By Mike Brandyberry
Josh Tomlin has been credited for his consistency all season long. However, part of that consistency has been his ability to give up the home run ball and that was his kryptonite Friday evening, as the Tigers took the first game of the three game series by a score of 4-1.
Tomlin, and Detroit starter Max Scherzer, were in complete control of the game for five innings, motoring through the lineups and only allowing two hits a piece. With one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Ryan Raburn singled and Austin Jackson hit a two-run home run into the Indians bullpen to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The Indians cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh. Carlos Santana singled and with two outs, Lonnie Chisenhall hit an infield single setting runners on first and third. Santana was able to score on a wild pitch by Scherzer to cut the lead to 2-1.
Tomlin could not hold the Tigers any longer, however. After recording the first two outs in the inning, Alex Avila hit a solo home run to deep right field and Jhonny Peralta haunted his old team again by going back to back. The Tigers had their 4-1 lead after seven innings. Joaquin Benoit worked a clean eighth and Jose Valverde recorded his 36th save of the season. The victory gives the Tigers a two and a half game lead in the American League Central Division.
The Indians offense, which has been effective of late, was quite anemic on the evening. The Tribe could only muster five hits on the evening and, even more importantly, could not get a base hit with runners in scoring position. The Indians were 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
Saturday the Indians will try to snap their Motor City woes that have them just 4-18, in their last 22 contests in Detroit, dating back to last season. David Huff (1-1, 0.51) will take the mound against Doug Fister (4-13, 3.59), for a 7:05 start.
Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images