FINAL: TIGERS 12, INDIANS 0
Miguel Cabrera drove in five runs in the first two innings and Justin Verlander struck out 12 as the Tigers beat the Indians at Comerica Park Tuesday night, 12-0.
Cabrera was 3-for-3 from the plate, including a three-run home run in the second inning that gave his starting pitcher a comfortable lead. The long ball was Cabrera's 35th of the season and the five RBI brought his count for 2016 up to 102.
Verlander struck out 12, marking the eighth time this season he's struck out 10 or more hitters. That's a new career high for the lifetime Tiger. His final line: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K
The Indians were seemingly not too worried about winning this game after clinching the division last night, running out a lineup of names that don't usually see action on the Major League level.
With the game in hand, Nick Castellanos made an eighth inning appearance at the plate. He doubled down the right field line and scored when Tyler Collins tripled in the next at-bat.
Andrew Romine (solo) and Justin Upton (3 RBI) also added home runs for the Tigers tonight.
In another game of interest, Baltimore lost in Toronto, 5-1, putting the Tigers just one game back of the second American League wild card spot.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 12, Indians 0
Nick Castellanos arrived at Comreica Park within the last hour, just in time to get in his first at-bat in over a month. The Tigers third baseman drove a double down the left field line and Tyler Collins brought him home with a triple to right-center that gives the Tigers a 10-0 lead.
Andrew Romine caught the fever, drilling a two-run home run in the next at-bat to push the lead to 12-0.
Steven Moya kept the party going with a pinch-hit single to right field, but Jacoby Jones grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Dixon Machado grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the inning.
Top 8th: Tigers 9, Indians 0
Despite a seemingly insurmountable lead, Justin Verlander came back out for the eighth inning, and after striking out Chris Gimenez and Adam Moore, he gave up an infield single to Erik Gonzalez. At 110 pitches, Brad Ausmus decided that was the time to go get his horse, pulling him from the game in favor of Kyle Ryan.
Ryan struck out Tyler Naquin on three pitches to end the inning.
Verlander struck out 12, giving up four hits and walking over over 7.2 innings.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 9, Indians 0
Miguel Cabrera notched a leadoff single through the left side of the infield, and after Victor Martinez flew out to center field, J.D. Martinez was able to work a walk. With two men on base, Justin Upton decided that the Tigers needed a few insurance runs, blasting a ball well over the fence in left field for a three-run shot that gives his team a 9-0 lead.
The home run was the 29th of the season for Upton.
Erick Aybar flew out to left field and James McCann struck out looking to end the frame.
Top 7th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
Justin Verlander came back out for the seventh inning and put the Tribe down in order to get his team three outs closer to a crucial win.
Carlos Santana lined out to second, Brandon Guyer popped out to second and Jesus Aguilar grounded out to second to end the inning.
Verlander has thrown 95 pitches. With this big lead, it'll be interesting to see if Brad Ausmus runs him back out there for the eighth.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
Ian Kinsler dropped a two-out single into center field off of Adam Plutko, who got the call out of the bullpen for the Tribe to start the inning. The Tigers couldn't do anything with him, though, as Cameron Maybin fouled out down the first base line to end the inning.
James McCann fouled out and Jose Iglesias grounded out to third to start the frame.
Top 6th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
Erik Gonzalez reached with one out on an infield single and Tyler Naquin drew the first walk handed out by Justin Verlander tonight. The wily veteran pitcher bounced back, however, striking out Michael Martinez and Abraham Almonte to end the inning.
Verlander now has 10 strikeouts on 80 pitches. It's the eighth time this season he's had double digit strikeouts in a game. That's a new career high.
Adam Moore flew out to shallow right field to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
The Tigers went quietly in the fifth inning against Shawn Armstrong.
J.D. Martinez grounded out to shortstop, Justin Upton did the same and Erick Aybar grounded out to first to end the inning.
Top 5th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
The Tribe may not have run their best lineup out on the field tonight, but Justin Verlander is still on point, breezing through inning after inning at Comerica Park.
Brandon Guyer struck out looking at a nasty breaking ball, Jesus Aguilar flew out to center field and Chris Gimenez grounded out to third to end the inning.
