Jimenez Drubbed In Final Start; Tigers 14, Indians 0
By Craig Gifford
The Detroit Tigers are a baseball team that has been on a three-month roll and will waltz into the Major League Baseball playoffs this weekend easily the class of the American League Central Divison. They showed just how wide the gap between themselves and the second place Indians is on Monday night, beating Cleveland every which way in a 14-0 drubbing at Comerica Park.
The Indians, who dropped back to 80-80, did not hit very well, did get good starting picthing and did not get good relief pitching. The Tigers, on the other hand, had all three parts of those games going.
Tribe Starter Ubaldo Jimenez, locked in a battle with fellow mid-season acquistion Doug Fister, did not battle for long. After a scoreless first inning, things quickly deteriorated for the former ace, whom the Indians have high hopes for over the next couple seasons.
Detroit, now 93-67 and tied for the AL’s second best record, got on the board in the second with a Ryan Raburn triple. Things completely unraveled for Jimenez as the Tigers exploded for three more tallies in the third. An RBI single by Miguel Cabrera and two-run double from Alex Avila gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead and more than enough runs for Fister.
The Tigers were not done – far from it. Jimenez allowed another pair of runs in the fifth. Following a scoreless sixth that was all for Jimenez who eneded his season on a sour note. He allowed six earned runs in six innings, allowing nine hits, strking out three and walking three. It was not the way he wanted to go into the offseason.
Cleveland’s relief pitching did not fare much better at all. Rookies Corey Kluber and Josh Judy combined to surrender one of the Indians’ worst innings of the season as the Tigers offense touched the young guns up for eight runs in the eighth inning. In all, the Tigers had 18 hits to go with their 14 runs.
Meanwhile, the Indians put up little offense against Fister, who rolled through eight scoreless innings. Cleveland managed just four hits, all singles. Matt LaPorta, a pleasant surprise since being recalled from the minors a couple weeks ago, had a pair of hits. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jerad Head had the other two.
Fister, whom the Tigers added at the trade deadline to bolster their rotation depth behind ace Justin Verlander, looked like an ace himself. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine Indians hitters. After throwing 109 pitches, he gave way to Detroit reliever Duane Below, who tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Indians will look to end the season a little better in their final two games. They continue their three-game set with the Tigers Tuesday night as surprising rookie Jeanmar Gomez will take the mound in a 7:05 start.
Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images