May 24, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Indians defeated the Orioles 9-0. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Tigers Pounce on Indians to Take Series Opener

The Detroit Tigers took the opening game of a three-game, weekend series at Progressive Field on Friday night, defeating Corey Kluber and the Tribe 6-4. The Tigers were powered by former Indian Victor Martinez, who opened the scoring with a two-run home run off of Kluber in the top of the fourth, scoring Miguel Cabrera. The Indians didn’t have any luck against Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello, who held the Tribe scoreless over six innings, scattering six hits while improving to 9-4 on the season. J.D. Martinez continued the Tigers feast when he hit a three-run bomb off of John Axford in the top of the eighth. Martinez has a 10-game hitting streak, in which he has hit .447 with four home runs. The Indians made a valiant effort at a comeback by scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth, led by a three-run homer by Asdrubal Cabrera and solo shot by Carlos Santana, both coming off of Ian Krol. An RBI double by Ian Kinsler in the top of the ninth put the game at 6-4, which was the final after Joe Nathan shut down Cleveland to end the game.

The Positives

Carlos Carrasco struck out two more batters in his 2/3 of an inning on Friday night. He has a 0.93 ERA and 0.72 WHIP over his 9.2 innings in June, posting a 13:1 K:BB. He should see more high leverage situations considering John Axford’s recent struggles. Axford has walked five while allowing three runs over his last three appearances, covering 2.1 innings.

Even with Friday’s win, the Tigers are just 2-4 against the Indians this season. They face Justin Verlander on Saturday night. Verlander is 2-5 with a 7.83 ERA over his last seven starts.

Corey Kluber continued his strong season, allowing just two runs in seven innings. His ERA stands at 3.30 and he has a strong 114:27 K:BB in 103.2 innings this season. Kluber is averaging 6.48 innings per start over his 16 games this season. Is it too late to lock him up cheaply?

Vinnie Pestano pitched a scoreless 1/3 of an inning in his return to Cleveland. I’m pretty sure everyone in Cleveland is hoping that he has put himself back on the right track. It would be an incredible addition to have an effective Pestano in the bullpen mix.

Jun 15, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) at bat against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Negatives

It is always nice to see Victor Martinez in Cleveland, but not in another uniform. The former member of the Tribe has a career .366/.433/.602 line over 224 plate appearances in his career against Cleveland, smashing eight homers and driving in 44 runs in 52 games.

David Murphy went 0-for-4 on Friday night. He’s now just 1-for-28 over his last eight games (.036/.129/.036). The Indians need him to get back on track, especially with…

Nick Swisher struggles. He went 0-for-4 after hitting his walk-off grand slam on Thursday afternoon. Swisher has three hits in his 30 plate appearances since coming off of the disabled list, two of them game-winning bombs. The home runs are certainly timely, but the 12 strikeouts in 29 official at-bats are leaving a lot to be desired.

Check It Out

– Asdrubal Cabrera continues hitting. Since May 7, the Indians shortstop is hitting .287/.343/.500 with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 37 games and 166 plate appearances. The Indians are 22-15 during that stretch.

– Carlos Santana is hitting .333/.458/.625 with four home runs, 11 RBI, and a 12:10 K:BB in 59 plate appearances since returning from the disabled list due to a concussion.

– Saturday is the big day for the Omar Vizquel Indians’ Hall of Fame induction. Check out all of Vizquel information this weekend on Wahoo’s on First as the Indians celebrate their former All-Star, Gold Glove shortstop.

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Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber Game Recap

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