Michael Fulmer started out strong, striking out old friend, Rajai Davis, but Kipnis and Lindor each followed with singles. Michael Brantley singled as well, giving the Indians the lead, 1-0. Mike Napoli came to the plate and hit a three-run home run, 4-0, Indians. The most troubling thing about recurring nightmares is how they recur. Carlos Santana hit a double. Fulmer walked Juan Uribe and Gene Lamont called the bullpen. Buck Farmer began warming up. Fulmer, however, struck out Lonnie Chisenhall and Chris Gimenez, striking out the side in the least inspiring manner possible. To make matters worse, Trevor Bauer grumpily dominated an over-matched bottom of the Tigers order.
Fortunately, Fulmer bounced back with a one-two-three second inning, picking up two more strikeouts. Things settled down for a few innings until the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second, that man, Nick Castellanos hit back with a three-run home run. Saltalamacchia struck out and Aviles grounded out, but the Tigers were back in the game, 4-3, Indians. Unfortunately, in the bottom half of the inning, Gimenez took Fulmer deep to dead center, 5-3, Indians.
Michael Brantley remains a thorn in the Tigers' side. With Upton on second, Castellanos hit another ball deep into left field, and Brantley made an excellent diving catch. Drew VerHagen came on in relief for Fulmer and despite a pair of hits, left the inning unscathed. Zach McAllister retired the Tigers in oder in the top of the seventh. VerHagen responded with a one-two-three bottom of the seventh. Shaw mowed down the Tigers in the eighth.
Alex Wilson came on in the eighth, an error and a single put him in hot water. Wilson walked Gimenez to load the bases. The Tigers pulled in their infielders and Rajai Davis shot a single through the middle, making it 7-3, Indians, effectively ending the game. Blaine Hardy induced a clear double play ball, and Mike Aviles simply dropped the feed from Kinsler, re-loading the bases with none out. Playing Romine and Aviles out of position in prime defensive spots did not work out well tonight. Brantley hit a double with two outs, making it 9-3, Indians. In a sporting move by the Indians, they brought Joba Chamberlain on to finish things. Castellanos hit a double and scored on a Saltalamacchia single against the shift. Aviles unceremoniously struck out. Goodbye, Cleveland.
Nick Castellanos: The Tigers third baseman remains hot, accounting for half of the team's hits.
VerHagen: Two scoreless innings kept the Tigers in the game.
Michael Fulmer: There were some things to like in his start -- the slider looks good, the six strikeouts were nice, but five innings, ten hits, two walks, and five earned runs just isn't good enough. The command was noticeably lacking.
7-9 Hitters: Saltalamacchia, Aviles, and Romine combined for an anemic 1-11 with seven of the Tigers' eight strikeouts. Their defense wasn't redeeming this trio either.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Castellanos extending his hitting streak to eight games, Upton extended his streak to seven games.
- The Tigers dropped their third straight, falling to 14-13 on the season. Six of those losses are to Cleveland.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: