Spencer Turnbull has faced the Cleveland Indians three times this season. The Detroit Tigers have yet to score in any of those games. They were blanked 2-0 by the Tribe this time, their sixth loss in a row to the Indians. Righthander Aaron Civale, making his major league debut, picked up the win for Cleveland.
As we noted in our preview, Turnbull hasn’t been at his best against the Indians this season, and that continued on Saturday. He gave up some loud contact in the first inning, and an RBI triple to Jose Ramirez in the second to put Cleveland on the board. The Indians added another run in the third, when Turnbull gave up a pair of hits and two walks. A wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position with two outs, but Turnbull was able to induce a weak fly out from Ramirez to end the frame.
After a quiet fourth, Turnbull ran into more trouble in the fifth. Third baseman Mike Freeman led off the inning with a single, his second hit of the game off Turnbull, and advanced to second when Turnbull plunked Oscar Mercado with a 94 mph fastball. Turnbull rebounded, though, and struck out Carlos Santana before inducing a Kipnis pop-up to end the frame.
Meanwhile, Civale was mowing down the hapless Tigers lineup. He hardly broke a sweat in his six innings of work, allowing more walks (3) than hits (2). The Tigers only put two runners in scoring position against Civale, and did not advance anyone past second base on the afternoon. Civale threw just 87 pitches in his six innings of work before turning things over to the bullpen.
Detroit’s offense threatened a couple of times in the later innings, including in the ninth against Indians closer Brad Hand, but were not able to capitalize. They finished the day 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, most of those at-bats against Cleveland’s bullpen.
The Tigers only allowed two runs in eight innings, which is normally enough to win a baseball game. Blaine Hardy, Nick Ramirez, and Victor Alcantara deserve a mention for throwing a scoreless inning apiece out of the bullpen.
The Tigers didn’t score and lost.
The Tigers have been shut out eight times this year, the highest total in the American League. Only the Miami Marlins (13) have been blanked more times.