Tribe powers their way to 20th straight win over Tigers 8-5
BY TIM SHIRER
The Cleveland Indians entered Sunday’s series finale in Detroit against the Tigers one game behind the first place Minnesota Twins in second place in the American League Central Division. The Indians started play on Friday in fourth place in the division and have taken the first two games of the series to run their current win streak over the Tigers to 19 games. The Indians added one more to the streak making it an even 20 with an 8-5 win and sweep of the weekend series in Motown.
The Indians got on the board first in the second inning off Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer when Franmil Reyes blasted a high fast ball into the right center field stands to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. The Indians put three more runners on base in the inning but failed to get anymore runs as Domingo Santana grounded into a double play after a Tyler Naquin single and after Sandy Leon drew a base on balls and Delino DeShields got a single to celebrate his 28th birthday Cesar Hernandez struck out to end the Tribe threat.
The Tribe added to their lead with two more runs in the top of the third inning when Jose Ramirez led off the inning by drawing a base on balls. Francisco Lindor followed Ramirez by belting his fourth home run of the season into the right field seats giving the Indians a 3-0 lead. Fulmer then struck out Carlos Santana and got Reyes to ground out, but apparently reached his pitch limit at 58 and was taken out of the game and relieved by lefty Tyler Alexander.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the third inning when Adam Plutko who made the start for the Indians allowed a lead off double to lead off the inning to Grayson Greiner. After getting Jacoby Jones to line out to Ramirez at third base Nico Goodrum singled to center field and Greiner scored the Tigers first run. Harold Castro then doubled to left field when Tribe left fielder Domingo Santana fell. With runners at second and third. Career Indians killer Miguel Cabrera then singled to center field and both runners scored tying the game at 3-3. The drama in the inning was not over. After Jonathan Schoop popped out to Cesar Hernandez Jeimer Candelario then lined a ball to right field to the fence. It appeared at first glance that Candelario had a triple and Cabrera scored all the way from first. First base umpire ruled that the ball was logged under the right field fence and ruled the play a ground rule double. Cabrera had to return to third base and the game remained tied. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected arguing the call and that gave Indians manager Terry Francona the chance to make a pitching change removing Plutko from the contest and bringing in Phil Maton. Maton was able to get Christian Stewart to fly out to left field to end the threat and the game remained tied 3-3.
The outing was Plutko’s shortest start of 2020 as he went only two and two thirds innings allowing three runs all earned on six hits while striking out one.
The Indians regained the lead 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning with one out when Ramirez belted his fifth home run of the season on a bullet over the left field fence.
The Tigers came right back in the bottom of the fifth when Dominic Leone and his 4.13 ERA in four and one third innings out of the bullpen this year entered the game. Leone immediately gave up a single Harold Castro. Castro then moved to second base when Leone uncorked a wild pitch. Castro then scored when Cabrera drove in his third RBI of the game with a single to center field. Leone then issued a base on balls to Schoop to put men on first and second, Leone’s short day was done. Francona replaced him with Oliver Perez. Perez gave up a single to center field to the first batter he faced Candelario, but Cabrera attempting to score through the stop sign of the Tiger’s third base coach was thrown out at home plate. Perez then forced Cameron Maybin to ground into a double play to end the threat and keep the scored tied at 4-4.
The Indians offense came right back in the top of the sixth inning when Indians catcher Sandy Leon, not know for his offense smacked a solo home run over the right field fence off Tigers reliever John Schreiber. DeShields then came to the plate and executed, surprising the Tigers with a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Hernandez then came to the plate and doubled to center field moving DeShields to third base. Ramirez followed and grounded out to second base and DeShields trotted home with the Indians sixth run. At that point, the Tigers had seen enough and replaced Schreiber with Gregory Soto. Lindor greeted Soto rudely by doubling down the left field line driving home Hernandez to extend the Indians lead to three at 7-4.
Reyes continued his power surge to lead off the seventh inning with a mammoth 453-foot blast over the center field fence to give the Indians an 8-4 lead. The home run was Reyes’ second of the game and fifth of the season.
Nick Wittgren started the ninth inning for Indians and did not look sharp as he allowed a double to Jacoby Jones to lead off the inning. Jones then came home when Victor Reyes singled to left field to pull the Tigers to within three runs at 8-5. But that was all the Tigers could manage.
Perez picked up the win for the Indians and improves to 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. Schreiber took the loss for the Tigers and falls to 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Some concerning news at the end of the game when Franmil Reyes was hit in the hand by a Joe Jimenez pitch. But Reyes did appear to be alright after he was removed from the game as he was smiling in the Indians dugout.
The Indians will be off on Monday and travel to Pittsburgh for a scheduled three game series with the Pirates beginning on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at PNC Park. The series is somewhat up in the air due to the fact the Pirates series with Reds was cancelled due to a Reds player testing positive for COVID-19. The Indians are scheduled to send Carlos Carrasco to the mound. Carrasco is 2-2 with a 3.22 ERA. The Pirates have not yet announced their rotation for the series.
POSTED 08/16/2020 16:44