Detroit Makes a Point in Four Game Sweep; Tigers 10, Indians 3

Cleveland hoped to make a statement to the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball this week in their four game series, instead it was the Tigers that sent the message.

Detroit put an exclamation on their continued claim to the American League Central Division, Thursday night when they embarrassed the Tribe 10-3. After three hard-fought contests between the two teams, the Tigers completed the four game sweep with a dominating performance.

Zach McAllister had little control and less answers for the Detroit offense in the third inning and the Tigers plated six runs to take control of the game. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer continued to benefit from the best run support in the American League as he extended his record to 17-1 on the season.

After two strong innings by McAllister the wheels fell off in the third inning. McAllister worked a three-up, three-down first inning and danced around a Prince Fielder double in the second.

In the third, however, it fell apart almost immediately. Ramon Santiago walked, Hernan Perez singled and Austin Jackson walked to load the bases with no one out. After McAllister struck out Andy Dirks swinging, he walked Miguel Cabrera to force in Detroit’s first run of the game.

The Tigers started scoring them in chunks after the Cabrera walk, however. Fielder followed with a double to deep center field that allowed Perez and Jackson to score. Victor Martinez was next with a double down the right field line to bring around Cabrera and Fielder and it was quickly 5-0, Detroit.

Don Kelly walked and that was all Indians manager Terry Francona could take. McAllister seemed to lose control after two innings and was not using his curveball. Newly recalled reliever, Preston Guilmet came on in relief of McAllister. Ramon Santiago then grounded to second base, but Mike Aviles misplayed the ball into right field for an error. Martinez hustled around third and was safe at the plate when Drew Stubbs threw home wildly, over Carlos Santana’s head at the plate. Stubbs and Aviles were each charged errors on the play. Guilmet was able to get Perez to ground to shortstop to end the inning, with Detroit leading 6-0.

McAllister (4-7) lasted just two and one-third innings, allowing six runs—five earned—on four hits and four walks, while striking out three.

Detroit kept tallying runs in the fourth inning. Dirks doubled to deep right field to drive in a run Martinez singled to right to plate another and the Tigers had a 8-0 lead in the middle of the fourth inning.

Scherzer held the Indians hitless for three innings. It wasn’t until Michael Bourn lined a base hit off Scherzer’s glove did the Indians record a hit in the bottom of the fourth inning. Two outs later Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to the right center field gap to bring Bourn around and get the Tribe on the scoreboard, trailing 8-1.

The Tigers added two more on Guilmet in the top of the fifth inning when Santiago and Perez each singled and raced home when Cabrera one-bounced the left field wall. Both runners scored making it 10-1, but Cabrera held at first base for a long single and nursing his sore hips.

Guilmet had a tough outing in his second big league appearance. He pitched two and two-third innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. The hard-throwing right-hander did little to confuse Detroit.

The Tribe tallied another run off Scherzer when Jason Kipnis singled with two outs and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera’s second RBI double of the evening. His 26th double of the season cut the Indians’ deficit to 10-2 after six innings. Kipnis and Cabrera each had a pair of hits while Cleveland had just six for the game.

Scherzer (17-1) pitched seven innings, allowing just four hits and two runs while walking one and striking out five on 100 pitches. He becomes the first 17-game winner in the big leagues this season. Al Alburquerque pitched a clean eighth inning followed by Phil Coke in the ninth.

Matt Albers pitched two innings of relief behind Guilmet. He did not allow a run and only two hits in relief. Marc Rzepczynski worked a scoreless eighth inning before Ryan Raburn pitched the ninth inning for the Tribe. After last night’s 14-inning game, the Indians ran out of pitching and turned to one of their utility men.

Raburn pitched a three-up, three-down inning, getting two ground ball outs and striking out Matt Tuiasosopo with a fastball between 83-86 mph. Cleveland added one more run in the bottom of the ninth inning when Kipnis doubled and scored on Michael Brantley‘s infield hit and Coke’s throwing error.

Cleveland falls seven games back in the divisional race and just a game and a half in front of streaking Kansas City. The four game sweep has also dropped the Tribe to three games back of the Texas Rangers for the final wild card spot.

Tomorrow night the Indians will try to get back to their winning ways and back into the wild card race when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim come to Progressive Field. Cleveland will face another worthy pitching opponent in the Angels’ Jered Weaver (6-5, 2.90). The Angels will face their former teammate, left-hander Scott Kazmir (7-4, 3.89).

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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