Verlander's strikeout count is up to eight. He's thrown just 56 pitches tonight.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 6, Indians 0
James McCann was hit by a pitch to put the leadoff man on for the Tigers in the fourth. Jose Iglesias followed with a base hit through the left side of the infield and Ian Kinsler did the same to score McCann and stretch the Tigers lead to 6-0.
That was the end for Perci Garner, who was lifted from the game in favor of Shawn Armstrong, who came in with nobody out and men on second and third.
Cameron Maybin fouled out and Miguel Cabrera was given a free pass to first base. With the bases loaded, Victor Martinez got ahead in the count, 3-0, before hitting into an inning-ending double play.
Top 4th: Tigers 5, Indians 0
Justin Verlander is cruising through the first four innings at Comerica Park, picking up his sixth and seventh strikeouts in setting the Tribe down in order in the fourth.
Michael Martinez grounded out to first, Abraham Almonte struck out swinging and Carlos Santana did the same as Verlander looks dialed in against a less than stacked Indians lineup.
Verlander's thrown just 47 pitches through the first four frames.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 5, Indians 0
Justin Upton drew a one-out walk from Perci Garner, who came out of the Cleveland bullpen to start the third inning, but Erick Aybar struck out and Upton was thrown out trying to take second base to end the inning.
J.D. Martinez struck out swinging to leadoff the frame.
Top 3rd: Tigers 5, Indians 0
Erik Gonzalez notched a two-out single to right field, but Justin Verlander bounced back to strike out Tyler Naquin for the second time tonight to get out of the inning.
Verlander has five punch outs through the first three frames.
Chris Gimenez flew out to center field and Adam Moore struck out swinging to start the inning.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 5, Indians 0
James McCann got things started with a base hit back up the middle of the diamond. After Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder's choice, moving McCann up to second, Ian Kinsler struck out looking. Cameron Maybin was able to draw a walk and that's when Miguel Cabrera did his thing, blasting a ball to the deepest part of the ballpark (center field) and gone to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
Cabrera has all five Tigers RBI tonight, giving him 102 on the season. That's his 12th consecutive year with 100-plus RBI.
Victor Martinez tried to stretch a base hit into a double but was thrown out at second to end the frame.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Indians 0
Brandon Guyer notched the first hit of the night for the Tribe, shooting one back up the middle and almost taking Justin Verlander's head off with a one-out single.
With Guyer on base, Verlander threw over to the bag and bounced a ball to Miguel Cabrera, who couldn't find the ball and took it right off his kneecap. After limping around for a couple of minutes, Cabrera decided to stay in the game, but that's something to keep an eye on going forward.
With one out, Jesus Aguilar struck out and James McCann nabbed Guyer going down to second for a strike em' out, throw em' out to end the inning.
Carlos Santana flew out to right field to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 2, Indians 0
Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk from Cleveland pitcher Mike Clevinger and Cameron Maybin slapped a double to right center to put men on second and third for Miguel Cabrera, who brought both home with a two-RBI double to right center, giving the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.
Victor Martinez hit a ball hard but right at Michael Martinez, who made a nice grab at second base for the first out of the frame. J.D. Martinez dropped a blooper into right field, but Cabrera was thrown out trying to score from second. With J.D. on first, Justin Upton dropped a bloop single of his own into right field, putting runners on the corners for Erick Aybar. Aybar wasn't able to bring anybody else home, though, striking out to end the inning.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Indians 0
Justin Verlander got off to a fast start in the first inning, picking up two strikeouts while setting Cleveland down in order.
Tyler Naquin struck out, Michael Martinez did the same and Abraham Almonte grounded out to first to end the inning.
Verlander threw 12 pitches in the opening frame.
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
Justin Verlander, P
1. Tyler Naquin, CF
2. Michael Martinez, 2B
3. Abraham Almonte, RF
4. Carlos Santana, DH
5. Brandon Guyer, LF
6. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
7. Chris Gimenez, 3B
8. Adam Moore, C
9. Erik Gonzalez, SS
Steve Clevinger, P
TIGERS VS. INDIANS
When: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Pitching matchup: RHP Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.21) vs. RHP Steve Clevinger (2-2, 4.65)
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 217