Scherzer Snaps Tribe’s Streak; Tigers 5, Indians 1
Steve Eby | On 21, May 2013
The Indians bats were dominated by Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer (6-0) on Tuesday night, as the Tribe breaks their five game winning streak by dropping their contest with the Tigers by a score of 5-1.
The Indians came into the game as the hottest team in baseball, going 18-4 since April 28 while averaging 5.9 runs per game with a .286 team batting average. Scherzer put a hold on the Tribe’s hot bats and all of those numbers for the evening.
The Detroit right hander was outstanding after allowing an early run in the first inning. He set down 22 straight Indians from the first inning through the eighth, using pinpoint control and a mid-90’s fastball. For the game, Scherzer pitched eight innings allowing one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
A couple of Indian pitchers also had a good day, as starter Corey Kluber (3-3) and Cody Allen also pitched extremely well. Unfortunately for Cleveland, the effort from the Tribe staff was just not quite as good as Scherzer’s outstanding ballgame and it was Kluber who would take the loss.
As they have so often recently, the Indians struck early by scoring a run in the first inning. Michael Bourn led off the ballgame with a line drive single that deflected off of Scherzer’s foot and into centerfield. Jason Kipnis followed with a rocket into centerfielder Andy Dirks’ glove for the first out, but then Asdrubal Cabrera blooped a broken bat liner into center for a single. The speedy Bourn was able to motor into third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by cleanup batter Michael Brantley to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Scherzer then walked Carlos Santana but got Mark Reynolds to ground out to end the inning. It was all Scherzer from that point on.
The Indians lead held at the slimmest of margins until the top of the sixth, when Andy Dirks blasted a leadoff homerun off of Kluber to tie the game. Kluber, who up to that point had also been in complete control of the Tigers, then allowed Torii Hunter to blast a double to the right field warning track. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera then untied the contest with a two-run blast to dead center. The homerun was Cabrera’s 12th of the season.
After getting out of the sixth with no further damage, Kluber’s night came to an end in the seventh. After getting Alex Avila to ground out for the first out, Kluber allowed a single to Omar Infante and turned the ball over to Allen. For the game, Kluber pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
The Tigers added their final two runs in the ninth inning off of relievers David Huff and Matt Albers. Jose Valverde worked the bottom half of the final frame and gave up a single and a stolen base to Bourn and also hit Cabrera with a pitch, but Papa Grande was able to strand the runners to end the game.
Bright spots for the Indians came in the form of the tough-luck losing pitcher Kluber and Allen, who struck out four batters in his 1.2 innings. Bourn also chipped in two hits, scored a run and a stole a base to lead the offense. Another bit of good news came before the game as Nick Swisher and his wife JoAnna Garcia gave birth to a baby girl earlier in the day. Swisher will be on the paternity list for the next one to three days and was replaced by Cord Phelps on the roster.
The quick, two-game series will conclude Wednesday as the two best teams in the American League Central will play their fifth contest of the year at 7:05. Things will not get any easier for the Indians bats as Detroit will send staff ace and former MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander (4-4, 3.17 ERA) to the hill. The Indians will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2, 5.31) who has pitched extremely well over his last four starts. The game can be seen on Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and can be heard on the Cleveland Indians radio network.
Photo: Tony Dejak/AP Photo