DETROIT -- Justin Verlander had another solid outing despite a three-spot in the sixth but the offense disappeared yet again. With no help from the bats to counter what was an otherwise stellar start, the Detroit Tigers lost 4-0 to the Cleveland Indians to drop yet another series.
Verlander didn't approach no-hitter alert status, but he toyed with the idea for 4 2/3 innings. Apart from a walk, Verlander hadn't allowed a batter to reach base until a two-out triple by Abraham Almonte that went nowhere. He was sharp and ahead in the count regularly, inducing a multitude of weak contact and popouts. It was in the sixth that things went south.
Back-to-back singles in the sixth nearly didn't even happen. Jason Kipnis had hit a ground ball up the left side of the second base hole that Andrew Romine flipped to Dixon Machado, who fired it to first. Kipnis was called out but the Indians quickly challenged and it was clear on review that he was safe and the Tigers hadn't even gotten the out at second.
With both runners safe, Francisco Lindor came to the plate and squared to bunt twice. Verlander appeared to have Lindor guessing on his pitches and was squaring to bunt. Then, an abrupt and odd mound visit from Ausmus, which Verlander was clearly not happy with. Lindor suddenly changed his approach and smoked a ball down the heart of the plate. Two runs scored and later a weak RBI single. Not at all what Verlander or the Tigers hoped for.
Verlander, though, came back out for the seventh and finished at 107 pitches for the day, needing just 10 to end that frame. He gave up a single and a walk, but a caught stealing retired a batter and a flyout to center retired the Indians. Tom Gorzelanny would come on in relief for the eighth, putting up an easy 1-2-3 outing on just 11 pitches. Neftali Feliz wasn't so lucky, as he gave up two hits and a wild pitch, allowing an RBI single.
And, well, we'd mention the offense here, except it wasn't present on Sunday. In all, Detroit got just three hits including a Victor Martinez double that never scored. So, never mind. Carry on.
Justin Verlander: Gave up only one hit and a walk through five innings. It was in the sixth that he had trouble and gave up three, but overall he had a decent outing.
Victor Martinez: Hasn't had many extra-base hits lately to speak of, and he was the only one to get one on Sunday.
Tigers offense: Had two two-on opportunities with less than two outs and failed to score on both occasions, including a leadoff double from Victor Martinez.
Miguel Cabrera: Slumping for over a week now, Cabrera had another down day at the plate. He finished 0-for-3 with no walks and grounded into an inning-ending double play, stranding two runners.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Victor Martinez's double in the fifth marked his first extra-base hit since Aug. 20 when he finished 2-for-3. That was also the date of his last RBI, which Martinez has yet to do since that date.
- Since his last three-hit day on Aug. 25, Miguel Cabrera is batting .211/.268/.316 with only one double, one home run, three walks, three runs scored, and five RBI.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: