Mother Nature intervened on Friday night, ending the matchup between Cleveland and Detroit at Comerica Park after seven innings, with the Tigers on the winning end of a 7-2 final over the Indians.
The loss by the Indians (71-63) extends their losing streak to four straight games to start their most important road trip of the season. Cleveland falls seven and a half games behind Detroit in the American League Central Division and is now four and a half games out in the Wild Card race. The Tigers (79-56) now own a commanding 14-3 record against them this season.
Cleveland held the first lead in the ball game, striking in the second inning off of Detroit starter Rick Porcello after he retired the side in order with a pair of strikeouts in the first. A double by Carlos Santana was followed by a single to right by Michael Brantley. With runners on the corners, the Tigers traded a pair of outs for a run, as Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into a double play, started on a fine diving stop by shortstop Jose Iglesias.
The Tigers pulled right back into a tie in the bottom of the frame. Prince Fielder walked and moved to third on a double to deep right by Victor Martinez. A sacrifice fly lifted to center by Don Kelly scored Fielder to tie the game at one.
The proverbial wheels fell off for McAllister and the Indians in the bottom of the third. Iglesias led off the inning with a double down the right field line. A single to center by Austin Jackson just past the glove of a diving Jason Kipnis scored Iglesias and gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
One out later, Andy Dirks singled to right field and a walk to Fielder loaded the bases. Martinez lofted a fly to medium deep center field for what should have been out number two in the inning, but Indians center fielder Michael Bourn lost the ball in the Detroit dusk, scoring both Jackson and Dirks on the double. Kelly was intentionally walked to reload the bases, but Alex Avila’s dribbler to Lonnie Chisenhall forced Fielder in as the Cleveland third baseman converted the force at third. A groundout to second by Omar Infante ended the inning, but the damage was done as the Indians trailed 5-1.
McAllister’s night would end in the bottom of the fourth. After retiring Iglesias and Jackson to start the inning, McAllister took a comebacker off of his back off of the bat of Torii Hunter, who reached on an infield single. A walk to Dirks brought manager Terry Francona to the mound and he went to the bullpen, bringing in Marc Rzepczynski. “Scrabble” hit Fielder with a pitch to load the bases, but got the always-dangerous Martinez to ground out to Kipnis deep in the hole at second to end the inning.
McAllister (7-8) allowed five earned runs on six hits in three and two-thirds innings. He struck out three and walked four, ending his streak of three consecutive wins, a career high.
The Indians ended the night of Porcello in the top of the sixth. Nick Swisher reached on a one-out ground rule double to right. A walk to Kipnis brought Santana to the plate, but his liner to center was caught for the second out of the inning. Brantley drew a walk to load the bases and Jim Leyland brought in Al Alburquerque. In a seven-pitch at bat, Cabrera drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run. Yan Gomes, however, missed a huge opportunity to even up the score as he hit a grounder to the third baseman, who ran to the bag for the unassisted force out to end the inning.
Porcello (11-7) was charged with a pair of runs in five and two-thirds innings on the game. He allowed five hits and two walks and struck out three. He improved to 3-0 against the Indians this season.
Cleveland missed another chance to cut into the Detroit lead in the seventh against reliever Drew Smyly. After a pair of groundouts to start the inning, Bourn singled to right. Bruce Rondon came into the game in relief and gave up another ground rule double to Swisher, this time down the left field line and into the seats in foul grounds. The speedy Bourn may have been able to score on the play had the ball remained in play. With two in scoring position and two outs, Kipnis grounded out to second to end the inning.
The Tigers tacked on a pair of runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch by Rich Hill and an RBI single from Infante. Martinez scored from second on the play, but Avila was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Rondon was credited with his first Major League save after rains washed away the rest of the ball game.
Martinez now has five multi-hit games in his last six games.
Miguel Cabrera left the game in the second inning after aggravating his abdominal injury that had him listed as day-to-day entering the series with the Indians.
The Indians will look to even up the series and find their first win on their difficult road trip, as they send Scott Kazmir (7-6, 4.25 ERA) to the mound against Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (11-7, 2.61).
First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 PM. Follow the action on either Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio or any of the affiliates of the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
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