The Indians looked to gain a series victory against the Detroit Tigers on Mother’s Day. On the hill for the Tribe was Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.63) who was opposed by Rick Porcello (1-2, 7.52) for the Tigers. It was a game where both teams missed key opportunities at the plate but the Indians were able to put together the late-inning magic to secure an extra inning victory.
The Tigers got the hitting started when Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera ripped back-to-back singles to left with one out in the first. Prince Fielder then hit a sinking line drive that Ryan Raburn managed to scoop off right above his shoe tops for the second out and then McAllister rung up Victor Martinez to end the inning.
The Tigers got back at it in the second, Don Kelly led off the inning with a single to right before being forced out at second on a fielders’ choice off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. However, Brayan Pena followed through and delivered a socked a two-run home run to right center to put the Tigers up 2-0.
In the third inning, the Indians finally managed their first hit off Porcello when Yan Gomes laced a single with one out. After Porcello struck out Drew Stubbs, Michael Brantley laced a single moving Gomes to third and then proceeded to advance to second on the throw. Jason Kipnis followed through in the clutch with a two-run double into left field tying the game at 2 before Porcello managed to get Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out to avoid any more damage.
Yet again, the Tigers got on base in the third when Cabrera laced his second single off McAllister. McAllister handed Fielder a four-pitch walk putting two on and one out, but then retired the next two hitters to end the threat.
The Tigers took advantage of a fielding miscue in the fourth by Lonnie Chisenhall that allowed Peralta to advance to second on the throwing error. The bad luck continued when Pena hit a grounder that hit the bag at second allowing him to reach first safely for an infield single. Omar Infante came up big with a sac fly putting Detroit up 3-2 with just one out. McAllister then walked Andy Dirks and allowed a single to Hunter to load up the bases. Luckily, he managed to retire Cabrera and Fielder to avoid any further damage.
The Indians managed a legitimate scoring threat in the fifth when Yan Gomes opened up the inning with a double. After a Stubbs strikeout, Porcello walked Brantley and Kipnis back to back to load the bases. Unfortunately, Cabrera lined out into a double play effectively ending the threat.
In the seventh, the Tigers brought in the righty Jose Ortega in relief and he immediately walked Chisenhall to lead off the inning. Gomes then followed with a single, his third of the game, and put runners on first and second with no out. After Ortega struck out Stubbs, the Tigers went to their pen again for Phil Coke who then proceeded to get Brantley to ground into another double play.
Bryan Shaw came on in relief for McAllister in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings just allowing the one walk to Cabrera.
The Tigers brought in Jose Valverde for the save in the ninth and he immediately allowed a walk to Bourn, who subsequently stole second, his third of the season. Valverde retired the next two before he issued a walk to Jason Giambi, who was batting for Stubbs. With runners at first and second, Brantley stepped to the plate and shot a single to left bringing in the tying run at three. Valverde managed to ring up Kipnis to end the inning, but the damage was done.
Joe Smith came in relief for the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Dirks. Hunter than slapped a comebacker to the mound that Smith relayed to Cabrera to turn two. With two outs, Cabrera flew out to right to send the game into extra innings.
Darin Downs came on in relief in the tenth, and immediately allowed a double to Cabrera. Swisher followed with a groundout that advanced Cabrera to third. Downs intentionally walked Santana before a fielders’ choice off the bat of Bourn forced out Cabrera at home putting runners and first and second with two outs. Mark Reynolds stepped in, pinch hitting for Chisenhall, and laced a single into left field scoring Santana putting the Tribe up 4-3 before Bourn was tagged out in a run down.
The Indians brought in the lefty Rich Hill for the tenth and he notched two quick outs before Terry Francona went to the pen again for Cody Allen. Allen managed to strikeout Matt Tuiasosopo to end the game and lock in his first save of his career.
Smith gets the win (1-0, 0.66) and Downs is tagged with the loss (0-1, 2.55). With the victory, the Indians have won their last four series and move into a first place tie with Tigers in American League Central Division.
The Indians (20-15) head home for a traditional double header tomorrow in Cleveland against the New York Yankees (23-13). Game 1 has a 12:05 pm start and features Justin Masterson (5-2, 3.67) facing David Phelps (1-1, 5.02) for the Yanks. Game 2 will commence roughly 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game and will see Trevor Bauer (1-1, 2.70 ERA) against Vidal Nuno (0-0, 0.00).
Photo: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio