Tribe Drops Ball in Series Finale with Detroit; Tigers 10, Indians 4
Mike B. | On 22, Jun 2014
Baseball is a simple game at its core; you catch the ball, you throw the ball and you hit the ball.
On Sunday afternoon, the Indians made it look very complicated as they struggled to get timely hitting against Max Scherzer early and Josh Tomlin was banged around by the Tiger offense, compliments of two crucial errors. The two errors helped the Tigers to a seven-run, fifth inning and 10-4 victory at Progressive Field. The lackluster effort from the Tribe was the third straight defeat at the hands of the first place Tigers.
The Tigers picked up right where they left off last evening, scoring immediately. After Tomlin retired the first two hitters, Miguel Cabrera crushed a solo home run to right center field. Cabrera’s solo blast, his 13th of the season, gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. Detroit could have struck for more as Tomlin walked the next two hitters, but got out of the inning. The Indians’ gritty starter did need 30 pitches to record three outs, however.
Cabrera and the Tigers struck again in the top of the third inning. Ian Kinsler doubled to start the frame and scampered home when Cabrera singled to left center field. The RBI single extended the Tigers’ lead to 2-0 after three innings. The Indians had a golden opportunity to get back in the game in the third against Scherzer. After Yan Gomes singled and Michael Bourn walked to start the inning, Cleveland had two on with no one out. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out looking, Michael Brantley popped out to shortstop and Jason Kipnis grounded to second base though, and the Tribe could not convert, leaving Detroit with the lead after three innings.
Detroit blew the game open in the top of the fifth inning, exposing the Tribe’s defensive ineptitude. Kinsler singled to left field and stole second base before Austin Jackson singled. The back-to-back singles set the table for the Tigers middle of the order to take advantage of the Indians’ miscues.
Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball to second base. Kipnis fielded and threw to Asdrubal Cabrera covering second base, but Cabrera dropped the throw. Originally called an out on the field, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus challenged and it was quickly overturned. Asdrubal Cabrera’s 14th error of the season allowed a run to score on the fielder’s choice.
The errors continued when the next hitter, Victor Martinez, lined a hit to center field. Bourn came charging in, but dropped the eye-high liner. His second error of the season allowed the Tigers to load the bases with what could have been the second out of the inning. With the table set, the Tigers came to eat with back-to-back doubles by J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos. The pair of two-baggers made it 7-0 Detroit and ended Tomlin’s day.
Tomlin did not have his best stuff, but deserved a better fate. The little cowboy was matched up against the giant Scherzer, but received little help from his mates at the plate or in the field. Tomlin (4-5) pithed four innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out five.
Kyle Crockett relieved Tomlin, but faced just two hitters. After retiring Alex Avila, Austin Romine singled to right field to plate another run. John Axford relieved Crockett and after logging an out, Kinsler singled for the second time this inning—scoring another run and making it 9-0 Detroit after four and a half innings.
Cleveland did score in the bottom of the fifth inning to crack the scoreboard. Gomes singled with one out and Bourn hit into what was called, a 4-6-3 double play. However, Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the play and had it overturned. With Bourn safe at first base, Asdrubal Cabrera singled and Brantley doubled to right field to chase him home. Cleveland trailed 9-1 after five complete.
Carlos Carrasco came on to pitch for Cleveland in the sixth inning. Detroit tacked on another run when Castellanos walked and Avila doubled him home to make it 10-1. Carrasco did pitch two and two-third innings of relief before giving way to Mark Lowe. Lowe struck out Castellanos looking to end the eighth inning, then stayed on to record the first out in the ninth before Bryan Shaw earned the final two outs.
Scherzer (9-3) pitched six innings, allowing just the one run on six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. Brantley and Gomes each registered a pair of hits against the reigning Cy Young winner, but he kept the Indian offense stymied most of the afternoon. Cleveland had ten hits in the game.
The Tribe scored some late runs against Chad Smith, making his Major League debut. George Kottaras, Bourn and Cabrera all singled before Brantley doubled. Cabrera’s single scored one and Brantley’s third hit of the game brought home the other two to make it 10-4. It was Cabrera’s first two-out hit with runners in scoring position this year.
Cleveland had three errors on the day. Lonnie Chisenhall sailed a throw from third base into the first base stands in the eighth inning. The three errors were complimented by the Tribe’s 3-for-11 hitting with runners in scoring position. Two of those three hits came in the ninth inning, long after the game’s outcome had been decided. Kipnis stranded seven runners, himself. Detroit pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon to create the six-run differential.
The Indians are off Monday before embarking on a three city, nine game road trip to the west coast. The Indians will open in Arizona on Tuesday evening with Justin Masterson (4-5, 4.75) on the mound against the Diamondbacks, Wade Miley (3-6, 4.62). Game time from Chase Field is slated for 9:40 p.m. ET.
Photo: Mark Duncan/AP Photo