Verlander, Defense Help Detroit Blank Tribe; Tigers 4, Indians 0
By Ryan Hohman
After rallying for three runs in the ninth to snap a five game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians returned home to face Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. But there were no late inning heroics in this one as Verlander pitched seven shut out innings and the Tigers blanked the Indians 4-0. The win keeps the Tigers on the heels of the first place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. Detroit entered the contest one game back.
Verlander, who had lost his previous two starts against Cleveland this season, allowed six hits while fanning six to improve to 14-8 (2.82).
Corey Kluber (1-4, 5.48) took the loss for Cleveland after giving up four runs in the first two innings. After retiring the first two batters of the game, Kluber allowed four straight singles to give Detroit a quick 2-0 lead after one.
In the second inning, Alex Avila drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on an Omar Infante ground out. Austin Jackson brought Avila around to score with a double to right. Kluber struck out the next batter, Andy Dirks, but gave up another single to Cabrera to score Jackson and make it 4-0.
In the sixth inning, the Tribe threatened with runners on second and third with one out, but the defending AL MVP escaped with some help from his teammate Cabrera. After getting Russ Canzler to fly out, Kotchman smacked a hard liner down the third base line. Cabrera made a miraculous diving backhanded play to field the ball and fire to first to end the inning.
Michael Brantley missed his second game with a strained chest muscle. He hurt it swinging in the batting cages in Texas and is expected back in the lineup during the series.
Photo credit: David Maxwell/Getty Images