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Tigers 6, Indians 0: Alfredo Simon's strong start backed by 2 home runs

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The defense wasn't too shabby, either.

Leon Halip/Getty Images

DETROIT -- Baseball is weird. Alfredo Simon took a no-hitter into the sixth, the offense blasted two home runs and a triple, while the defense put a show on the field behind the pitching staff. In the end, the Detroit Tigers won 6-0 over the Cleveland Indians, snapping a three-game losing skid and shutting out an opponent for the first time since Aug. 26.

Yes. Simon really had a no-hitter going. Through 5 2/3 innings he did not allow an Indians batter reach base via a hit, though there were three walks and he had a lot of defensive help keeping the no-hitter going. Rajai Davis saved Simon's hide on more than one occasion with sparkling defensive plays, as well as Miguel Cabrera's usual cat-like reflexes. He kept it going until a two-out double by Michael Brantley broke up the no-hitter, with Simon at 92 pitches. He then walked Carlos Santana to put two aboard, though he got a broken-bat popout to end the threat.

Simon made it through seven strong innings, ending his night on a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play. Alex Wilson took over for him in the eighth, allowing a leadoff single that reached second on a fielder's choice that Ian Kinsler couldn't corral. An error resulted and it looked like trouble, until Cabrera snagged a line shot out of the air and fired it to second to double off the Indians and end the threat.

Thankfully, the offense showed up this time. The Tigers got started with three straight singles in the second to score a run via James McCann's bat. In the third, a monster home run by J.D. Martinez added to the Detroit lead. But it didn't become a comfortable game until the fourth, when the Tigers sent seven men to the plate and scored three runs. That was started with a solo homer by one Tyler Collins, followed by a single and then an RBI triple by Davis.

Four Tigers players finished with multiple hits, and J.D. Martinez finished with two RBI. Victor Martinez also got his first two-hit night since mid-August, while Cabrera and Andrew Romine were the only two players to go hitless against the Indians. Considering the games of late have either been a snoozefest or lopsided loses because of awful pitching, Saturday was a breath of fresh air.

ROARS:

Alfredo Simon: Finally, a solid start again from Simon. He put up seven solid frames and no-hit the Indians through 5 2/3 innings. He walked four batters but worked around it, and with an excellent defense behind him kept the Tribe off the board.

J.D. Martinez: Woke his bat up with a two-run moonshot to the right field seats in the third innings, putting the Tigers up 3-0 at the time to snap a seven-game homerless drought.

Tyler Collins: Destroyed a pitch in the fourth, hitting a solo shot to put the team up 4-0 at the time.

Rajai Davis: He did everything you could ask for. On top of a highlight reel diving catch to end the top of the fourth and save Simon's developing no-hitter, Davis also smoked an RBI triple.

Miguel Cabrera's glove: Sure he didn't get a hit, but he walked and scored a run. Then there's his glove, which, well, it was a thing of beauty.

HISSES:

NONE. BANNED.

STREAKS AND STATS:

  • J.D. Martinez blasted a home run in the third inning, his first since Aug. 26 and his 35th homer of the season. It's his first two-RBI night since that same night and first RBIs since being moved to the cleanup spot.
  • Entering Saturday night's game, J.D. Martinez had been 1-for-10 with a walk and seven strikeouts vs. Danny Salazar until the two-run shot.
  • James McCann got two hits in the game, his first two-hit night since getting a pair (including a homer) on Aug. 25.
  • Rajai Davis' RBI triple was his first triple since July 30.
  • Victor Martinez had two hits in the game, making it his first multi-hit game since Aug. 20.
  • The Tigers shut out an opponent for the 11th time on Saturday night, and the first time since Aug. 26 vs. the Angels. Also known as Verlander's one-hit shutout that was nearly a no-hitter. So, not that long ago, but still not often enough.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs