Tribe Can’t Withstand Two-Martinez Launch: Tigers 6, Indians 4
Vince Guerrieri | On 20, Jun 2014
The Indians’ bats woke up in the bottom of the eighth inning, but the offensive display was too little, too late as the Tigers held on for a 6-4 win Friday night in the opener of a three-game set at Progressive Field.
The Tribe offense had been held in check by Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who pitched six innings of shutout ball for the win, but the Detroit bullpen proved shaky in the eighth inning, sitting on a 5-0 lead.
Ian Krol came in for the Tigers in the eighth, and after giving up back-to-back singles to Mike Aviles and Michael Bourn, Krol got tagged by Asdrubal Cabrera for a three-run home run into the bleachers in left field. After Jason Kipnis flied out to left for the first out of the inning, Carlos Santana homered to left field to pull the Indians within a run, 5-4. Krol got Lonnie Chisenhall to strike out looking after a 10-pitch at-bat, and Joba Chamberlain was called in to relieve Krol. He struck out Nick Swisher to end the inning.
The Tigers pushed an insurance run across in the top of the ninth, when Ian Kinsler doubled over Bourn’s head in center field to score Rajai Davis. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Brantley, who had been showing concussion symptoms this week but was expected to be in the lineup by Saturday, was brought in to pinch hit for Aviles. He singled into shallow center field, but Bourn struck out to end the game.
The Indians got another solid outing from Corey Kluber, who scattered eight hits over seven innings of work. He made one mistake, but Victor Martinez made him pay for it. The former Tribe catcher continued to torment his old team, hitting a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to put Detroit on the board. It was the only runs Kluber gave up, and he got tagged with the loss because of it.
In the top of the eighth, Kluber was relieved by John Axford, who struck out Kinsler but gave up a single to Austin Jackson. Miguel Cabrera grounded into a fielder’s choice and Jackson, the lead runner, was out at second. After Axford uncorked a wild pitch and Cabrera moved to second, Martinez was intentionally walked to pitch to J.D. Martinez. He hit a home run to right field, and Axford was lifted in favor of Vinnie Pestano, who made his fourth appearance this season but first since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on Friday afternoon.
Pestano faced one batter, getting Nick Castellanos to ground out to third to end the eighth inning.