Early Tiger Outburst Too Much to Overcome; Tigers 7, Indians 5

Friday’s game marked the third time this season that Ubaldo Jimenez (4-1, 2.74) and Justin Verlander (7-4, 3.70) went head-to-head in the pitching matchup. Jimenez’s sole loss came when facing Verlander on May 22. Unfortunately, history repeated itself when the Tribe lost to the Tigers 7-5.

Coming off a season high eight-game losing streak on the road, the Tribe hoped to change their record with this game. Despite two solo home runs in the ninth inning, however, the Indians could not best the Tigers in their first of three games in Detroit.

The game began relatively uneventfully for the Tribe. With two down, Nick Swisher drew a walk off Verlander to get on base. Brantley, batting cleanup, could not hit Swisher home, though, ending the inning with a 0-0 score.

Torii Hunter got on base for the Tigers in the bottom of the first inning on a wild double hit to right field. He did not score, though, as Jimenez unloaded a 94 mph fastball to strike out Miguel Cabrera to end the inning.

The Tribe went scoreless again in the second, but they were not so lucky to expect the same from Detroit in the bottom of the inning.

Victor Martinez led off for the Tigers in the second. Martinez, who hit a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 6, smashed a solo home run to start the inning for the Tigers.

Jhonny Peralta drew a walk, while Brayan Pena grounded into a forced out. A throwing error by Swisher allowed Ramon Santiago to reach first base, and a walk on Avisail Garcia loaded the bases.

Although Andy Dirks struck out, putting two outs on the board for Detroit, the Indians could not stretch it to three outs with the bases loaded.

Hunter had his second hit of the night in the bottom of the second, hitting a single to Mike Aviles and scoring Pena. Jimenez then walked Miguel Cabrera, bringing home Santiago and raising the score to 3-0 Detroit.

Prince Fielder flew out to left field, ending the inning before any more damage could be done.

Although the Indians attempted retaliation in the third, with a hit from Michael Bourn, they could not put any runs on the board.

Detroit continued to score in the fourth inning, as Garcia doubled and was driven home on a single from Dirks. Having thrown over 75 pitches, Jimenez was replaced in the fourth inning by Matt Albers.

However, not even the change to Albers could save things for the Indians. Cabrera grounded into a double play, a hit that also scored Dirks, making it 5-0 Detroit.

The fifth inning, however, had the Tribe finally getting on the board. Mark Reynolds led off the inning with a single, with Aviles and Drew Stubbs both singling. With one out, Bourn had his second hit of the night, a line drive to left field, that scored Reynolds and brought the score to 5-1 Detroit.

Jason Kipnis continued the streak, hitting a two run double to right field that brought home Aviles and Stubbs.

Although they stranded two to end the inning, the fifth inning still had the Tribe bringing the score to 5-3.

Martinez continued his hitting throughout the season, leading off the bottom of the fifth with a base hit.

Albers found himself replaced by Nick Hagadone in the bottom of the fifth, although Martinez scored on a ground out from Pena, bringing it to 6-3 Detroit.

The Indians again stranded two runners on base in the top of the sixth with Verlander still on the mound for the Tigers.

Bryan Shaw replaced Hagadone in the sixth inning, giving the Tribe their first 1-2-3 inning of the game.

There was no stopping Martinez, who had his third hit of the night in the bottom of the seventh. Martinez had three of the Tigers’  12 hits on the evening.

In the bottom of the seventh, Hill was brought in with two outs to replace Shaw, allowing a single from Pena to score Martinez, bringing it to 7-3 Detroit.

Verlander left the game in the top of the eighth inning, throwing 108 pitches and allowing only three runs in his seven innings pitched, with Joaquin Benoit replacing Verlander. The Indians went 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth.

The bottom of the eighth had Matt Langwell replacing Hill. Langwell (0-0) has appeared in two other games for the Indians this season, on June 2 and June 5, and posts a 6.75 ERA.

Jose Valverde appeared for the Tigers in the top of the ninth, who gave up a solo home run to Jason Giambi to make it a three run game.

Stubbs followed Giambi’s run with a solo home run of his own, bringing the score 7-5. With two down in the ninth, Jason Kipnis hit a single to left field to bring Swisher to the plate.

Despite the late attempt at a comeback, the Indians could not keep their rally alive, as Swisher was thrown out at first. The game ended with a score of 7-5 Detroit, bringing the Indians to a five game losing streak and putting them back at the .500 mark on the season.

The Indians play the second game of their three-game series in Detroit tomorrow at 4:08 PM at Comerica Park. The game will put Indians’ RHP Justin Masterson (8-4, 3.57) again Tigers’ RHP Rick Porcello (2-3, 5.21). The game can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on the Indians radio network.

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