Live Tigers blog: Tribe deliver crushing loss to Tigers
FINAL: INDIANS 11, TIGERS 4
The Tigers postseason hopes are hanging in the balance after another disappointing performance, falling to the Indians in Cleveland, 11-4, Friday night.
With the loss, the Tigers are now seven games back of the Tribe in the central division (a race that's all but over with tonight's result) and continue to play with fire when it comes to staying in the wild card race.
Justin Upton carried the only big bat in the clubhouse tonight, hitting two home runs as he drove in all four of the team's runs.
Michael Fulmer just wasn't himself, giving up six runs over five innings and struggling with his control from the very start.
Cleveland raced out to a 4-1 lead with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings. After tagging Fulmer for two more in the fifth, Upton's second home run of the night, a three-run shot, pulled the Tigers within two at 6-4. Shane Greene and Bruce Rondon each gave up a run in relief and the Tigers were never able to mount a comeback.
In a curious move from Brad Ausmus, Joe Mantiply came in for the eighth inning and gave up three runs without even recording an out, putting the Tribe well out of reach heading into the ninth.
In the final frame, James McCann struck out swinging, Andrew Romine grounded out to second and Steven Moya, pinch-hitting for Ian Kinsler, struck out swinging to end the game.
Bottom 8th: Indians 11, Tigers 4
Joe Mantiply got the call for the Tigers in the eighth. He issued a leadoff walk to Abraham Almonte, who was lifted in favor of former Tiger Rajai Davis on the bases. Mantiply appeared to have Davis picked off as he tried to steal second, but Miguel Cabrera threw the ball into the outfield, allowing Davis to get to third. Roberto Perez drove him home with a single to right field, getting the Indians out of grand slam distance at 10-4.
Carlos Santana singled and Jason Kipnis brought home another run with a groundrule double, making it 10-4. After an intentional walk to Francisco Lindor loaded the bases, Mantiply was pulled having not recorded an out.
Next up was Mark Lowe, who struck out Mike Napoli before giving up a sacrifice fly to Jose Ramirez to put the Tribe on top 11-4. Michael Martinez popped out behind the plate to mercifully end the inning.
Top 8th: Indians 8, Tigers 4
Andrew Miller was handed the eighth inning out of the Cleveland bullpen. After issuing a four-pitch walk to Victor Martinez, Miller bounced back from a 2-0 count to strike out J.D. Martinez. Justin Upton struck out swinging after getting ahead in the count and Erick Aybar grounded out to first to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Indians 8, Tigers 4
Bruce Rondon got the call from the Tigers' bullpen in the seventh and gave up a one-out single to Mike Napoli, who appeared to be thrown out trying to steal second base but was awarded the base because Rondon was called for a balk, the second by a Tigers' pitcher tonight. That play proved huge, as Jose Ramirez delivered an RBI single to right field to stretch the lead to 8-4.
Coco Crisp struck out looking and Tyler Naquin flew out to center field to end the frame.
Francisco Lindor flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
Top 7th: Indians 7, Tigers 4
Andrew Romine tagged Corey Kluber for a leadoff double to left field. He moved up to third when Ian Kinsler hit into a fielder's choice, but the Tigers were unable to get the run home. Cameron Maybin struck out swinging and Miguel Cabrera flew out to right field to end the inning.
Bottom 6th: Indians 7, Tigers 4
Tyler Naquin notched a leadoff single off of Tigers' reliever Shane Greene and Abraham Almonte doubled to right field to put runners at second and third for the Tribe. Cameron Maybin made a great diving catch in center field off the bat of Roberto Almonte, and with both runners on the move, Maybin had an easy double play at second base but threw the ball away, allowing the run to score and Almonte to get to third.
With it now 7-4 and a man on third with one out, Greene was able to kick it up a notch and strike out Carlos Santana. Jason Kipnis grounded out to third to end the frame, which certainly could have been much worse.
It's worth noting that Greene got ahead of both Naquin and Almonte, 0-2, before surrendering those crucial hits to start the inning.
Top 6th: Indians 6, Tigers 4
Miguel Cabrera drew a leadoff walk and Victor Martinez took one for the team right on the knee to put the first two men on for the Tigers in the sixth. After J.D. Martinez flew out to right field to move Cabrera up to third, Justin Upton blasted his second home run of the night, cutting the Tribe lead to 6-4.
Erick Aybar lined out to second base and James McCann flew out to center field to end the inning.
For whatever reason, Upton seems to have Kluber's number while the rest of the Tigers have struggled with the Cleveland ace. At 85 pitches, Kluber will probably be back on a short leash in the seventh.
Bottom 5th: Indians 6, Tigers 1
Michael Fulmer issued his third walk of the night, this one coming to Jason Kipnis to leadoff the fifth. After Francisco Lindor moved Kipnis up to second by hitting into a fielder's choice, Mike Napoli hit a towering home run to left field that may have left Progressive Field, giving Cleveland a 6-1 lead.
Jose Ramirez flew out to left field and Coco Crisp struck out to end the inning.
At 100 pitches, Fulmer is likely done for the night.
Top 5th: Indians 4, Tigers 1
Andrew Romine flew out to left field, Ian Kinsler grounded out to first base and Cameron Maybin flew out to center field to end an easy, seven-pitch inning for Corey Kluber.
Bottom 4th: Indians 4, Tigers 1
Michael Fulmer tallied his first 1-2-3 inning of the night, something he and the Tigers really needed at this point with the bullpen ready to make an early appearance in the first of a three-game series.
Abraham Almonte struck out looking, Roberto Perez flew out to right field and Carlos Santana flew out to left field to end the inning.
Fulmer's pitch count is at 75 after the easy frame. The Tigers could really use two more innings, something that didn't seem possible in the second and third.
Top 4th: Indians 4, Tigers 1
Victor Martinez dropped a leadoff single into left field, and after J.D. Martinez struck out looking, Justin Upton was able to work a one-out walk after falling behind 3-1 in the count. With two men on, Erick Aybar fouled out and James McCann struck out swinging to end the threat.
The Tigers have three hits and have drawn two walks through four innings, but they haven't been able to do any damage with men on base.
Bottom 3rd: Indians 4, Tigers 1
After issuing two free passes to start the third and falling behind 3-0 to Coco Crisp, Michael Fulmer was able to get the double play ground ball he desperately needed. With a runner on third, Fulmer got out of the inning by getting Tyler Naquin to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Fulmer walked Mike Napoli and Jose Ramirez to start the inning. He also added a balk to his rough start during the Ramirez at-bat. His pitch count is in rough shape at 67.
Top 3rd: Indians 4, Tigers 1
Ian Kinsler struck out swinging, Cameron Maybin popped out to second and Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt to end the inning.
Corey Kluber appears to have rebounded from his shaky second inning, picking up his third and fourth strikeouts of the game and keeping his pitch count in order at 37.
Bottom 2nd: Indians 4, Tigers 1
Tyler Naquin got things started for Cleveland in the second with a leadoff single to center field. Abraham Almonte followed with a base hit of his own, putting runners at first and second, and forcing Michael Fulmer to try and work out of another jam. Roberto Perez dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up with one out. That worked out well for the Tribe as Carlos Santana singled to right field and scored both runs, making it 4-1. Santana moved up to second on the throw home.
Jason Kipnis flew out to left field, moving Santana up to third, but Francisco Lindor struck out to end the inning.
Fulmer has thrown 42 pitches through the first two frames and isn't fooling anybody with his stuff.
Top 2nd: Indians 2, Tigers 1
Justin Upton made up for his first inning blunder, driving a two-out solo home run way out of the field of play to right center, pulling the Tigers within a run after Corey Kluber had set down the first five Tigers hitters of the night.
Kluber seemed to be a little shaken by the blast. Erick Aybar followed with a single to center field and James McCann walked on four consecutive pitches. The Tigers couldn't put anymore on the board, however, as Andrew Romine grounded out to second to end the inning.
Victor Martinez grounded out to first and J.D. Martinez grounded out to shortstop to start the inning.
Bottom 1st: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Jason Kipnis notched a one-out single to center field and Francisco Lindor followed with a single to right field to put Michael Fulmer in an early jam with runners on the corners. Lindor took the double play out of the equation by stealing second base. That proved to be huge as Mike Napoli hit a seemingly harmless ball out to left field that Justin Upton never located, allowing it to bounce about 20 feet behind him and into the stands for a groundrule double, giving the Tribe an early 2-0 lead.
With Napoli on second, Jose Ramirez flew out to right field and Coco Crisp grounded out to second to end the inning.
Carlos Santana flew out deep to center field to leadoff the frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Indians 0
Corey Kluber is off to a good start for Cleveland, striking out two while setting the Tigers down in order in the opening frame.
Ian Kinsler struck out swinging, Cameron Maybin struck out looking and Miguel Cabrera flew out to center field to end the inning.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Cameron Maybin, CF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Erick Aybar, SS
8. James McCann, C
9. Andrew Romine, 3B
P, Micheal Fulmer
1. Carlos Santana, DH
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Francisco Lindor, SS
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Coco Crisp, LF
7. Tyler Naquin, CF
8. Abraham Almonte, RF
9. Roberto Perez, C
P, Corey Kluber
TIGERS VS. INDIANS
When: Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
Pitching matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (10-6, 2.76) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (16-9, 3.05)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming:MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI 849