Live Tigers blog: 10 straight losses to Cleveland

Bruce Mason, The Detroit News

Make that 10 straight losses to Cleveland.

Mike Napoli blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Bruce Rondon to give Detroit a 5-3 defeat Monday in a game that was delayed by a 2-hour, 21-minute rain delay.

The up-and-down Tigers entered with six straight wins, but starter Daniel Norris exited with a right oblique strain and Detroit lost to Cleveland for the 15th time in the past 17 meetings, dating back to last season. 

Nick Castellanos belted a two-run homer to tie the game in the sixth inning, but the Tigers dropped to 6.5 games behind the first-place Indians.

Steven Moya hit a solo homer for Detroit. 

The Tigers endured bad news earlier in the day when Jordan Zimmermann was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Norris left in the third inning and will have an MRI Tuesday morning. He gave up two earned runs in two innings. 

Top 9: Iglesias grounds into game-ending double play 

With one out in the ninth, Jose Iglesias hit a ground ball to second base. James McCann was out at second, but Iglesias appeared to beat the throw at first base to keep the game alive.

Cleveland challenged the play — and Iglesias was ruled out on the review, ending the game as Ian Kinsler was waiting to bat. 

Bot 8: Lowe gets 1-2-3 inning

Tigers reliever Mark Lowe threw a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the eighth. 

It's 5-3 Cleveland after eight innings. 

Steven Moya, James McCann and Jose Iglesias are due in the ninth to face Indians closer Cody Allen (17 saves, 3.12 ERA). 

Top 8: Detroit cannot capitalize in 8th

There were two runners on base, no outs, but the Tigers could not take advantage. 

Miguel Cabrera hit a leadoff single and Victor Martinez followed with a walk, but Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw got out of the jam.

Nick Castellanos grounded into a double play and Justin Upton flied out to end the threat.

It's 5-3 Indians after the top of the eighth. 

Bot 7: Napoli blasts two-run HR

Mike Napoli strikes it again. 

The old nemesis drilled a two-run homer to left field off Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon to give Cleveland a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh. 

Rondon struck out Jason Kipnis, but issued a four-pitch walk to Francisco Lindor, who scored on Napoli's blast. 

You remember Napoli, right? The former Boston Red Sox slugger hit the solo home run off Justin Verlander in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS at Comerica Park. It was a seventh-inning blast that gave Boston a 1-0 win, and 2-1 lead in the series. (On that day, Verlander struck out 10 and gave up four hits in eight innings, and deserved a much better fate.)

Top 7: Eight-pitch inning

It was a quick seventh inning for the Tigers bats. It wasn't three pitches (as Detroit reliever Alex Wilson showed earlier), but still quick. 

Cleveland reliever Jeff Manship needed eight pitches to retire Jose Iglesias (fly out), Ian Kinsler (fly out) and Cameron Maybin (ground out). 

It's 3-3 between the Tigers and Indians after the top of the seventh. 

Bot 6: Three-pitch inning

How often do you see a three-pitch inning?

Three pitches, three outs for Tigers reliever Alex Wilson, who retired Juan Uribe (line out), Abraham Almonte (ground out) and Rajai Davis (fly out).

It’s 3-3 after six innings in Cleveland. 

Detroit Tigers' Steven Moya (33) and James McCann (34) celebrate after Moya hit a solo home run off Cleveland Indians pitcher Danny Salazar in the fifth inning.

Top 6: Castellanos ties it with two-run HR

Nick Castellanos belted a two-out, two-run homer to left field to tie the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth.

Justin Upton walked and Steven Moya (2-for-3, solo HR) followed with a single to end the night for Cleveland starter Danny Salazar, who entered today with the lowest ERA (2.22) in the American League among qualified starters. 

Salazar struck out six and walked one in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits — including two homers in back-to-back innings. 

Victor Martinez singled with two outs and scored on Castellanos' 15th homer of the year.  

Indians right-hander Jeff Manship entered the game and struck out James McCann to end the threat.

Bot 5: Indians add run

The damage was minimized yet again by Tigers pitchers. This time, reliever Alex Wilson struck out back-to-back batters to limit the Indians to one run in the fifth inning. 

Cleveland leads 3-1 after five innings. 

Tigers reliever Dustin Molleken gave up back-to-back singles (Rajai Davis, Jason Kipnis) and was pulled. 

Wilson entered and gave up a sacrifice fly to Francisco Lindor to make it 3-1. (The run is charged to Molleken.) 

From there, Cleveland threatened to burst the game open as Wilson proceeded to walk Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana.That created a tough situation: bases loaded with one out for Jose Ramirez, who was batting .386 with runners in scoring position.

Ramirez, however, looked at strike three — although the pitch appeared to be inside. 

Wilson then ended the inning by striking out Yan Gomes. It was a solid turnaround for Wilson, who had trouble locating and threw 4-of-14 pitches for strikes until he faced Ramirez. 

The Indians are batting 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have left seven men on base.

Top 5: Moya blasts solo HR

Steven Moya hit a solo homer to leadoff the fifth inning to trim the Indians’ lead to 2-1.

It’s Moya’s fifth homer of the year. It ends the shutout streak of Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar, who had 11 straight scoreless innings, dating back to his last start against Atlanta. 

Here's how the rest of the inning unfolded: James McCann struck out swinging, and both Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler lined out.

Salazar has thrown 77 pitches through five innings. He has six strikeouts versus no walks and has given up five hits. 

Bot 4: Molleken cruises

Tigers reliever Dustin Molleken is touching the mid-90s on the radar gun and has relinquished one hit through two innings in relief for left-handed starter Daniel Norris. 

