The Detroi Tigers salvaged their weekend series by winning in a blowout 8-1 score over the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers have won seven of nine games against the Indians so far this season and are now three games over .500 at 33-30.
Corey Kluber started out shaky, allowing a walk and a stolen base to Anthony Gose and an RBI single to Ian Kinsler in the first inning. Then, Miguel Cabrera hit a rocket in leftfield but Michael Brantley made an impressive catch, one of the few times the Indians were able to keep Miggy off the bases in this series. The inning ended with a "strike 'em out/throw 'em out" double play by Yoenis Cespedes and Kinsler.
Meanwhile, Alfredo Simon has been typical Alfredo Simon. The leadoff hitter reached base in three of the first five innings for the Indians, but Simon was able to pitch around them allowing zero runs to score and striking out five. Cabrera made a great defensive play in the fourth inning, taking a double away from Brantley. But then he made a throwing error that caused Jose Iglesias to somersault and hold his ankle in pain. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand started to come out but Iglesias quickly waved him off and was able to stay in the game.
Cabrera then continued his assault against Indians pitching by homering in the bottom of the fourth, scoring the Tigers second run. In the fifth inning, the Tigers threatened again with a bunt single by Bryan Holaday and another single by Iglesias. Gose then ended the inning with a strikeout.
Then the rain came and ended Simon's day.
The Tigers scored again in the sixth inning against reliever Scott Atchison on J.D. Martinez's three-run home run after a Kinsler walk and Cabrera single to make the score 5-0. They also tacked on insurance runs in the eighth inning against Ryan Webb with three straight singles by Cabrera, Cespedes and Martinez. Tyler Collins got an RBI on a fielder's choice and Holaday added two more runs with a double to make it 8-0.
In the meantime, the bullpen came through. Blaine Hardy retired six of the seven batters he faced and Alex Wilson pitched a scoreless eighth inning. However, there was a hiccup in the 9th when Joakim Soria failed to finish it, surrendering three hits, including a home run to Brandon Moss and a single to Francisco Lindor, his first major league hit. Tom Gorzelanny finished it by getting Mike Aviles to fly out.
Alfredo Simon: Simon went five innings, surrendering three hits, no runs, one walk and five strikeouts. His season ERA is down to 2.58.
Miguel Cabrera: 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored.
J.D. Martinez: 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI.
Bryan Holaday: 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Bullpen (minus Soria): Blaine Hardy, Alex Wilson and Tom Gorzelanny combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Andrew Romine: 0-for-4 and the only Tigers hitter not to reach base.
Joakim Soria: Failed to finish the game in a non-save situation, going 2/3 of an inning and giving up three hits including a home run.
STREAKS AND STATS:
The rain delay lasted one hour and 51 minutes.
Miguel Cabrera homered for the second time in this series, this one traveling 454 feet with an exit velocity of 109 miles per hour. Speaking of Cabrera's numbers against the Indians...
In 139 career games against the #Indians, Miguel Cabrera has batted .361 with 32 doubles, 40 home runs and 127 RBIs. Think about that. Nuts.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) June 14, 2015
That was before the rain delay. That batting average is now up to .647.
After five scoreless innings and five strikeouts today, Simon now has a 1.58 ERA and a K/9 of 7.2 at home.
J.D. Martinez homered for the second straight game and has reached base in 8 of his last 9 games.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: