Cleveland scored early and again and again and again as the Indians dropped a dozen on the Detroit Tigers in a 12-1 rout from Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
The offensive eruption by the Tribe bats against Tigers pitching extended the Indians (51-32) record on the year against Detroit (44-40) to a perfect 11-0. They have outscored the Tigers 77-24 this season. It also gave Cleveland a 13th consecutive win at home. The Indians’ lead in the American League Central Division reached seven and a half games, their largest lead in the division since 2007.
Carlos Carrasco was on the bump for Cleveland and with the way he pitched, he did not need much support. Better to have too much run support than not enough, however, as the Indians scored in the second inning to take an early lead and stopped putting up runs just twice the rest of the night.
Tigers spot starter Anibal Sanchez retired the Tribe in order in the first, but after striking out Mike Napoli to start the second, the Indians began their onslaught. Jose Ramirez walked and moved to second on a single by Lonnie Chisenhall. A double from Rajai Davis to the left field corner plated one run and Tyler Naquin knocked in a second with a groundout to second.
Sanchez retired four straight before another walk haunted him in the bottom of the fourth. Napoli walked to lead off the inning and Ramirez singled him to third. A double from Chisenhall scored Napoli and moved Ramirez to third. A sacrifice fly from Davis scored Ramirez and moved Chisenhall 90 feet from the plate, but Naquin and Yan Gomes struck out to strand a second run at third base.
Carrasco worked out of a jam in the second after singles from Justin Upton and Mike Aviles put two on with two out, but a fly out from James McCann ended that threat. He retired seven straight before walking Steven Moya and Aviles to start the fifth, but again got McCann out in the air before a bizarre 4-6-5 double play ball got Carrasco out of trouble. Jason Kipnis flipped to Francisco Lindor at second, who alertly fired to third, where Moya was breaking no land speed records trying to advance.
Cleveland expanded on their lead in the fifth and chased Sanchez. Carlos Santana walked, but was retired on a fielder’s choice by Kipnis. Lindor doubled to right, scoring Kipnis with a head first dive at the plate. A walk to Napoli put runners on the corners and brought Buck Farmer out of the bullpen, but the runs kept coming for the Indians as Ramirez grounded out to second to score Lindor and Chisenhall doubled to right, scoring Napoli to make it 7-0.
A walk hurt Carrasco in the sixth, as he issued a free pass to leadoff man Ian Kinsler. After a strikeout of Cameron Maybin and a fluke out call on Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez singled to right to score the runner from second to make it a 7-1 game.
With Farmer on the mound for a second inning of work, Naquin greeted him with a home run deep to right-center. Gomes fouled out before Farmer walked three straight batters to load them for the always dangerous Napoli. He singled to center to score one and Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice to score a second and the Indians lead was 10-1.
The Indians added two more late in the eighth as Santana homered on the first pitch of the night from Mark Lowe. After a Kipnis double and Napoli infield single, Chisenhall knocked in a run with two outs with another hit, a single to right.
Carrasco (5-2, 2.47 ERA) was not nearly as sharp as he was at times in his last start against Toronto, but he contained the potent Tigers lineup and worked out of trouble. He allowed just one run on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out five. The control was a point of concern at times, but he found a way to pitch around it.
SANCHEZ SOCKED AGAIN
Sanchez (5-9, 6.52) has had absolutely no luck against the Indians this season. Jumping back into the rotation to replace the injured Jordan Zimmermann, he made his first start since the Indians defeated him in Detroit late in June. After his successful first inning, the results were more of the same, as he lasted just four and one-third innings on the night, allowing seven runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
In 18 2/3 innings against Cleveland this season, Sanchez has allowed 22 runs (21 earned) on 23 hits with ten walks and 18 strikeouts. He is 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA and 1.77 WHIP.
MORE STREAKS INTACT
Ramirez extended his hitting streak to ten games with his fourth inning single. During that streak, he is hitting .341 (15-for-44) with three doubles, five runs scored, and seven runs batted in while boosting his batting average ten points. Five of those ten games have been two-hit games.
Kipnis extended his own home hitting streak to 13 straight with a double in his final at bat in the eighth. He has not been held hitless at Progressive Field since May 31 against Texas.
CHISENHALL’S BIG DAY
Chisenhall had two singles and two doubles on the night while driving in three runs. It marked the sixth time this season that he has had at least three hits in a game, more than any other season of his career. It is the third time in his last eight starts that he has had four hits in a game, matching his efforts on June 26 against Detroit and July 1 in Toronto (a five-hit game).
SANTANA SLUGS ANOTHER
Santana’s homer in the eighth was his 19th of the season, matching his output for the entire 2015 season when he led the Indians in four-baggers.
Cabrera was ejected in the sixth and went 0-for-3 in the game. He was ruled out on a groundout when he never left home plate. Replay appeared to show that the ball was in fact in off of his shin before it ricocheted into fair territory. Still in the batter’s box, it should have been a foul ball, but the umpires did not overturn the call and his antics on the field both during the discussion and immediately after the ruling led to his early shower.
Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos, who has performed well against the Indians throughout the season, missed Tuesday’s game with what was reported as flu-like symptoms.
NORRIS LANDS ON DL
Farmer was recalled on Tuesday from Triple-A Toledo after the Tigers had to place left-handed starter Daniel Norris on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. He injured it during his start against the Indians on Monday.
Several players involved in Tuesday’s game received word that they had been selected to the AL All-Star team.
Tribe shortstop Lindor and starting pitcher Danny Salazar were named to the club as reserves. Cabrera was selected as a reserve from the Tigers and Kinsler is one of five players in the Final Vote.
The Indians will go for 12 in a row over the Tigers and look to complete their fourth consecutive sweep over the Tigers in a Wednesday afternoon special. Josh Tomlin (9-1, 3.21) will look to earn his tenth win in his second try, while Detroit will send out right-hander Michael Fulmer (8-2, 2.17), who can blame the Indians for one of his two losses in his rookie campaign. Cleveland tagged him for five runs on ten hits in his second big league start on May 5. Since May 21, he is 7-1 with a 0.53 ERA and .133 batting average against, allowing just three runs and 23 hits over 51 1/3 innings.
Game time is scheduled for 12:10 PM ET.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images