Fister, Tigers Extend Indians’ Woes; Tigers 6, Indians 1
By Evan Matsumoto
Ubaldo Jimenez battled Doug Fister and a sold-out Comerica Park crowd Saturday night and lost as Fister threw a complete game to beat the Indians 6-1.
The Indians came into the second of a three-game series in Detroit on a seven-game losing streak; starting pitchers for Cleveland have gone 0-6 with a 12.40 ERA in their seven starts. Saturday night’s game extended the losing streak to eight in a row, the longest such streak since September 2009 when they lost 11 in a row.
No score came from the first inning and a half of the ballgame. Tribe batters went down in order in both the first and second innings and Jimenez allowed Austin Jackson to single to center in the bottom of the first. Quintin Berry then grounded into a double play and Miguel Cabrera grounded out to end the threat.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to come knocking again, though. Jimenez walked Prince Fielder before Brennan Boesch smoked a pitch to right that was deep enough to score Fielder all the way from first. With Boesch on third, Delmon Young hit a sacrifice fly to put the Tigers up 2-0 just before a rain delay forced the grounds crew to cover the field.
Fister continued to dominate in the top of the third inning as he got Casey Kotchman to ground out, Jack Hannahan to fly out, and Ezequiel Carrera to strike out, again sitting the Tribe in order.
Jimenez countered in the bottom of the third with a pair of strikeouts of his own dealt to Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera.
The Tribe’s bats were connecting well in the fourth inning, but to no avail. Jason Kipnis and Shin-Soo Choo both drove their respective pitches to deep center but they fell short of the wall and into the glove of Jackson.
Fielder reached base on a single, then second on Jimenez’s 12th—and A.L. leading—wild pitch. After Boesch grounded out and Delmon Young went down swinging, a two-out, two-run triple from ex-Indian Jhonny Peralta put Detroit up 5-0.
Cleveland’s first hit came in the fifth inning as Carrera crushed a triple to deep center, the very spot that has plagued the team all night; Carrera’s triple ended five and two-third innings of perfection from Fister.
The spark of sheer joy lit from not being on the business end of a perfect game was quickly extinguished by an Infante sacrifice fly that scored Young from third, and padded the Tiger’s lead at 6-0.
Jimenez lasted five and one-third before being relieved by Esmil Rogers, who made his 19th appearance.
Michael Brantley recorded the second hit of the game for the Indians in the eighth inning but was then stranded on base after the next three batters sat in order—a common theme on the night. In six of the nine innings played, the Indians exited in the same order that they entered; the fifth, eighth and ninth were the only innings encumbered by baserunners.
In opposite fashion, Detroit put their leadoff man aboard six of their eight possible opportunities.
The Tribe busted Fister’s hopes for a shutout in the ninth when Carrera hit his second consecutive triple of the night and was then knocked in by Jason Kipnis, making the score 6-1 in favor of Detroit. Choo doubled to right center just after but was then left on base when Carlos Santana struck out looking to end the game.
Jimenez drops to 8-11 on the season and the Indians fall to 50-58. The tribe is averaging three runs per game since the All-Star break.
The Indians are 7-4 against the Tigers this year, 2-3 at Comerica Park. Sunday’s game is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. The game will feature Chris Seddon in his first start—11-5, 3.44 ERA in AAA Columbus—and Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.62 ERA).
Photo: AP Photo/Duane Burleson