4 Total Updates since September 5, 2011
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) – Thanks to a grand slam by Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander picked up his major league-best 22nd win of the season as the Tigers held on for an 8-6 victory over the Indians.
Verlander (22-5) gave up a pair of two-run homers to Shelley Duncan during six innings, and left the game with the Tigers trailing. But Detroit used a five- run seventh, highlighted by Martinez’s slam, to take the lead for good.
The AL Central-leading Tigers completed a three-game sweep and extended their winning streak to six games.
Verlander became the first Tigers pitcher to win 22 games since Joe Coleman went 23-15 in 1973.
Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh for the Indians, but they couldn’t come back and lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Duncan hit his first homer in the second inning, after Carlos Santana worked a leadoff walk. He got behind in the count, 1-2, and fouled off two pitches while taking one in the dirt.
The seventh pitch of the at-bat was a fastball on the inside edge of the plate, and Duncan turned on it, sending it over the left field wall.
Alex Avila’s sacrifice fly and Wilson Betemit’s RBI double tied the game in the fourth inning, but Duncan struck again in the bottom half.
Jim Thome hit a two-out double to bring Duncan to the plate, and this time the appearance was short. Verlander threw three consecutive fastballs, the last of which was a 97-mph screamer near shoulder level. Duncan still went after it, and again sent the ball out to left field.
But Verlander’s offense — Martinez in particular — bailed him out during the seventh inning.
Detroit loaded the bases on two singles and an error to chase Masterson, and Miguel Cabrera followed with an RBI base hit against Joe Smith. Left-hander Tony Sipp was then brought in to face the switch-hitting Martinez.
The face-off lasted all of one pitch. Sipp’s first throw was a fastball slightly down and in, but still very much in the strike zone, and Martinez slammed it high and deep to left field, giving Detroit a 7-4 lead.
Just after Martinez’s grand slam sailed out of the ballpark, Verlander walked out from under the cover of the Tigers’ dugout, hands on the brim of his hat and smiling.
He shrugged his shoulders, palms up, as if to admit the rarity of the situation. But the slam did happen and put Verlander in a position to win, and in order for that to happen, the Tigers bullpen had to hold on.
Duncan singled against Ryan Perry to start the bottom of the seventh, only mild damage compared to his two prior plate appearances. But the rookie Chisenhall did come up with a big blast, pulling Phil Coke’s hanging curveball over the right field wall.
While the homer brought Cleveland within a run, Coke got Detroit out of the inning and Joaquin Benoit threw a scoreless eighth.
Avila doubled and scored on Don Kelly’s triple off the wall in right field during the ninth inning, giving Jose Valverde extra cushion as he secured his 42nd save.
Valverde tied the club record, set by Todd Jones in 2000, for saves in a season…Martinez’s grand slam was the second of his career…The Tigers had 13 hits, the 11th time in their last 13 games they’ve recorded 10 or more hits…Duncan has four career multi-homer games, despite hitting only 27 homers in five seasons. He also hit two during the Indians’ victory Sunday against Kansas City.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) – If the Cleveland Indians want to avoid a back-breaking three-game sweep at the hands of the first-place Detroit Tigers, all they have to do is beat baseball’s current wins leader and American League Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander.
That mountainous task is in front of the Tribe this afternoon in the final of a three-game set as losses in the first two games of this series have dropped Cleveland 8 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central. Following a competitive loss in Monday’s opener, the Indians struggled early in a 10-1 defeat last night.
Now they must battle Verlander, who takes aim at a 10th consecutive victory as he looks to solidify not only his bid for the Cy Young, but also the AL MVP.
Verlander has allowed one run or fewer five times over his win streak while going at least eight innings in all but one of them. He picked up an 8-1 victory over the White sox on Friday, hurling 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. He is 21-8 with a league-leading 2.34 earned run average, becoming the first Tiger pitcher to win at least 21 games in a season since Jack Morris in 1986.
"Another stellar performance," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Verlander. "It was kind of a neat night because Justin picked the guys up and the guys picked Justin up."
The 28-year-old righty is 11-2 on the road this year and his current win streak includes a victory at Cleveland on Aug. 11. Verlander also beat the Indians on June 14 at home with a two-hit shutout that featured 12 strikeouts.
