Live Tigers blog: Tigers lose 9-4

Al Willman
The Detroit News

Two big innings were all the difference for the Indians, as they completed their sweep of the Tigers with a 9-4 win Thursday night.

Michael Fulmer (L, 1-1) took the loss for the Tigers (14-13). He threw five innings allowing five runs on 10 hits, while striking out six and walking two.

He allowed four runs in the top of the first, a lead the Indians did not surrender.

Nick Castellanos hit a 3-run home run in the top of the fourth, cutting Cleveland's lead to 4-3, but the Indians scored four more in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach.

Michael Brantley was 4-for-4 with three RBIs for the Indians (13-12).

The Tigers start a weekend series with the Texas Rangers at home, beginning with a 7:05 game Friday night.

Bottom 8th: Indians blow game open

The Indians blew the game open in the bottom of the eighth, exploding for four runs. The Tigers bullpen, which had been performing well to this point, was not as productive. Michael Brantley capped the big inning with a 2-run double, his fourth hit of the game. After eight, the Indians lead 9-3.

Top 8th: Tigers offense silent

The Tigers went down quietly in the top of the eighth. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers are down 5-3.

Bottom 7th: Tigers set Indians down

Tigers reliever Drew VerHagen, in his second inning of work, set the Indians down in order in the bottom of the seventh. After seven, the Indians are holding a 5-3 lead.

Top 7th: Tigers go in order

The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh. Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to left field, while Mike Aviles and Andrew Romine both struck out swinging. Catcher Chris Gimenez threw to first baseman Mike Napoli to complete the strikeout of Romine. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers are down 5-3.

Bottom 6th: Indians strand pair

Drew VerHagen came on to relieve starter Michael Fulmer to start the bottom of the sixth for the Tigers. He allowed a leadoff single to Lonnie Chisenhall and a 2-out single to Jason Kipnis, but that was all for the Cleveland offense. After six, the Indians lead 5-3.

Top 6th: Tigers threaten, don't score

Justin Upton's 2-out double was all the offense for the Tigers in the top of the sixth. Nick Castellanos flew out to a diving Michael Brantley to end the Tigers' half of the inning. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers are down 5-3.

Bottom 5th: Tigers escape jam

After striking out Francisco Lindor to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Michael Fulmer and the Tigers got into a jam. Michael Brantley hit his third single of the game, followed by an infield single from Mike Napoli. Fulmer got the last two outs to get out of trouble. After five, the Tigers trail 5-3.

Top 5th: Tigers go quietly

The Tigers went down in order, again, in the top of the fifth -- for the third time of the night. Indians starter Trevor Bauer, save for Nick Castellanos' 3-run home run in the fourth, is cruising. He's at 93 pitches, through five innings, with a 5-3 lead.

Bottom 4th: Indians get one back

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, following a heads-up double play by Miguel Cabrera, the Indians got a run back. Catcher Chris Gimenez hit a solo shot over the wall in center field, and the outstretched arm of Tigers center fielder Andrew Romine. After four, the Indians lead 5-3.

Top 4th: Castellanos gets Tigers back in

After Miguel Cabrera walked and Victor Martinez singled to start the inning, Justin Upton grounded into a fielder's choice -- reaching first safely and moving Cabrera to third. Nick Castellanos hit a 3-run home run to cut the Indians' lead to 4-3.

Bottom 3rd: Tigers hold Indians scoreless

After Michael Brantley led off the third inning with his second single of the game, the Tigers defense checked back in. Tigers starter Michael Fulmer got Mike Napoli -- who hit a 3-run homer in the first -- to ground into a double play. Carlos Santana lined out to Ian Kinsler to end the inning. After three, the Tigers trail 4-0.

Top 3rd: Tigers go down 1-2-3 again

For the second straight inning, the Tigers went down 1-2-3. The offense, which has struggled against Cleveland this season, has only one hit in three innings. Going to the bottom of the third, the Tigers are down 4-0.

Bottom 2nd: Fulmer recovers, still down 4-0

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer needed only 10 pitches to set the Indians down in order in the bottom of the second, after throwing 32 in the first inning. After two, the Tigers are still down 4-0.

Top 2nd: Tigers go down in order, trail 4-0

Indians starter Trevor Bauer, operating with four runs of support, set the Tigers down in order in the top of the second. Nick Castellanos flew out to right field, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Aviles struck out swinging. Going to the bottom of the second, the Tigers trail 4-0.

Bottom 1st: Indians bat around, lead 4-0

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer struck out former Tiger Rajai Davis swinging to lead off the bottom of the first, but then things unraveled a bit from there. The Indians scored their first run on their third straight single -- all with one out. Mike Napoli added a 3-run home run, before Fulmer was able to stop the bleeding with back-to-back swinging strikeouts. After one, the Tigers trail 4-0.

Top 1st: Tigers strand two

The Tigers were unable to capitalize after J.D. Martinez reached base on an error from Indians third baseman Juan Uribe, and Miguel Cabrera walked, both with one out in the top of the first. Ian Kinsler grounded out on the first pitch of the game, and Victor Martinez (center field) and Justin Upton (right field) flew out. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch: Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians​

The Tigers close out their three-game series against the Indians on Thursday night at 6:10 p.m. at Progressive Field. They have lost the first two in the series, after winning five straight.

Rookie Michael Fulmer makes his second start of the season for the Tigers after winning his debut, against the Twins. He plans on using his change-up more Thursday night.

On Wednesday night, in the 4-0 loss to Cleveland, the Tigers failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities. Anibal Sanchez was effective but for one bad inning.

Tigers utility man Andrew Romine played center field for the Tigers on Tuesday night and that’s where he’ll start Thursday, batting ninth in manager Brad Ausmus’ lineup.

Chris McCosky of The Detroit News hosted a live chat with Tigers fans on Thursday. You can read a transcript of the chat.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. J.D. Martinez, RF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Justin Upton, LF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

8. Mike Aviles, SS

9. Andrew Romine, CF

Michael Fulmer, P

INDIANS LINEUP

1. Rajai Davis, CF

2. Jason Kipnis, 2B

3. Francisco Lindor, SS

4. Michael Brantley, LF

5. Mike Napoli, 1B

6. Carlos Santana, DH

7. Juan Uribe, 3B

8. Lonnie Chisenhall, RF

9. Chris Gimenez, C

Trevor Bauer, P

TIGERS VS. INDIANS

When: Thursday, 6:10 p.m.

Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland

Pitching matchup: Michael Fulmer (1-0, 3.60) vs. Trevor Bauer (1-0, 5.28)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

Internet streaming: MLB.TV

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849