Game #147: Detroit Tigers (77-67) at Cleveland Indians (60-86)
By Bob Toth
Detroit Tigers’ starter Anibal Sanchez faced the minimum and kept the inept Cleveland Indians’ offense hitless for six and two-thirds innings Saturday afternoon until an unlikely triple from Carlos Santana opened the hitting and the scoring. The late offensive outburst was too little, too late to combat a Tigers’ team in pursuit of the postseason, and the Indians fell by a 5-3 final.
Sanchez (3-5) believed he had a fair shot at throwing his second career no-hitter and until Santana ended the threat with two outs in the seventh, it looked like he had a chance. He was perfect until a hit by pitch of Shin-Soo Choo to lead off the fourth. He was unhittable and economical throughout, striking out seven and eliminating Choo on an inning-ending double play groundout by Santana. Hits from Santana, Russ Canzler, and Lonnie Chisenhall would plate two runs and end Sanchez’s afternoon.
The Tigers took advantage of a slew of Indians’ defensive miscues and errors. They scored a pair of runs in the first after two walks, an error at third, and an Alex Avila RBI-single. Additional runs were driven in on a sacrifice fly by Austin Jackson in the fourth, an RBI-double by Avila in the fifth, and a solo home run to right by Miguel Cabrera in the seventh. Justin Masterson (11-14) struck out eight in the ballgame, but the four runs (two earned) given up and an elevated pitch count due to four walks and three errors forced him from the game before he could complete the fifth inning.
With their fourth straight win, the Tigers kept pace with the Chicago White Sox, who got a 5-3 victory from Francisco Liriano against his former club, the Minnesota Twins, to maintain a one-game divisional lead. The Twins’ loss, coupled with that of the Indians, kept the two clubs tied for the worst record in the American League.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.52 ERA) takes the ball today for the Tribe as they look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Tigers. Jimenez has struggled throughout the season, but those difficulties have increased during a second half that has seen the Indians’ right-hander go 1-9 with a 7.13 ERA over his last 12 starts. He has lost five of his last six decisions, including his last start at Texas on September 11. This will be his sixth start of the season against Detroit. He won his first two starts of the season against them, but has lost each of the last two with a 7.11 ERA in those games. He looks to avoid losing a fifth straight start for the first time in his career.
Detroit will counter with Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.59 ERA). He is coming off of a loss to the Chicago White Sox on September 10 and has lost each of his last six decisions. He is 5-3 lifetime against the Indians in 14 career starts, but has lost both starts this season against the Tribe, including a 3-2 defeat September 4 in Detroit. He has been the recipient of extremely little run support, getting just 1.06 runs from his offense over his last six starts.
First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 pm from Progressive Field. Follow the action on SportstimeOhio and the Indians Radio Network.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Russ Canzler, LF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, DH
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
Detroit Tigers Starting Lineup (adjusted to reflect late scratch of Austin Jackson)
1. Quintin Berry, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Delmon Young, DH
6. Brennan Boesch, RF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Omar Infante, 2B
Photo: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez