Cleveland 5, Detroit 8 (box)
The Indians unveiled a couple of their promising young players last night. They got mixed early reviews. Cleveland handed the ball to RHP Carlos Carrasco for his major league debut against Detroit, and slotted a new left fielder, Micheal Brantley, in the nine hole of the order.
Brantley had a good night, picking up his first two big league hits. Carrasco, brought in as the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee trade, did not fare nearly so well. The Tigers jumped the young right hander from the start. Curtis Granderson lead off with a double, but was cut down trying to take third. Instead of killing a potential rally, the Tigers didn’t allow that to stop them.
Placido Polanco followed with a home run to left, and Carlos Guillen took the very next pitch over the right field fence for his third homer in the last two games.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a single, then stole second base ahead of a Magglio Ordonez walk. Aubrey Huff brought in Cabrera with an RBI single and two batters later, Gerald Laird drove home Ordonez with a double to left. By the time Carrasco (0-1) escaped his first inning as an Indian, he had allowed four runs on six hits.
The Tigers tacked on two more against Carrasco on a Brandon Inge home run in the third, then added two more off reliever Tomo Ohka in the fourth when Huff hammered a 2-0 fastball deep into right center for a two-run double.
Working with an 8-1 lead, Edwin Jackson may have backed off the throttle a bit. Jackson (11-6) made sure he would get ahead of Indian hitters, laying a slew of fastballs over the dish. Cleveland took advantage to the tune of five hits, three of them doubles, against Jackson in the fifth. The Tribe plated three runs in the inning to cut the lead back to 8-4.
From there, Detroit’s bullpen took care of the rest. Apart from an Andy Marte homer off of Zach Miner, Cleveland couldn’t mount a rally against the combination of Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon, and Fernando Rodney, who earned his 30th save of the season.
- Aubrey Huff– Huff snapped out of a 3 for 30 slump with his two for two night. He added two walks and knocked in three. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
- Edwin Jackson– While his final line doesn’t look great, for four innings he was very good. Jackson hasn’t had many big leads to work with this year, so perhaps he just lost his concentration in the fifth.
- Bobby Seay– With Cleveland threatening to make a game of it, Seay tossed 1.1 innings of perfect relief to get the ball to Lyon withone out in the eighth. The Momentum was definitely with the Indians when Seay entered the game, but they never really threatened after that.
- Fernando Rodney– It wasn’t a clean inning that earned Rodney his 30th save of the year, but it was effective, just as the have been all season. Rodney became just the fourth Tiger ever to record a 30 save season, joining Todd Jones, Willie Hernandez, and John Hiller. I was shocked to not see Mike Henneman on that list.
- Matt LaPorta– the centerpiece of Cleveland’s haul from the CC Sabathia trade showed off his arm a couple of time last night. In the first he threw out Granderson at third base, then later nearly nailed Carlos Guillen at the same bag. Memo to the Tigers: Maybe don’t try to run on this guy.
- Carlos Carrasco– I questioned the Indians when they made the Lee trade, as they got zero of the three prospects the Blue Jays had sought for Roy Halladay. Toronto wanted no part of Carrasco, but Cleveland happily built the trade around him. It’s just one game, but it sure didn’t look like Carrasco was a future number one. Maybe they should have held out for Kyle Drabek.
What’s on tap
Detroit will start Rick Porcello against lefty Aaron Laffey tonight. Porcello (11-8, 4.27) will attempt to become the first Tiger ever to win 12 games before his 21st birthday. Laffey (7-3, 3.40) has been pretty good of late and may be figuring it out. He won all three of his August decisions witha 2.20 ERA for the month. Huff is hitting .333 with five homers against Cleveland this season, but will likely sit against the lefty, in favor of Marcus Thames, who is 1-3 all-time against Laffey.
The White Sox dropped another game at the Metrodome last night to fall seven full games off the pace. Barring an unthinkable surge, they are done. The Twins stayed just 3.5 games back of Detroit. Minnesota will attempt to continue their recent hot streak this afternoon against Chicago. The Twins have won 11 of the past 14 games. Brian Duensing goes for the Twins, opposing Mark Buerhle, who hasn’t been very good since his perfecto in July.