Anibal Sanchez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning while Justin Masterson got knocked out of the game in the fifth Saturday evening as the Tigers beat the Indians, 5-3, in the second game of a four-game set at Progressive Field.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the board. In the first inning, Masterson allowed a pair of walks to put two on with two outs for Brennan Boesch, who reached on a Lonnie Chisenhall error to score Andy Dirks and put Detroit on the board. Alex Avila followed up with an RBI single as the Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Indians even got to bat.
The next few frames went by quietly, but Detroit struck again in the middle innings. Back-to-back singles from Quentin Berry and Omar Infante to the lead off the fourth innings put runners at the corners for Austin Jackson, who hit a sacrifice fly that brought Berry home. Then, in the fifth, Masterson walked Boesch to set up an Alex Avila one-out RBI double as the Tigers opened up a 4-0 lead. Miguel Cabrera‘s leadoff home run off Tony Sipp in the top of the seventh made it a 5-0 game.
Meanwhile, the Indians remained hitless until two outs through the seventh, when Carlos Santana broke through with a triple. Russ Canzler promptly doubled in Santana to put the Tribe on the board, and Lonnie Chisenhall’s RBI single put Cleveland within three runs of Detroit. Asdrubal Cabrera‘s RBI single off Joaquin Benoit in the bottom of the eighth brought the Indians to within two, but Jose Valverde kept Cleveland’s bats quiet in the ninth as the Tigers cruised to a 5-3 win.
The Good: Cody Allen had an incredible outing, recording five strikeouts in 1.2 perfect innings of relief. Yes, that means what you think it means—he struck out each of the five batters he faced. And the fifth of those batters was Miguel Cabrera.
Justin Masterson also pitched better than you might think from the box score, holding the Tigers to two earned runs (the first inning runs were unearned) on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched. His four walks allowed were pretty high, but he also got eight strikeouts.
The Bad: The Indians were no-hit for more than six innings. That’s rough any way you slice it.
The “Huh?”: Cody Allen’s FIP for the game was -2.90. That’s not a typo—negative 2.90. Linear estimators like the DIPS stats often break down at the extreme ends and obviously they’re meant to be taken with a grain of salt in a one-game sample size, but that’s just insane.
Interesting Tidbit: Cody Allen got more strikeouts Saturday (5) than he had in the previous two weeks (1).