Detroit Tigers blast Cleveland Indians to take series
By Matt Pelc
The Detroit Tigers used the long ball and a good outing from Alfredo Simon to win the weekend series from the Cleveland Indians.
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This contest featured a one hour and 54 minute rain delay and many Tigers’ fans were probably wishing the game would be called after five innings with a 2-0 Detroit lead, but it continued and the team contributed a few more fireworks to cruise to an 8-1 victory on Sunday.
Reining Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber struggled through the first inning and the Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead before any one was out with a Anthony Gose walk and stolen base, and an Ian Kinsler single.
Kluber settled down until the second batter of the fourth inning, Miguel Cabrera, did what Miggy does best–torment the Indians.
On the first pitch, he drove a ball just to the left of his mammoth shot from Friday night. It landed in the shrubs in deep center field, about 450 feet away from home plate. It was just another day at the office for Miggy against the Indians, going 3-for-4, scoring three runs. The only time the Indians recorded an out against Cabrera was when Michael Brantley made an impressive catch against him in the first inning.
The Tigers received yet another solid and impressive performance from starter Alfredo Simon, going five innings allowing just three hits, no runs, striking out five and walking one. His mojo was only stopped by the rain delay, causing him and Kluber’s days to be abbreviated.
When play returned, Scott Atchison took the mound for Cleveland and allowed a Detroit rally in the sixth inning capped off by a J.D. Martinez three-run homer. J.D. Mart is showing strong signs of emerging from a ho-hum season, clubbing a homer for the second consecutive game to make the score 5-0.
The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the eighth inning with the assistance of a Bryan Holaday two-run hit.
Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson pitched nicely in relief for the Tigers, but little used Joakim Soria got into a jam in the ninth inning. Pitching in a blowout/non-save situation to get work for the first time in a week, Soria allowed a solo homer to Brandon Moss to spoil the shutout and singles to Francisco Lindor and Zach Walters.
After a brief consultation at the mound, Brad Ausmus removed Soria in favor of Tom Gorzelanny who hit pinch hitter Ryan Raburn, but got Mike Aviles to fly out to end the game.
It’s another solid series victory against a divisional opponent for the Tigers who will face interleague play over the next four days. The Cincinnati Reds will come to town for two games before the teams head to Cincy for two games there.
The four-game series begins at Comerica Park Monday night at 7:08. Anibal Sanchez will face rookie Jon Moscot.