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Penny pounded, Indians offense comes alive in 6-4 Tigers loss

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Final - 6.15.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland Indians 0 0 0 4 1 0 1 0 0 6 13 1
Detroit Tigers 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 1
WP: Fausto Carmona (4 - 8)
SV: Chris Perez (17)
LP: Charlie Furbush (1 - 1)

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BOX

KEY STAT

6 through 9 in the Indians batting order: 8-13, 2 R, 5 RBI

Why did the Indians win tonight? Tigers pitching couldn't get anyone out at the bottom of the Tribe's order. You have to get light hitting (none of them are hitting better than .251) bats out too if you plan on winning games.

KEY PLAY

Orlando Cabrera's 5th inning, two out double off of Charlie Furbush, a liner landing just inside the left field line, allowing Shin-Soo Choo to score what turned out to be the game winning run.

Cabrera has the Tigers' number. He broke up Justin Verlander's no-hitter last night, and pounded Tigers' pitching to the tune of 3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI tonight.

KEY THOUGHTS

The Tigers got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st inning, thanks to Brennan Boesch's solo home run, and Alex Avila's bases loaded single, scoring the lumbering Miguel Cabrera and lead footed Victor Martinez. (I believe the Earth moved while they were circling the bases...)

All was well, or so we thought. The Tigers had Tribe starter Fausto Carmona on the ropes...and left him there. Carmona managed to scuffle his way through five full innings, surrendering eight hits and four runs. It wasn't pretty, but enough to beat the Tigers.

Carmona's performance may not have been pretty, but Brad Penny's was just plain ugly. It all fell apart for the Tigers' starter in the 4th, as a 3-0 game quickly became 3-3 when five of the first six batters got on base (The only out was a sacrifice bunt). The usually patient Jim Leyland was quick with the hook, yanking Penny for Furbush.

Furbish allowed his inherited runner to score, giving the Indians the lead. They added runs in the 5th and 7th and just like that, the offensively inept Indians had scored six times, their second biggest scoring outburst in over two weeks.

Leyland was trying to keep the game from spinning out of control, using four different relievers. It didn't, but the Tigers' offense went fallow, killing any chance at a comeback. After Boesch tied the game 4-4 with a ground out in the bottom of the 4th, the Tigers could only generate one hit against the Indians' bullpen over the remainder of the game, a 5th inning Avila single. (Tigers fans, you have to get Avila into the All-Star game! Vote now, vote often!) That's not going to beat many teams, even the offensively challenged Tribe.

With the Tigers' loss, the two teams are back in a virtual tie for 1st in the Central. Indians are at .545 to the Tigers' .544. The Tigers had 1st place tto themselves for all of 24 hours. But it was a sweet 24 hours!

The Tigers can regain sole possession of 1st by winning the series' rubber game tomorrow afternoon. With Max Scherzer on the mound, who pitched like Ace 1B to Verlander's Ace 1A in his last start, I wouldn't bet against it.