Despite losing their starting pitcher before the end of the fourth inning, the Detroit Tigers were able to topple the Cleveland Indians yet again, improving their record to 36-34. The Indians drop to 32-37, deepening their hole in the AL Central.
The Tigers took an early lead, scoring a run in each of the first three innings, highlighted by a line drive home run off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes. The Indians would tie the game up in the bottom of the third inning, however, on a walk and three hits.
Kyle Ryan looked good through the first two innings, but quickly got himself into trouble in both the third and fourth. He allowed three runs in the third inning, and his night was ended early after 3 2/3 innings and 60 pitches when a two-out walk loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Blaine Hardy came on to face the left-handed Jason Kipnis, and was able to induce a fly ball and strand Ryan’s runners.
After the first three batters reached base in the Tigers' half of the fourth, Miguel Cabrera worked a base on balls to take a 4-3 lead. But the Tigers weren’t satisfied, as Victor Martinez added two more runs on a sharp single to right field, and Cespedes added number seven with a sacrifice fly.
Hardy would remain in the game and pitch two more perfect innings before giving way to Alex Wilson, who held the score at 7-3. Joba Chamberlain pitched the eighth, allowing a solo home run to David Murphy to set up the save opportunity, but the Tigers tacked on another run in the ninth to stretch their lead to four runs before Joakim Soria shut the door in the ninth, allowing a quiet home run to Roberto Perez.
Yoenis Cespedes: His five trips to plate included an RBI double, a home run, a sacrifice fly, and a hit-by-pitch. Cespedes has been on fire of late.
Ian Kinsler: 2-for-4 with a walk, scoring two runs and driving in another. Good to see from Kinsler, who has been trying to work his way out of a funk.
Miguel Cabrera: It looks like Terry Francona and the Indians may have finally wised up, as Cabrera was issued a pair of walks to go with a single tonight. One of his walks came with the bases loaded, resulting in his 52nd RBI of the season.
Blaine Hardy: It's not often that your starting pitcher can't finish the fourth inning and your team still wins. Hardy relieved Ryan and proceeded to retire seven consecutive batters. An amazing job by an under-appreciated pitcher.
Video reviews that take 4 minutes, 21 seconds: Hey, at least they got the call right.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- With Miguel Cabrera's fourth-inning bases loaded walk, he's now hitting a cool .538/.516/.885 with the bases loaded and no outs over his career.
- Cabrera went 2-for-3 with two walks tonight, now hitting .649/.702/1.108 against the Indians in 2015. On his career, he has hit .365/.438/.647 against the Tribe. He's batting .571 against Corey Kluber with five home runs in 35 at-bats.
- Cespedes picked up three RBI and scored a run. He's now hitting .382/.411/.574 in the month of June. Cabrera is hitting .397/.500/.635 this month, and J.D. Martinez is hitting .282/.320/.620.
- With his first-inning double, Cespedes has now hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games.
- With an intentional walk in the first inning, J.D. Martinez extended his on-base streak to 16 games.
- Alex Wilson added another scoreless inning to his resume, bringing his ERA down to a cool 1.75.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: