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Live Tigers blog: Tigers lose to Indians, 7-4, Tribe clinch A.L. Central

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer works in  the first inning.

The Tigers, who started play 1.5 games out of the second American League wild card spot took a step in the wrong direction Monday night, losing 7-4 to the Cleveland Indians — who clinched the A.L. Central Division title with the win.

The Tigers have now lost three in a row, and are two games behind the Orioles — who did not play Monday — for the second spot. For the Indians, the Central Division title is their first since 2007.

The Indians struck first, on a two-run home run from Coco Crisp in the top of the second inning. The Tigers responded with a two-run shot of their own from J.D. Martinez. The Indians retook the lead in the top of the fifth and did not look back.

Buck Farmer started for the Tigers (83-73), taking the loss. He went five innings and gave up four runs on four hits while striking out two and walking four.

Corey Kluber started for the Indians (91-65), earning a no-decision. He went four innings, giving up a pair of runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking one. Dan Otero earned the win, giving up a run and two hits in 1 1/3 innings.

The two teams continue their four-game set tomorrow at 7:10. Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.21 ERA) will start for the Tigers. Mike Clevinger (2-2, 4.65 ERA) will go for the Indians.

Rondon strands one in 9th

Right-hander Bruce Rondon came on to pitch the top of the ninth inning for the Tigers.

Jason Kipnis flew out to left field to lead off the inning. Rondon then walked Mike Napoli. Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall then flew out to left to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the ninth, the Indians are up 7-4.

Tigers go in order in 8th

The Tigers, who can ill-afford scoreless innings, went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Going to the top of the ninth, the Tigers are down 7-4, and will turn to Bruce Rondon to pitch the ninth inning.

Indians score twice in 8th

The Tigers went back to the bullpen to start the eighth inning. Right-hander Alex Wilson replaced lefty Justin Wilson.

Jose Ramirez flew out to center field, two pitches after fouling a ball off his right foot. Lonnie Chisenhall then flew out to left field. Coco Crisp and Rajai Davis hit back-to-back singles, putting two on with two out. Roberto Perez then singled in Crisp. With Carlos Santana at the plate, Davis stole third base. Santana then hit a ground-rule double off the glove of J.D. Martinez in right field, scoring Davis. Jason Kipnis popped out to Erick Aybar, ranging from third base nearly to the pitcher’s mound, to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Indians have a 7-4 lead over the Tigers.

Tigers chip away in 7th

The Tigers got another run back in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Ian Kinsler doubled to lead off the inning before Cameron Maybin moved him to third on a ground ball out. Andrew Miller, who was a part of the trade that brought Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers in 2007, entered the game to replace Bryan Shaw — who came on with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Cabrera greeted Miller with an RBI single, cutting Cleveland’s lead back to one. Miller then struck out Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez to end the inning. After seven, the Indians have a 5-4 lead.

Indians hit solo shot in 7th

The Indians added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning.

To start the inning, Justin Wilson came on to replace Kyle Ryan and immediately gave up a leadoff home run to Roberto Perez. Carlos Santana then flew out to center field before Jason Kipnis struck out swinging. Wilson then walked Francisco Lindor, putting a runner on with two outs. Mike Napoli popped out to second base to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Indians have a 5-3 lead.

Tigers leave pair on in 6th

Right-handed reliever Dan Otero took the mound for the Indians to start the bottom of the sixth, after pitching the fifth inning.

J.D. Martinez grounded out to shortstop to lead off the bottom of the inning. Otero then gave way to righty Bryan Shaw, who struck out Justin Upton. Shaw then walked Erick Aybar, who moved to third on a single from James McCann. Jose Iglesias then struck out looking to end the inning, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. After six, the Indians are up 4-3.

Ryan replaces Farmer, works 1-2-3 6th

The Tigers went to their bullpen to start the top of the sixth inning, replacing starter Buck Farmer with lefty Kyle Ryan — who pitched a 1-2-3 inning.

Ryan got Lonnie Chisenhall to ground out to second base to lead off the inning. Coco Crisp grounded out to second before ex-Tiger Rajai Davis — hitting for Tyler Naquin — grounded to shortstop to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers trail 4-3.

Indians go to pen, Tigers get run back in 5th

The Indians turned to their bullpen in the top of the fifth inning.

Right-hander Dan Ortero replaced starter Corey Kluber, and gave up a leadoff single to Ian Kinsler. Cameron Maybin then advanced Kinsler to second when he grounded out to second base. Miguel Cabrera then singled in Kinsler, chipping away at the Indians lead. Victor Martinez then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. After five, the Indians have a 4-3 lead over the Tigers.

Indians retake lead in 5th

The Indians scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning.

Carlos Santana singled through the shift to lead off the inning. Jason Kipnis doubled him in, giving the Indians back the lead. Francisco Lindor laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Kipnis to third with one out. Mike Napoli then hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field, increasing the lead for the Indians. Jose Ramirez flew out to left field to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the fifth, the Indians have a 4-2 lead over the Tigers.

Tigers leave bases loaded in 4th

The Tigers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Victor Martinez grounded to over-shifted second baseman Jason Kipnis to lead off the bottom of the inning. J.D. Martinez followed with a single up the middle. Justin Upton then walked, putting two on with one out. Erick Aybar reached on an infield single, loading the bases. James McCann flew out to shallow center field, forcing the runners to hold. Jose Iglesias grounded out to Kipnis on a close play, ending the inning. After four, it’s still 2-2.

Farmer sets Indians down in 4th

Buck Farmer accounted for all three outs in the 1-2-3 top of the fourth inning.

Coco Crisp grounded to Miguel Cabrera, who flipped to Farmer covering to get the first out. Tyler Naquin then grounded to Farmer, who made the second out unassisted. Farmer then struck out Roberto Perez looking to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the game remains deadlocked in a 2-2 tie.

Tigers offense quiet in 3rd

The Tigers couldn’t manage much offense against Indians ace Corey Kluber in the bottom of the third inning.

Jose Iglesias was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning, but was then caught stealing with Ian Kinsler — who singled — at the plate. Kinsler was then erased when Cameron Maybin grounded into a fielder’s choice. Miguel Cabrera flew out to the warning track in center field to end the inning. After three, the game remains tied, 2-2.

Farmer settles down a bit in 3rd

Buck Farmer settled down a bit in the top of the third inning.

He walked Francisco Lindor — the fourth walk of the game for Farmer — before Mike Napoli grounded into a fielder’s choice, after the relay throw from Ian Kinsler pulled Miguel Cabrera off the bag at first base. Jose Ramirez then popped out to Miguel Cabrera in foul territory, on a pitch that went off the handle of the bat. Lonnie Chisenhall then grounded to Cabrera to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the third, it’s still a 2-2 game.

Tigers tie game on J.D. homer

The Tigers answered Coco Crisp’s two-run home run with one of their own in the bottom of the second inning.

After Victor Martinez led off with a single, J.D. Martinez smacked a two-run shot to right field, tying the game. Justin Upton then struck out looking, for the first out before Erick Aybar flew out to left field and James McCann flew out to shallow right field. After two, the game is tied, 2-2.

Indians take early 2-0 lead

The Indians got to Buck Farmer in the top of the second inning.

He walked Mike Napoli, before getting Jose Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice. Lonnie Chisenhall flew out to center field for the second out before Coco Crisp sent a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right field, putting the Indians on the board. Farmer then walked Tyler Naquin, extending the inning. Roberto Perez followed with a single before Farmer walked Carlos Santana to load the bases. Jason Kipnis then grounded to Miguel Cabrera at first base, who flipped to Farmer covering to get out of the half inning. Going to the bottom of the second, the Indians lead 2-0.

Tigers go in order in 1st

Indians ace Corey Kluber was in step with Tigers starter Buck Farmer, needing just 12 pitches to get out of the bottom of the first inning.

Ian Kinsler flew out to center field before Cameron Maybin and Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging. After one, the game is scoreless.

Farmer works 1-2-3 1st

Buck Farmer needed only 11 pitches to get through the top of the first inning.

He struck out Carlos Santana to lead off the game. Jason Kipnis then flew out to left field before Francisco Lindor grounded out to first. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch: Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians

The Detroit Tigers are running out of time in their quest to make the playoffs.

They have seven games remaining – Monday through Thursday at home against the Cleveland Indians, and then Friday through Sunday in Atlanta.

Entering play Monday, the Tigers are 1.5 games out of the second wild-card spot, currently owned by the Baltimore Orioles.

Buck Farmer gets the start for the Tigers on Monday.

The Tigers started in a 7-0 hole and fought to the end Sunday before finally dropping a 12-9 decision to the Royals. “The fight in the offense was outstanding,” manager Brad Ausmus said. The pitching, clearly, had better days.

It’s shaping up as a two-man race for the American League Rookie of the Year award. Kurt Mensching explains why the nod should go to the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer.

TIGERS LINEUP

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, 3B

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Buck Farmer, P

INDIANS LINEUP

1. Carlos Santana, DH

2. Jason Kipnis, 2B

3. Francisco Lindor, SS

4. Mike Napoli, 1B

5. Jose Ramirez, 3B

6. Lonnie Chisenhall, RF

7. Coco Crisp, LF

8. Tyler Naquin, CF

9. Roberto Perez, C

Corey Kluber, P

TIGERS VS. INDIANS

When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

Pitching matchup: RHP Buck Farmer (0-0, 4.07) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.11)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: MLB Network

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

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 215