Spencer Turnbull did all he could to position the Detroit Tigers for their first win against Cleveland Indians in their last sixteen games. Sadly, squandered opportunities and mental errors in extra innings would send the game to its inevitable conclusion as the Tribe walked off the Kittens, 2-1 in ten innings.
Spencer Turnbull was effective against a limping Indians offense. He only ran into trouble in the third inning, though he still struck out the side. It was his first non injury shortened start in which he gave up less than two runs since a six inning shutout in Kansas City on June 11th. It also snapped a streak of five straight starts giving up four runs or more. However, he was unable to snap his streak of winless starts, which now stands at sixteen games, thanks to, well what usually happens when the Tigers go to Cleveland.
The Tigers offense once again struggled to show up on the southern shore of Lake Erie, but they didn’t convert some key opportunities early on that could have turned the game. In the first inning, Harold Castro hit a deep flyball that Indian’s center fielder Oscar Mercado misplayed and Castro turned it into a triple. The Tigers could not drive him in as Miguel Cabrera and Christin Stewart would hit infield ground balls to end the threat.
In the third inning, Jake Rogers led off with a double. He would successfully cross home plate after Willi Castro dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third and Victor Reyes popped a flyball into right that scored Rogers on the sacrifice. Sadly this lead would be short lived as the Indians would answer back thanks to three hits and a wild pitch from Spencer Turnbull in the bottom of the third.
In the fourth, Stewart doubled with one out, and with two outs Brandon Dixon drove a soft flyball into left field. But Stewart stumbled a bit rounding third and that cost him as a perfect throw from Greg Allen cut down the would-be Tigers run at the plate. That would be it for the Tigers scoring opportunities, as the only Tiger to reach base through the ninth inning was Miguel Cabrera on a walk.
The starter for the Indians, Aaron Civale, pitched his deepest career start, lasting seven and two thirds of an inning, giving up four hits, one run, one walk, and striking out four.
The Tigers bullpen pitched valiantly as David McKay, Bryan Garcia, and Buck Farmer combined to keep the Indians off the board through the regulation nine innings. Ultimately, it was good old routine fielding that did the Tigers in.
Jose Cisnero came in to pitch the bottom of the tenth and quickly Roberto Perez reached on a routine grounder that Willi Castro bobbled. Then Ryan Flaherty bunted a ball poorly right back to Cisnero, but he literally dropped the ball, ruining his chance to get the lead runner. Cisnero got the second out of the inning on another ground ball off his power sinker, but that moved Bradley Zimmer, pinch running for Perez, to third base. The Tigers used an intentional pass to Carlos Santana to load the bases and put the force in play everywhere. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as Yasiel Puig ripped a walkoff double off the right field wall and the Indians made it 17-1 against the Tigers this season overall.
Per @Sportradar, Spencer Turnbull is first Tigers rookie with back-to-back starts of 8+ K & 1 or fewer BB since Les Cain in 1970.— Austin Drake (@austin_drake) September 19, 2019
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