Four Indians pitchers combined to limit the Tigers to one hit over nine scoreless innings and the bats piled up seven runs over the first three innings on the way to an 8-0 victory over Detroit from downtown Cleveland on Tuesday.
Rains spoiled a good start from rookie right-hander Zach Plesac, who was unable to factor in the decision despite facing the minimum over the first three innings. As has been the case for him during many of his nine starts this season, dark clouds have followed him and rain knocked him out after just nine outs, but the bullpen handled the rest, allowing just one base runner over the final six innings.
Plesac’s lone blemish on his short stat line was a leadoff five-pitch walk to Victor Reyes in the first. But as he has done on four other occasions, he picked off the base runner before striking out Harold Castro and getting Miguel Cabrera to fly to center.
For the second time this season, the Indians banged around Tigers left-hander Ryan Carpenter. He escaped the first with a runner in scoring position after a one-out walk by Oscar Mercado and a stolen base, but Jordan Luplow was unable to drive him home. He was nearly out of the second, giving up a one-out double to Jason Kipnis in between a Jose Ramirez fly out and a grounder by Roberto Perez, but Jake Bauers put the Indians on the board by winning his lefty-lefty matchup by dropping in a single the other way to score Kipnis to make it 1-0. Tyler Naquin moved Bauers to third on a single to right and Francisco Lindor joined the hit parade with a two-out, two-run double to put the Tribe up by three. Lindor was able to trot the rest of the way around the bases as Mercado drove a 1-1 changeup the opposite way and just over the wall in right to give the Indians a five-spot for the inning. Carlos Santana popped out as the eighth man to bat.
Plesac retired the side in order in the third before the Cleveland bats got back to work with another big inning. Luplow led things off with a double and scored on a double by Ramirez to make it 6-0. Kipnis reached safely on a throwing error by Carpenter that allowed Ramirez to score to give the Indians a 7-0 lead. Carpenter retired the next three in what would be his last inning of work.
After the delay, the Indians had to turn to the bullpen, where they got nearly spotless relief from the three men to come on. Tyler Clippard worked two innings, striking out a pair in the fourth before allowing a leadoff single to Nicholas Castellanos to start the fifth. He chased the hit with three outs in the air.
Buck Farmer retired six in a row after the delay for the Tigers and Nick Goody matched his showing by striking out the side in the top of the sixth before the Indians tacked on with their second homer of the night. With two down against left-hander Blaine Hardy, Naquin homered deep to center to give the Indians their final run of the night in an 8-0 game.
Goody breezed through a perfect seventh inning before turning the game over to southpaw Tyler Olson, who retired all six batters that he saw with a pair of strikeouts to send the Indians to victory. Cleveland moved to a season-high 13 games over the .500 mark at 53-40. The Indians are 10-1 on the season against the Tigers (29-61), who have fallen on tough times over the last couple of months.
Goody was rewarded with the win, his first since June of 2017, by the official scorer. He worked two perfect innings while striking out three. Plesac threw 39 pitches over three innings while facing the minimum. He walked one and struck out one in yet another contest altered by rain. The Indians bullpen as a whole threw just 17 of 71 pitches for balls.
“I’m stoked and really happy for everyone right now,” Goody said after the game. “Plesac was throwing unbelievably and Clippard and Tyler Olson came in and were both great. We’re all just doing our job and doing all we can for our team.
“I had no idea I got the win until my wife texted me. Clippard was right next to me and he started laughing about it. I didn’t care who got the credit, I’m just happy we won the game.”
Carpenter dropped to 1-6 on the year while season his ERA climb to 9.30. He allowed seven runs on seven hits with a walk and no strikeouts. In two starts against Cleveland this season, Carpenter is 0-2 with a 19.50 ERA with 13 earned runs allowed (and 15 total) on 15 hits with five walks and two strikeouts in just six innings of work. He was promoted to the Tigers roster prior to the game and optioned back out to Triple-A Toledo after the game.
The Indians optioned first baseman and designated hitter Bobby Bradley back to Triple-A Columbus prior to the game to make room for Plesac on the 25-man roster. Bradley hit .178 with a homer and four RBI in 15 games for the Indians during his first stint in the Majors.
Game three of the four-game series will pit Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-2-, 3.99 ERA) against righty Spencer Turnbull (3-8, 3.59). Clevinger has excelled for the Indians at home despite struggles since returning from the injured list. Turnbull has lost three separate starts against Cleveland this season.
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