Goodrum Goes Yard Twice as Tigers Take Down Tribe; Tigers 6, Indians 3
Bob Toth | On 14, May 2018
The road woes continued for the Cleveland Indians on Monday night as Niko Goodrum’s two home runs lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win.
An unexpected performance from Goodrum, who would drive in five runs on the day for the Tigers, helped push Detroit to a needed win, ending an eleven game losing streak against the Indians dating back to last season. It was the first win for the Tigers in five tries against the Indians after being swept in a four-game set in Cleveland in April.
Goodrum entered the game with two Major League homers and five RBI in his career (all provided this season) and he matched those totals with a career day at the plate.
Road warrior Carlos Carrasco got the start for the Indians, riding the longest streak of success against a group of combined divisional foes as he had won 12 straight decisions against the American League Central Division. He would give the Tribe a quality start, but it would not be enough as his offensive mates struggled to do much against Detroit’s softer-tossing Mike Fiers.
The Indians would take the early lead in the first. With two outs, Jose Ramirez found a 2-1 fastball and sent his team-leading and MLB-lead-tying 13th home run out to right to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Carrasco got through the first two innings relatively unscathed, issuing only a leadoff walk in the second while protecting his one-run advantage. The Tribe offense missed an opportunity in the third to expand that lead, which would prove costly, as Greg Allen legged out an infield single to start the frame and Michael Brantley singled with two outs to put runners on the corners, but Ramirez flied out.
In the home half, the Tigers knotted the game up. Jose Iglesias and Dixon Machado each singled and Mikie Mahtook grounded into a force at second, putting runners on the corners with one out. Mahtook erased the double play by stealing second and Pete Kozma grounded out to third, scoring Iglesias with the tying run. Victor Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases and Carrasco came back with a big strikeout of James McCann to get out of the jam with just one run allowed.
Fiers retired the side in order in the fourth and the Tigers got on the board again to take their first lead of the night. A double to right center by John Hicks was followed two batters later by a two-run home run to right by Goodrum, his third of the year, to give Detroit a 3-1 edge.
Fiers would retire nine straight batters before a two-out walk of Ramirez in the sixth, but with a runner on, the Indians’ Edwin Encarnacion could not move him along in another missed scoring chance, the final out of Fiers’ night.
Cleveland squandered an additional opportunity against the Detroit bullpen, stranding two runners in scoring position against Warwick Saupold. Jason Kipnis walked with one out and moved to second on an infield single with two down by Allen. The pair would move up a base on a wild pitch from the Tigers reliever, but Brandon Guyer struck out swinging to leave the tying runs on base.
In the eighth, the Indians were able to deliver a big hit, getting a two-out two-base hit by Encarnacion after Ramirez reached on error against Joe Jimenez. With the tying run once again in scoring position, the Indians could not get the hit that they needed as Yonder Alonso popped to short against Daniel Stumpf.
The Tigers got what would prove to be game-changing insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth against the Indians bullpen. Evan Marshall, who gave up a single but got the final out of the seventh in relief of Carrasco, lost the strike zone, falling behind the first two batters of the inning with 3-0 counts before eventually walking both. Zach McAllister came on in a tight spot and struck out JaCoby Jones for the first out, but Goodrum came through with his first career multi-homer game, sending a 3-2 heater, the sixth straight four-seamer of his at bat, out to right to put the Tigers ahead, 6-2.
The Indians would not go quietly against Tigers closer Shane Greene, but would come up short. Greene retired Kipnis and struck out Yan Gomes, but Allen came through with a standup triple to triples’ alley in right center. Guyer walked and Francisco Lindor drove in Allen with an RBI-single to center, extending his hitting streak in his final at bat to 15 straight games. With the tying run at the plate in Brantley, he grounded out sharply to first to give Detroit the 6-3 win.
The Tigers (18-22) pulled within two games of the Indians (20-20) atop the AL Central with the victory. Cleveland is now just 7-11 on the road this year.
FIERS FINISHES STRONG
Fiers moved to 4-2 on the year with a quality start against the Indians. He lasted six innings, allowing just a run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He minimized mistakes and did his best to keep the Indians off of the base paths and was backed by a big showing from Goodrum, whose five RBI proved to be enough.
QUALITY START FROM CARRASCO
Carrasco gave the Indians another quality start, but it would not be enough as it would take nine innings for his offense to match to run total that he had allowed through his six and two-thirds innings on the mound. By then, the Tigers had added on against the shaky Tribe bullpen.
The Tribe right-hander was dealt both a rare loss on the road and an unusual defeat against the AL Central, something that he had not done in his last dozen starts against them. He allowed the three runs on six hits, walking a pair and striking out four. He threw 112 pitches, a lofty tally in his first start after a complete game effort in his previous outing.
ZIMMER SHELVED AGAIN
Outfielder Bradley Zimmer was absent again from the lineup for Cleveland as he has played just once in the last nine days while dealing with injuries sustained in a collision with a wall in New York two Saturdays ago against the Yankees. A disabled list trip has not yet been ruled out, as he has missed six games in that span.
DETROIT GOES TO THE DL AGAIN
Prior to the game, the Tigers placed third baseman Jeimer Candelario on the 10-day disabled list with left wrist tendonitis. One of the club’s top hitters this season, he joined Miguel Cabrera and Leonys Martin as key players on the shelf for the Tigers.
Detroit recalled infielder Dawel Lugo, one of the players acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks last season in the trade deadline deal of J.D. Martinez and a player earmarked as the team’s second baseman of the future. The 23-year-old was hitting .284 at Triple-A Toledo with seven doubles, a triple, one homer, and 12 RBI in 33 games this season in his first work at the top level of the farm system.
Game two of the series is scheduled for another 7:10 PM ET start. Right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-4, 8.06 ERA) will make his first start since May 4 after giving up three home runs to the New York Yankees in a loss. A start at the cavernous Comerica Park could help his cause. Familiar left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.35) will look to bounce back from his worst start of the year his last time out, when he allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts in four-plus innings. His lone loss this season came against the Tribe.
Born in Detroit, this durable left-handed reliever appeared in 884 games during his 14-year MLB career and made just one start. He spent his final five big league seasons with the Indians during the 1990s, helping anchor an underrated and overlooked bullpen. He also spent time in Atlanta, with both Chicago clubs, and with the New York Yankees.
Who am I? – Paul Assenmacher
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This Hall of Fame pitcher was born in Detroit and spent 15 years with the Tigers, debuting with the club at the age of 18. He made six All-Star teams and won back-to-back American League MVP awards in 1944 (when he led MLB with 29 wins) and again in 1945. His numbers slowed in the 1950s and he was released by the Tigers during the 1953 season. He joined the Indians in 1954, earning seven wins while working almost entirely in relief throughout the season. He was released by the club the following May. He was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1992.
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