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Indians 7, Tigers 4: Jordan Zimmermann’s not back, yet

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Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

DETROIT — Jordan Zimmermann got lit up and the offense couldn’t dig out of an early hole. The bullpen didn’t allow a run but it didn’t matter, and the Detroit Tigers lost 7-4 to the Cleveland Indians. They have yet to win a game versus them this year.

What was meant to be a Zimmermann start soon became Mike Pelfrey’s game when the former couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning -- and he did surprisingly well. In fact, Pelfrey gave up just three hits in 4 1/3 innings, all on weak contact. He had easy outs and by the end of the eighth had thrown just 48 pitches, 33 for strikes.

As for Zimmermann, he was a train wreck after two innings. He may not have given up a home run, but his seven runs on nine hits were due to a total lack of command, and he was clearly gassed early on. After four triples in the fourth, he was yanked in favor of Pelfrey, but the hole had already been dug.

The Tigers were able to get three runs back in the fifth, but their other scoring chances were snuffed out. They had a two-on opportunity but former Tiger Rajai Davis made one heck of a catch in right, and because the offense didn’t tag up on the catch, they lined into an 8-4-2-3 game-ending double play.

ROARS:

Mike Pelfrey: Stop laughing. He pitched well and kept the Indians off the board when Zimmermann couldn’t.

Mark Lowe: For the first time in over a month, Lowe had a scoreless inning in which he didn’t give up a baserunner via a walk or a hit batter.

1-2 batters: Combined, Ian Kinsler and Cameron Maybin were 5-for-8 with three RBI and two walks.

HISSES:

Jordan Zimmermann: Two runs in the third and a five-spot in the fourth. He didn’t make it out of the latter frame and gave up four triples in the fourth.

Tigers offense: Had seven hits and a couple of chances to capitalize on the Indians’ pitching mistakes. Instead, they could only score three runs in the fifth against Cleveland starter Danny Salazar.

STATS AND INFO:
  • The last time Zimmermann gave up seven-or-more runs and lasted fewer than four innings was on April 13, 2015. It was just the fourth time in his career with those parameters.
  • It was the eighth time in Zimmermann's career he's given up seven runs in a start. Three have occurred this year: May 16, June 8, and tonight.
  • Zimmermann gave up four triples in the fourth inning. It was the first time in his career that he gave up that many in a start, let along the same frame.
  • Pelfrey’s 4 1/3 innings of relief marked the first time this season he has appeared in a game and not given up one run. His three hits were also the fewest allowed this year, too.
  • James McCann finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs