Isaac Paredes hit a grand slam — the first home run of his MLB career! — to help erase an early 5-0 deficit, and the Detroit Tigers padded their lead late to take a 10-5 decision over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Friday evening. Rony Garcia, who worked 1 1⁄3 innings as part of six scoreless frames from the Tigers bullpen, picked up the first win of his career.
The Indians have enjoyed plenty of success against Fulmer throughout his career, and this game was no exception. He only walked one batter, but Fulmer battled his command throughout this start, and those struggles led directly to the early runs in the second. Fulmer hit Carlos Santana with a pitch to open the frame, then walked Reyes on four consecutive pitches before Tyler Naquin was able to thread a double through the infield to score Cleveland’s first run. A groundout to short brought a second run home, and the Tribe added a third when Delino Deshields’ bouncer back to the mound with two outs eluded Fulmer, allowing the runner to scoot home. Franmil Reyes added a long home run in the third to make it 5-0 before Fulmer could record nine outs.
But things changed quickly after that. Miguel Cabrera walked with one out in the fourth, and Jonathan Schoop brought him home with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Cleveland starter Adam Plutko faced five more batters after Schoop, but did not retire a single one. A hit-by-pitch, single, and walk loaded the bases for Austin Romine, who kept the line moving with a single to right. Paredes followed with the big blow, a grand slam to left that put the Tigers in front, 7-5.
The game became a battle of the bullpens from there, and the Tigers won decisively. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire used five different relievers to cover the final six innings, and the quintet combined to allow just five hits and two walks. Rony Garcia picked up the win, but Jose Cisnero had the strongest outing, with three strikeouts in 1 2⁄3 innings. Gregory Soto got back on track with a strong seventh, and picked up two strikeouts of his own.
The Tigers offense helped their own cause in the later innings, padding the lead with three insurance runs. Victor Reyes led off the seventh with a missile to right-center, which put his club up 8-5.
The Tigers added three more hits in the inning, the final of which was a two-run single from Jeimer Candelario to put the Tigers up by five runs. That would be more than enough cushion for the Tigers ‘pen, who recorded the final nine outs in relatively short order to close out the win.
Now, for the
sad fun facts:
- As we all know, this win snapped a nine-game Tigers losing streak. A helpful FanPost from earlier this week pointed out that the Tigers had a 32.8 percent chance of making the playoffs at the start of that streak. Now, they are down to 5.9 percent.
- This win was the Tigers’ first against Cleveland since April 10, 2019. They had lost 20 consecutive games to the Tribe, including their first three of the 2020 season.
- This one from Jason Beck is a little misleading — Fulmer didn’t pitch in 2019, and we’re talking about a streak that that extended all of three at-bats — but it still doesn’t look pretty.
Francisco Lindor was 8-for-20 with 3 HR off Michael Fulmer, including a double and a HR last Sunday in Detroit. He gets first-pitch ground-ball DP to end first inning, erasing leadoff single and saving pitch count. It's his first out vs. Lindor since June 8, 2018.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) August 21, 2020
But hey, a win is a win. Now go out and rough up the rookie on Saturday, Tigers.