Indians Rebound as Salazar Shines; Indians 7, Tigers 0
Steve Eby | On 03, Sep 2014
Baseball sure is a funny game.
After riding sky-high on Sunday and then hitting rock bottom by Tuesday, Danny Salazar and the Cleveland Indians showed resilience and rebounded nicely from two straight gut-wrenching defeats to clobber the Detroit Tigers by a score of 7-0.
Heading into the game, the pitching matchup promised power against power as the Indians started their young fireballer, Salazar, and the Tigers countered with former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. The right handed Verlander has not had his typical dominating season in 2014, and his struggles continued on Wednesday evening.
The Indians were able to jump on Verlander early, as Jose Ramirez got the first inning rolling with a bloop, one out single to left. Two batters later with two outs and Ramirez at second, Carlos Santana launched a two-run homerun over the right field wall and into the third row of the seats. The dinger gave the Indians a 2-0 advantage, was Santana’s 24th of the season and fifth career blast against Verlander.
The score remained until the Tribe doubled up their lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Jason Kipnis drew a walk to start the rally and Lonnie Chisenhall notched the big blow when he smacked a double down the first base line. Kipnis beat Ian Kinsler’s relay throw to the plate for a 3-0 lead and Chisenhall motored into third when the throw went to the backstop. With the infield drawn in to cut-down a potential run, Yan Gomes dropped a pop-up single just over the head of Victor Martinez at first allowing Chisenhall to score and extended the lead to 4-0.
Salazar, meanwhile, dominated the game on the other side of the ball. Aided by a couple of early double play balls, Salazar worked his first career complete game and did so in shutout fashion, as he allowed no runs on eight hits and struck out nine of the mighty Tigers hitters. The quality start continued the Indians month long domination by their starting pitchers and earned Salazar his 6th win of the season.
The Tribe blew the doors wide open in the bottom of the seventh when they opened up the floodgates on Verlander and the Detroit bullpen. Gomes started the onslaught with a double deep into left field and moved to third on a wild pitch. Michael Bourn drove Gomes home and made the score 5-0 with a single up the middle. Ramirez followed by shooting a double into the right-centerfield gap that brought Bourn all the way around to score and chased Verlander from the ballgame. With two down, Michael Brantley put the icing on the cake by smashing a double of his own to move the lead to 7-0.
The four game series will conclude on Thursday night at 7:05 before the Indians welcome the Chicago White Sox in town this weekend. Trevor Bauer (5-7, 3.99) will take the mound in the finale against reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (15-5, 3.26). The game can be watched on Fox Sports/SportsTime Ohio or heard on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images