The Indians dodged trouble all night long, but their luck finally ran out in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Tigers in the second game of the series. Carlos Carrasco pitched admirably, giving up just one run and striking out ten in 5 2/3 innings, although he allowed ten hits and a walk during that span. Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and three walks as the Tribe scored two runs. He also struck out ten, but was in line for the loss until the ninth inning, when Cody Allen blew his second straight save opportunity.
Bottom of the 1st, tied 0-0
With two out, Michael Brantley singled to right field to give the Tribe their first base runner of the night. Carlos Santana immediately followed with a two-run blast to right field, putting the Tribe up 2-0 in the first inning.
Top of the 2nd, Indians lead 2-0
The Tigers responded quickly in the top of the second, when Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos started the inning with a trio of singles to load the bases. Alex Avila worked a full count before Carrasco walked in Detroit’s first run of the game. A pair of strikeouts and an infield groundout got the Tribe out of the inning without any further damage. It wouldn’t be the last time the Indians got themselves in a dangerous situation, but it was the last time anyone would score until the ninth inning.
Top of the 9th, Indians lead 2-1
Cody Allen came on in the ninth to close out the game, but he didn’t have his usual strikeout repertoire. After walking Torii Hunter to lead off the inning, Allen allowed Miguel Cabrera to single to center field. With one out, J.D. Martinez crushed a home run to center field to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead. Brantley singled in the bottom half of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to steal the win back from the Tigers.
Aside from Allen, the bullpen was strong. Scott Atchison and Bryan Shaw each pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and C.C. Lee came on and got the final two outs in the ninth without any issues. Carrasco, who threw 74 percent of his pitches for strikes, did a good job of working out of trouble all night long.
This was the second consecutive save that Allen has blown. The Indians have now lost the first two games of the series, one by a landslide and the other in heartbreaking fashion. In a critical series, those losses are a huge blow to an Indians team that has surged lately.
Check It Out
– Tigers catcher Alex Avila exited the game with concussion-like symptoms after taking a foul tip to the mask during Tyler Holt’s sixth inning at-bat. Avila missed time last season with a concussion, and could miss more after Tuesday night’s incident.
– Cleveland has slipped to 5 ½ games back in the divisional race, and five back in the Wild Card contest.
– The Tribe will face Tigers’ right-hander Justin Verlander tomorrow, as the Cy Young winner takes the mound following a great outing against the Chicago White Sox. Small sample size caveats apply, but Michael Bourn is batting .370 in 27 at-bats against Verlander, while Michael Brantley has a .354 average in 48 appearances versus the right-hander.