Tigers Dampen Indians Playoff Hopes With 7-2 Victory

The Cleveland Indians collapse continued as they were  defeated by the Detroit Tigers by a final score of 5-2 in a rain shortened 7 inning affair. The loss drops the Indians record to 71-63 and now trail the Tigers by 7.5 games in the AL Central.

The Indians drop to 4.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card chase. The season isn’t over but the odds are dwindling toward a playoff spot.

The game was frustrating for the Indians as they failed to make plays in the field and were unable to deliver key hits to draw closer in the late innings.

It all starts with starting pitching and Zach McAllister lacked control and his defense let him down as the Tigers jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and never looked back. On the evening McAllister worked 3.2 innings allowing 5R/ER on 6 hits striking out 3 but walking 4. McAllister took the loss and his record falls to 7-8 with a 3.81 ERA.

The Indians jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning. With runners on the corner Asdrubal Cabrera lined a ball that Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias snared and started the 6-4-3 double play. The run scored but the play seemed to crush the Tribe’s spirit.

It was the inning from hell and it decided the outcome of the game.  The Detroit Tigers offense is tough enough under ideal circumstances but not throwing strikes and giving them additional outs is a recipe for disaster.

With the score tied 1-1 entering the 3rd inning McAllister quickly got ahead in the count 0-2 on number 9 hitter Jose Iglesias before missing with a fastball over the plate. Iglesias lined a double to right field.

Austin Jackson was trying to hit the ball to the right side and advance the base runner. His groundball bounced off the glove of Jason Kipnis to drive in Iglesias and give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

After retiring Torrii Hunter on an infield popup Andy Dirks who had entered the game for an injured Miguel Cabrera singled to advance Jackson to 2nd and Prince Fielder walked to load the bases.

Now the fun part of the inning. Victor Martinez hits a fly ball to center field that Michael Bourn could not find and instead of a sacrifice fly and the second out the ball landed behind Bourn and both Jackson and Dirks came around to score and the Tigers were up 4-1.

Don Kelly was intentionally walked to bring Alex Avila to the plate. He sent a dribbler down the 3rd base line that Lonnie Chisenhall elected to allow to roll in hopes that it went foul but it remained fair. Chisenhall fielded the ball and took the out at 3rd base but Prince Fielder rumbled in to score to put the Tigers up 5-1.

The inning came to an end on a ground out to 2nd off the bat  of Omar Infante but the damage had been done.

Zack McAllister came out to work the 4th inning but after retiring the first two hitters gave up a single to Torii Hunter and walked Andy Dirks. With 2-on and 2-out Terry Francona went to his bullpen and brought Mark Rzepczynski in to face Prince Fielder who was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded for the second time in as many innings for Victor Martinez. Rzepczynski retired Martinez on a groundball to 2b to keep the score at 5-1.

After retiring the first two hitters in the 5th Rzepczynski gave way to Carlos Carrasco. His last 4 appearances have come in relief and he may have found a home posting a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA. In those 4 appearances he had logged 13.2 innings allowing 4R/ER on 12 hits striking out 13 and walking 4. Carrasco retired Omar Infante on a ground ball to 2nd to end the inning.

The Indians put runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1-out but Carlos Santana hit a line drive directly at Austin Jackson for the second out. The frustration was evident as he slammed his helmet back in the dugout.

Michael Brantley walked to load the bases and with the Asdrubal Cabrera due up representing the tying run Jim Leyland went to his bullpen and brought in Al Alburquerque. Cabrera worked the count full before drawing a walk to cut the Tigers lead to 5-2.

If there was ever a question on what the scouting report is saying about Asdrubal Cabrera this graphic should clear it up:

Yan Gomes jumped ahead in the count 2-0 but Alburquerque came back to even the count before getting him to ground out to Don Kelly who stepped on 3rd base to retire the side. The Indians offense still is unable to deliver the key hit at the key time.

Rick Porcello finished the night allowing 2R/ER on 5 hits striking out 3 and walking 2. His effort was good enough to pick up the win to improve to 11-7 with a 4.44 ERA.

If the Indians were going to continue to attack the Tigers bullpen they needed a shutdown inning from Carlos Carrasco. Jose Iglesias began the inning reaching base on a high chopper to Lonnie Chisenhall at 3rd but was erased when Austin Jackson chopped a ball in front of home plate that Yan Gomes fired to second base for the force out. Torii Hunter followed with a groundball to Chisenhall that was turned into a 5-4-3 double play.

After Alburquerque finished the 6th inning the Tigers turned the ball over to Drew Smyly who retired the first two hitters but after giving up a single to Michael Bourn was lifted for Bruce Rondon to turn Nick Swisher around to the left side.

Swisher lined a ball down the opposite way which would have easily scored Bourn from third but the ball bounced into the stands for a ground rule double to keep Bourn at 3rd. Jason Kipnis followed with a ground out to 2nd to end the inning and the score remained 5-2.

Once again Carlos Carrasco delivered a quality relief outing and with lefties Andy Dirks and Prince Fielder due up to begin the 7th Rich Hill was brought in from the bullpen. He gave up a leadoff double to Andy Dirks and retired Prince Fielder on a fly ball to right that moved Dirks to 3rd.

After intentionally walking Victor Martinez Hill struck out Don Kelly to get the important 2nd out of the inning and bring up left handed hitting Alex Avila. With a full count Hill threw a wild pitch that allowed Dirks to race home with the Tigers 6th run. Matt Albers came in to face Omar Infante who delivered an RBI single to put the Tigers up 7-2.

With the Indians due up int the top of the 8th inning the skies opened up and the grounds crew covered the field and we entered a rain delay which eventually led to the game being called.

The Indians and Tigers will match up on Saturday evening at 7:08 p.m. The Tribe will send Scott Kazmir (7-5, 4.25 ERA) to the mound against Anibal Sanchez (11-7, 2.61 ERA).

 


Source: FanGraphs

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Tags: Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Michael Bourn Rick Porcello Victor Martinez Zach McAllister

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