It’s 2-0 Cleveland after four innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, Molleken induced two ground outs (Yan Gomes, Juan Uribe) and struck out Abraham Almonte. 

Norris left the game in the bottom of the third with a right oblique strain, according to @DetroitTigersPR. 

Top 4: Salazar gets out of jam with three straight K's

Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar struck out three straight Tigers to end a threat.

It’s 2-0 Cleveland after the top of the fourth.

Cameron Maybin and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back singles to start the fourth inning. Two runners on base, not outs. 

But Salazar used his deadly change-up to strike out both Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos, then Justin Upton swung and missed at a 95-mph four-seamer.

Inning over. 

Salazar has five strikeouts and no walks through four innings.

According to Fangraphs, Salazar’s change-up is the third-most valuable pitch in the majors this season. Opponents are hitting .105 against it. 

Bot 3: Norris exits with injury

It’s not looking good — again — in Cleveland.

Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris exited with an injury and the Indians capitalized with a run for a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.

Norris was met by trainers after issuing a leadoff walk to Rajai Davis. From there, right-handed reliever Dustin Molleken entered and gave up a double to Jason Kipnis. Francisco Lindor made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Molleken struck out Mike Napoli, then issued a walk to Carlos Santana. But Jose Ramirez popped out to end the inning. 

Molleken was called-up earlier today from AAA-Toledo since Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann was placed on the 15-day disabled list. 

Top 3: Iglesias grounds into double play

That's three scoreless innings in the books for the Tigers bats. 

It's 1-0 Cleveland after the top of the third. 

James McCann hit a leadoff single, but Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar induced back-to-back grounders to end the inning. 

Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play and Ian Kinsler grounded out. 

The Tigers entered tonight batting .186 against the Tribe this year. 

Bot 2: Indians strike first

Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris gave up a run in the bottom of the second inning — but he escaped without major damage.

It’s 1-0 Cleveland after two innings.

Norris gave up a first-pitch double to Mike Napoli, who scored on Carlos Santana’s RBI single. From there, Jose Ramirez doubled to right field, placing runners on second and third with no outs. 

Norris, however, buckled down and escaped without relinquishing another run. 

Norris used his curveball to strike out Yan Gomes (.182), a slider to fan Juan Uribe (.226), then Abraham Almonte grounded out to shortstop Jose Iglesias. Inning over. 

Top 2: One-out double cannot produce run

Nick Castellanos (.302) lined a one-out double to the left-field corner, but Justin Upton and Steven Moya grounded out to end the inning.

It's 0-0 after the top of the second. 

Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar threw seven shutout innings in his previous start at Atlanta on June 29.  He is 5-1 with a 1.69 ERA this season at Progressive Field.

Victor Martinez (.317) popped out to start the inning. 

Bot 1: Norris gets 1-2-3 inning

Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris earned a 1-2-3 inning to retire Cleveland and quiet the sellout crowd.

It's 0-0 after the first inning. 

Norris fanned former Tiger Rajai Davis (93-mph four-seamer) and then endured a scare when Jason Kipnis flied out to the warning track.

Francisco Lindor grounded out to end the inning. 

Top 1: Salazar 2 K's 

Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar struck out two batters in the top of the first for a relatively quick inning after a two-hour, 21-minute rain delay.

Ian Kinsler and Cameron Maybin both looked at strike three, and Miguel Cabrera grounded out on the first pitch.

Kinsler didn’t like the call on a high pitch, although it caught the strike zone.

Maybin was victimized by Salazar’s change-up (opponents are hitting .105 against the pitch this season).

Finally under way in Cleveland

In the top of the first, Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.22 ERA) will face Ian Kinsler (.293), Cameron Maybin (.359) and Miguel Cabrera (2.98).

In June, Salazar was American League pitcher of the month. He was 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in June. He had 35 strikeouts in 33.0 innings.

First pitch 9:30 p.m. 

The Tigers and Indians will start at 9:30 p.m. 

The tarp came off the field after a lengthy rain delay in Cleveland. 

Still delayed in Cleveland

The tarp is on the field at Progressive Field in Cleveland. There will be a rain delay for the Tigers and Indians. 

There is still no word yet on when the first pitch is expected. 

How to watch: Tigers vs. Indians

The Tigers open a huge three-game series against the AL Central Division-leading Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Progressive Field. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

The second-place Tigers trail the Indians by 5.5 games in the Central. And although they’re 0-9 against Cleveland this season, the Tigers are riding high entering the series, fresh off a four-game sweep of the Rays.

Justin Upton had a big moment in the Tigers’ 5-1 win over the Rays on Sunday, stroking a two-run double right after the Tigers had tied the game 1-1 in the eighth. The reaction in the Tigers’ dugout was one of the coolest moments of the Tigers’ season thus far, Chris McCosky writes.

Ian Kinsler homered on Sunday and in doing so joined an elite club of 40 MLB players with 200 home runs, 1,000 runs, 1,600 hits and 200 stolen bases.

Meanwhile, Lynn Henning provides a midseason report on the Tigers’ minor leagues, with the good, the bad and the ugly throughout the farm system.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Cameron Maybin, CF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Steven Moya, RF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Daniel Norris, P

INDIANS LINEUP

1. Rajai Davis, CF

2. Jason Kipnis, 2B

3. Francisco Lindor, SS

4. Mike Napoli, 1B

5. Carlos Santana, DH

6. Jose Ramirez, LF

7. Yan Gomes, C

8. Juan Uribe, 3B

9. Abraham Almonte, RF

Danny Salazar, P

TIGERS VS. INDIANS

When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland

Pitching matchup: LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.09) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.22)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: ESPN

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1

Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849