Detroit will look to support its ace with some more clutch hitting after scraping together five two-out runs in the first inning of Tuesday’s win. Miguel Cabrera had three of Detroit’s 15 hits while scoring twice and knocking in a run. Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in the blowout.
"Two-out hits are golden and we got a bunch of those early on," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose club also holds a healthy eight-game advantage over the White Sox after sweeping Chicago in three games before this series.
Fausto Carmona had his shortest outing of the season for the Indians, losers in four of six, as he was charged with seven runs on eight hits while recording only four outs.
"This was a series that we needed to win. It puts us in a pretty bad spot right now," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We’re going to need a lot of help."
Cleveland has lost six straight to Detroit and three in a row at home to the club since a 13-game series winning streak at Progressive Field. It will look to avoid the sweep today behind Justin Masterson, who has won three of his last four decisions.
Masterson is coming off a win at the Royals on Friday, yielding four runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings.
"It was good," the 26-year-old Masterson said of his outing. "We were winning and I still felt fine, but I was a little erratic."
The right-hander improved to 11-8 with a 2.92 ERA on the season but is still in search of his first career win versus the Tigers. He is 0-3 with a 5.00 ERA lifetime against them and gave up two runs over two innings during an Aug. 9 meeting before having his outing cut short due to a rain delay.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Rick Porcello was solid on the hill and the Tigers scored five two-out runs in the first inning and never looked back, furthering their stranglehold on the AL Central with a 10-1 drubbing of the Indians.
The Tigers, winners of five straight, hold an 8 1/2-game lead over Cleveland and can complete a demoralizing three-game sweep with 21-game winner Justin Verlander on the bump Wednesday afternoon.
Porcello (13-8), who didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in two outings against Cleveland in August, was Verlander-like on Tuesday, giving up just one run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Miguel Cabrera had three of Detroit’s 15 hits while scoring twice and knocking in a run. Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in the blowout.
Fausto Carmona (6-14) had his shortest outing of the season at the most inopportune time, getting rocked for seven runs on eight hits while recording just four outs.
Carmona actually retired the first two hitters he faced before Delmon Young worked a five-pitch walk. Cabrera then singled, and a balk put two runners in scoring position.
The floodgates opened from there, starting with Martinez hitting a comebacker through Carmona’s legs and into center field to bring in a pair. The next four batters recorded base hits, with Jhonny Peralta, Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago each driving in a run.
Detroit tacked on three more in the second, with Andy Dirks doubling and scoring on Cabrera’s one-hopper to the wall in right-center, which ended Carmona’s night. Chad Durbin was hardly a relief for Cleveland, walking a pair to load the bases and uncorking a wild pitch that scored Cabrera.
Peralta’s sacrifice fly made it 8-0.
The support was more than enough for Porcello, who had retired 13 straight before Kosuke Fukudome led off the seventh with a home run for Cleveland’s only offensive highlight.
The visitors tacked on two more in the eighth for good measure, as Austin Jackson crossed the plate on a Cabrera double play prior to Martinez singling in Dirks to cap the outburst.
Detroit has won the last six meetings against its division rival, including three straight at Progressive Field after having lost 12 in a row there…Cabrera has reached base safely in 33 consecutive games…Each Tigers starter had at least one hit…Jason Kipnis, playing his first game since August 12 because of a hamstring strain and oblique soreness, had one of the Indians’ four hits…The Indians will counter Verlander with Justin Masterson on Wednesday.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
Doug Fister is easily becoming the trade deadline’s best acquisition.
The Tigers’ starter whiffed 13 Indians batters in eight solid innings as Detroit beat Cleveland 4-2 in the first game of a critical three-game series.
Fister (7-13) has been instrumental in increasing Detroit’s AL Central Division lead, which now sits at 7 1/2 games over the Indians. MLive’s Chris Iott tweeted that Fister has fanned 37 batters against three walks since joining the Tigers (he later corrected his tweet of 36 strikeouts).
Victor Martinez gave Fister plenty of offense with one swing of the bat in the fourth inning, belting a three-run homer off Ubaldo Jimenez for a 3-0 lead. Jimenez was thought to be the prize of the trade deadline, but has been somewhat average since joining Cleveland.
The Indians cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth on a RBI fielder’s choice groundout by Grady Sizemore. The teams traded runs in the eighth inning, giving Tigers closer Jose Valverde a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth. Valverde pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 41st save in as many tries.