourth and fifth innings to send the Tribe to their seventh straight loss by a score of 10-2. Despite roster moves and lineup changes the Indians starters can’t slow down their opponent, while the offense can not muster enough offense to compete and the stress of the losing streak is beginning to wear on several players.
The Indians enter tonight’s game still 7-3 against Detroit in 2012. Cleveland snapped a ten game losing streak against the Motor City Kitties from last year to control them this season. They’ll try to use that winning formula to snap their current losing skid.
The Indians will try to snap their losing streak and road woes tonight in Detroit when Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 5.08 ERA) takes the mound. Jimenez pitched six shutout innings against the Tigers on July 24, despite receiving a no-decision. The Indians were able to overcome Miguel Cabrera’s two-run home run off Joe Smith to come back and win on an Aaron Cunningham suicide squeeze. Jimenez is 2-0, with a 1.93 ERA against the Tigers this season, but is 0-3 with a 7.97 ERA since the All-Star break. He allowed five earned runs in six and one-third innings on Sunday in Minnesota.
Detroit will counter with Doug Fister (5-7, 3.77 ERA) who will try to send the Tribe to their eighth straight loss. Fister pitched eight innings, only allowing a run and struck out nine on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays. After an injury-riddled, rocky first half of the season Fister seems to be finding his place in the rotation. He has only lost one game—to the Indians—in his last five starts. While the Indians have given him trouble of late, he dominated the Indians, winning three games, last season in August and September.
Cleveland activated Travis Hafner from the Paternity List this afternoon. Hafner had been on the list for the league-allowed three days, since his son, Trip, was born Wednesday. To make room on the roster the Indians optioned Vinny Rottino back to Triple-A Columbus. The Tribe will have to make another roster move tomorrow to activate Sunday’s starting pitcher Chris Seddon from Columbus.
Hafner is tentatively in tonight’s lineup, but was removed from Wednesday’s game with lower back tightness. He’ll run on the field and hit in the cage to test his back before the game and lineup are finalized. If Hafner is unable to play, Jose Lopez will replace him as the designated hitter.
Game action will begin from Comerica Park in Detroit at 7:05 pm this evening. All the game action can be heard on WTAM-1100 AM and the entire Indians Radio Network, and can be seen on SportsTime Ohio.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Travis Hafner, DH
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Ezequiel Carrera, LF
Detroit Tigers Starting Lineup
1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Quintin Berry, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Brennan Boesch, RF
6. Delmon Young, DH
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Jhonny Peralta, SS
9. Omar Infante, 2B
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images