It was a disappointing evening for #TribeTownInMoTown, as an early lead fell flat and the Indians fell to the Tigers in the first of a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers by a final score of 7-2.
Coming off their doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins, their first traditional doubleheader sweep since September 29, 2010, the Indians met their division rival, the Detroit Tigers, at Comerica Park to begin a vital three-game series. David Price took the mound for Tigers, matched against Carlos Carrasco, riding a career-high four game winning streak heading into Friday night’s game.
The Indians took an early lead as Ryan Raburn smacked his fourth home run of the season with two outs in the top of the second inning, giving the Indians their only run of the game. His homer gave the Indians momentum, as it was followed by back-to-back hits by Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Aviles, though the runners at second and third were stranded as Michael Bourn was thrown out at first to end the top of the second.
The Tribe could not hold the lead for long, as a double from Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the third tied the game. J.D. Martinez delivered a two-run home run in the fourth that gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead. To keep the game close, Carrasco intentionally walked Nick Castellanos in the bottom of the sixth, easily lining up the last out of the inning in Eugenio Suarez.
The magic number was four in the bottom of the seventh, as the Indians used four pitchers in a half-inning that had the Tigers scoring four runs. C.C. Lee replaced Carrasco following a single by Kinsler and walked Torii Hunter, the first batter he faced, though came back to strike out Miguel Cabrera for the second out of the inning. It didn’t mean Lee was out of trouble, though, as Victor Martinez had his second hit of the night to knock in another run for the Tigers.
J.D. Martinez then tripled to drive in two runs and give the Tigers a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Marc Rzepczynski relieved Carrasco, immediately giving up a single to Alex Avila that scored the Tigers’ fourth run of the inning and brought in the Indians fourth pitcher of the night, Josh Tomlin. The inning ended without further damage, though the Indians entered the eighth still trailing by six.
After a single from Michael Brantley, Price left the game in the top of the eighth. Jim Johnson replaced Price and ended the inning, keeping the Tigers lead strong, and returned to end the game for the Tigers in the top of the ninth. With two outs, Jason Giambi made the most of his pinch-hitting appearance by drawing a walk and scoring from first on a double from Lonnie Chisenhall to give the Indians their second run of the night. No further runs were scored, and the Indians fell victim to the Tigers by a score of 7-2.
Carrasco was handed his first loss since rejoining the Indians starting rotation. The Tigers emerged from the game with an 81-66 record, while the Indians fell to 76-70.
The Indians will return to Comerica Park Saturday night, as Danny Salazar (6-7, 4.19 ERA) and Detroit’s Kyle Lobstein (1-0, 2.78 ERA) take the mound and the Tribe attempts to salvage the series and increase their standing in the Central Division race.
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