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Tigers 9, Indians 5: Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez power Detroit to win

Three hit by pitches awakened a sleeping Tigers offense

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images

Trevor Bauer learned an important lesson on Sunday. Don’t hit a Tiger. They get mad. Bauer hit three batters in his first three innings on the mound, and the Tigers offense exploded to beat the Indians 9-5 on Sunday, staving off a series sweep.

Bauer hit Miguel Cabrera on the hand in the first inning, then Ian Kinsler in the head in the head (he stayed in) and Victor Martinez on the knee in the third. That last HBP scored a run, and helped set up a three-run inning that put the Tigers in the lead after they faced an early two-run deficit.

The big knocks, however, came off the bats of Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez. Upton hit a 450-foot bomb to center field in the fifth inning for a 5-2 lead at the time. Martinez’s went to center as well, a 418-foot, three-run shot that put the Tigers up 9-5.

The top of the order for the most part did its job. Cameron Maybin reached base safely four times on two hits and two walks, with Miguel Cabrera reaching on two walks, an HBP and his 2,500th career hit, which came in the third inning. J.D. Martinez had three hits as well, and Upton added a walk to his homer.

Daniel Norris managed just five innings on the mound and allowed four runs, but he wasn’t helped much by his defense and just one was earned. He struck out six and walked one while allowing five hits.

The Tigers bullpen gave up a run — Alex Wilson allowing a homer — but got a five-out performance from Shane Greene and four-out save from Francisco Rodriguez to hold on for the win.

Scoreboard watching

The Orioles won to move into the first wild card spot, while the Blue Jays lost. Detroit is now tied with Seattle two games behind the second wild card.


Justin Upton — Hit a 450-foot bomb of a home run to center field to put the Tigers up 5-2 at the time.

Cameron Maybin — Maybin reached base four times, twice by walk, twice by hits.

Daniel Norris — This isn’t entirely for his pitching performance — and it’s worth noting his defense didn’t have his back — but he quickly responded to all the hit Tigers by throwing it behind the back of Rajai Davis. Gotta like that.

Shane Greene — Roars all over the place today. 5 outs in the seventh and eighth innings really helped the Tigers in a tight game.

J.D. Martinez -- Three hits, including a three-run home run in the ninth inning to put the Tigers up 9-5.


Trevor Bauer — We don’t normally hiss the opposing team, but Bauer hit Ian Kinsler on the helmet, Miguel Cabrera on the hand and Victor Martinez on the knee. Sure, they were accidents but that’s three near-injuries too many.

Victor Martinez — 0-for-4 (0-3 with RISP), a GIDP, six stranded. Just gonna leave this righhhhht here.

Stats and stuff

  • Miguel Cabrera recored the 2,500th hit of his career in the third inning.
  • Justin Upton hit his 25th home run of the season.
  • J.D. Martinez hit his 21st home run of the season.
  • All three Tigers who were hit by pitches stayed in the game, but Ian Kinsler was later ejected by home plate umpire Jordan Baker in the fifth inning. However, ...

Win Probability Chart

Source: FanGraphs