Jimenez Shines, Tribe Triples to Win Series Opener; Indians 4, Tigers 2
Christian Petrila | On 06, Jun 2012
The Indians waltzed into Detroit, Ubaldo Jimenez found his 2010 form for the night, and the Indians beat Detroit for the fourth consecutive time in 2012, 4-2.
The Tigers wasted no time capitalizing on Jimenez’s recent inconsistencies in the bottom of the first inning. Quintin Berry, Detroit’s leadoff hitter, was hit in the foot by a Jimenez pitch. Jimenez struck out Matt Young. Then, with Miguel Cabrera batting, Berry stole second. He could have easily ended up at third as the throw from Lou Marson went into center field, but Jason Kipnis did an excellent job of decoying Berry by getting him to think the ball was in Kipnis’ glove. Cabrera then laced a double into the left field corner that scoredBerry. That was all Detroit could muster, though, as Jimenez got Prince Fielder to foul out and Delmon Young to ground out to short.
Each team was silent until the top of the third. Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out to lead off the inning. Marson followed with an infield single to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Shin-Soo Choo grounded into a fielder’s choice, beating out the double play. With two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera socked a triple that went over Berry’s head in center. Choo scored easily to tie the score at 1-1. The Indians couldn’t bring him home, though, as Jason Kipnis struck out to retire the side.
The Indians broke through in the fifth inning. Matt LaPorta led off with a single to left. After a Chisenhall fielder’s choice, Marson hit an RBI triple to center. Choo followed up by driving in Marson with a single to center. The damage could’ve been worse, as Asdrubal Cabrera hit a ball to dead center field. However, Berry learned from Cabrera’s first at-bat as he ran back and caught the deep fly ball this time around. Choo was then thrown out at second trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.
The Indians tacked on another run in the sixth, when Michael Brantley hit the team’s third triple of the game. Shelley Duncan “gracefully” made his way around the bases to score from first. The Indians suddenly led 4-1, and Jimenez was dealing.
Ubaldo started the seventh inning. With two out and one on, Jimenez walked Ramon Santiago – his first and only walk of the night. Manny Acta decided that it was enough from him, as he went to reliever Nick Hagadone. Hagadone gotBerryto fly out on the first pitch to end the inning and the threat.
The final line for Jimenez was six and two-third innings pitched while allowing five hits, one run and striking out four. The key stat for him is that he only walked one hitter – the last hitter he faced.
The scoring was quiet for the Indians the rest of the game. They did get a defensive highlight in the ninth from Asdrubal Cabrera. With Delmon Young on first and no outs, Gerald Laird bounced a ball in the hole to Cabrera’s right. He somehow barehanded it and threw to second while falling back to get the out.
The Tigers did muster a run in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Brennan Boesch that scored Laird from third. Ramon Santiago was next up and floated a ball into shallow right. Choo, however, sprinted in and made a terrific sliding catch to end the game.
Jimenez got the win for the Tribe. The loss went to Drew Smyly, who went six innings while allowing four runs, six hits, two walks and striking out five.
The win improves the Indians record to 29-25, while Detroit drops to 25-30.
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images