The Cleveland Indians starting pitchers have performed well over the past two weeks by following a simple prescription for success. Pound the lower part of the strike zone and get ahead in the count, expand the strike zone, and get hitters to chase late. Corey Kluber was unable to execute the plan and as a result gave up 8 runs as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Cleveland Indians 10-4. The victory improves the Tigers record to 20-13 on the season and the Indians fall to 18-15.
Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.64 ERA) took the loss and was ineffective in his 4.2 innings of work allowing 8R/ER on 11 hits while striking out 4 and walking 2. With Kluber’s early exit from the game the bullpen had an opportunity to get some work in. Byran Shaw worked 0.2 innings, Nick Hagadone worked 0.2 innings, Rich Hill worked an inning and gave up 1R/1ER, and Matt Albers worked 1 inning allowing 1R/ER.
Max Scherzer got the win (5-0, 3.61) and continued his impressive start of the 2013 season holding the Indians powerful offense to 4R/ER on 5 hits striking out 7 without issuing a walk. Joaquin Benoit worked a scoreless 9th.
The Tigers came back and took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Victor Martinez drew a leadoff walk and moved to 3rd base on a Johnny Peralta double and both came home to score on an Alex Avila double to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Omar Infante followed with a bloop double that glanced off Jason Kipnis‘ glove (scored a double) that advanced Avila to 3rd base. Austin Jackson followed with a line out to Lonnie Chisenhall for the second out and brought Torri Hunter to the plate for a very odd play.
Hunter lined a single to Drew Stubbs driving in Avila from 3rd for the Tigers 3rd run but Stubbs’ throw home was cut off by 1b Mark Reynolds who was able to tag the surprised Hunter out before Omar Infante crossed home plate ending the inning with the Tigers holding the 3-1 lead.
After the inning replay showed that Hunter never touched first base; therefore, he never reached first safely and the Tigers 3rd run should not have counted.
The Tigers extended their lead to 4-1 after Prince Fielder crushed a solo homer in the bottom of the 3rd.
The Tigers extended their lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the 4th on a key 2-out 3-run home run off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
After Kluber retired the first two hitters in the top of the 5th Johnny Peralta hit a ground rule double and Alex Avila singled knocking Kluber out of the game in favor of Bryan Shaw. Infante greeted Shaw with an RBI single which gave the Tigers an 8-2 lead.
To their credit the Indians hitters did not lay down or waste plate appearances trying to hit every ball out of the park. Nick Swisher singled to lead off the top half of the 7th and advanced to 3rd on a a double by Carlos Santana. Swisher came in to score on a RBI ground out by Mark Reynolds that also moved Santana to 3rd and he scored on a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly to draw the Indians to 8-4.
Matt Albers came in to work the ninth and gave up an unearned run. Austin Jackson opened the inning with a ground ball that Lonnie Chisenhall was unable to handle. He advanced to second on a groundout by Torri Hunter and came in to score on a 2-out single by Victor Martinez.
Nick Swisher collected 3 hits and was a home run short of a cycle.
The Indians defense did not help its struggling pitcher. A lack of communication between Michael Bourn, Drew Stubbs, and Jason Kipnis allowed a ball to fall for a double. Mark Reynolds was tricked by a broken bat allowing a soft liner to get by him. And Lonnie Chisenhall booted a ground ball in the 9th. All 3 miscues led to Tiger runs.
Cory Kluber. Giving up 8$/ER is ugly enough but their has to be concerns as to whether or not he is tipping his pitches as the Tigers were on top of every one of his mistakes and weren’t even offering at his fastball.