FINAL: INDIANS 2, TIGERS 0
Corey Kluber was on the money, pitching a complete game shutout and leading the Indians to their 20th consecutive victory with a 2-0 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night in Cleveland.
Kluber struck out eight on 113 pitches, and the Tigers were only able to manage five hits against the Tribe's ace.
Matt Boyd gave up a leadoff home run to Francisco Lindor in the first inning, but even though he loaded the bases in the second and third innings, he did a great job working himself out of those jams. 116 pitches over five innings is an extremely high rate, but Boyd was actually pretty impressive with how he handled himself in a tough situation against one of baseball's best teams. Boyd struck out five, allowing one run on six hits and one walk.
Nick Castellanos doubled and singled off of Kluber, and the only other Tigers hit came in the first at-bat of the game when Ian Kinsler doubled down the right field line.
The Indians are the first team in baseball to win 20 straight games since the 2002 Oakland Athletics.
Top 9th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Alex Presley notched a two-out double to the wall in right-center, but Miguel Cabrera grounded out to third to end the game and secure Cleveland's 20th consecutive win.
Andrew Romine flew out to center field and Ian Kinsler grounded out to second to start the frame.
Bottom 8th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Carlos Santana worked a leadoff walk from reliever Daniel Stumpf. After Jay Bruce flew out to left field, Giovanny Urshela singled to left field to put two men on for the Tribe. Ian Kinsler robbed Greg Allen of an RBI with a diving stop, allowing the Tigers to get the out at second base. With runners on the corners, Yan Gomes popped out to end the threat.
Top 8th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Tyler Collins started things off with a single to center field, and after falling behind Bryan Holaday 3-0, Kluber fought back and got Holaday to fly out to left field. Efren Navarro lined out to second base, allowing the Tribe to pull off an inning-ending double play.
Kluber's pitch count is at 101. He may get a chance to finish this one out.
Bottom 7th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Francisco Lindor drew a leadoff walk, but Drew VerHagen bounced back to get Austin Jackson to ground into a double play. After Jose Ramirez singled to left field, VerHagen struck out Edwin Encarnacion to get out of the inning.
Top 7th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Nick Castellanos notched a one-out single to right field, but Jeimer Candelario grounded into an inning-ending double play against Corey Kluber.
Miguel Cabrera grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the frame.
Bottom 6th: Indians 2, Tigers 0
Carlos Santana doubled to left-center against Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy to leadoff the inning. After getting Jay Bruce to ground out to first, which moved Santana up to third, Hardy was shown the door. Drew VerHagen got the call from the bullpen, and he struck out Yandy Diaz before giving a free pass to pinch-hitting Francisco Mejia. With runners on the corners, VerHagen threw a wild pitch to Yan Gomes, allowing Santana to score from third and give the Tribe a 2-0 lead.
With a runner on second, Gomes grounded out to third to end the frame.
Top 6th: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Andrew Romine struck out looking, Ian Kinsler grounded out back to the mound and Alex Presley struck out swinging as Corey Kluber continues to breeze through the Tigers lineup.
Kluber has tagged the Tigers for eight strikeouts tonight, giving up just two hits in the process.
Bottom 5th: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Never take a bloggers word for anything.
I didn't think Brad Ausmus would send Matt Boyd back out for the fifth inning with 100 pitches under his belt. But low and behold, the Tigers manager surprised me, and Boyd backed his manager's decision by setting the Tribe down in order.
Austin Jackson grounded out back to the mound, Jose Ramirez grounded out to shortstop and Edwin Encarnacion struck out swinging.
Since Boyd was able to come back out and pitch through the fifth, he'll now be eligible for a win should the Tigers take the lead in the sixth inning and hold onto it.
Top 5th: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Tyler Collins grounded out to first, Bryan Holaday grounded out to shortstop and Jeimer Candelario flew out to left field as Corey Kluber had his third 1-2-3 inning of the night.
Kluber's pitch count is in pretty good shape at 73.
Bottom 4th: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Brandon Guyer grounded out to third, Yan Gomes struck out swinging and Francisco Lindor flew out to center field as Matt Boyd finally had a stress-free inning.
Boyd's pitch count is up to 100. I can't imagine Brad Ausmus will be sending him back out for the fifth.
Top 4th: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Nick Castellanos ended a streak of 11 consecutive outs by Corey Kluber when he notched a two-out double down the right field line. Kluber, as he often does, bounced back by striking out Jeimer Candelario to end the inning.
Alex Presley grounded out back to the mound and Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging to start the frame.
Bottom 3rd: Indians 1, Tigers 0
For the second consecutive inning, Matt Boyd flirted with disaster. And for the second consecutive inning, he was able to avoid it.
Austin Jackson singled to left field to leadoff the frame, and Jose Ramirez followed with a base hit of his own to right field. With two men on and nobody out, Boyd was able to strike out Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Santana. With a full count on Jay Bruce, Boyd appeared to throw strike three, but he got squeezed by the home plate umpire. No worries, though, as Boyd got Yandy Diaz to fly out to right field to end the inning.
Though it's admirable that Boyd can keep working himself out of these situations, his pitch count is seriously high through three innings at 81.
Top 3rd: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Efren Navarro struck out swinging, Andrew Romine grounded out to first and Ian Kinsler struck out swinging as Corey Kluber set down his ninth straight Tigers hitter since Kinsler doubled to leadoff the game.
Bottom 2nd: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Matt Boyd was able to work himself out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Yan Gomes and getting Francisco Lindor to foul out behind the plate.
Jay Bruce notched a one-out single to right field, Yandy Diaz singled to left field and Brandon Guyer followed suit to load the bases for the Tribe.
Boyd's pitch count is elevated at 55. He doesn't appear to be long for this game.
Top 2nd: Indians 1, Tigers 0
Jeimer Candelario grounded out to second, Tyler Collins did the same and Bryan Holaday fouled out as Corey Kluber set the Tigers down in order.
Bottom 1st: Indians 1, Tigers 0
The quest for 20 wins in a row is off to a good start for the Indians. An eight-pitch battle between Francisco Lindor and Matt Boyd was won the Tribe's leadoff hitter, who homered to left field to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Boyd was able to get the next three outs without issue.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Indians 0
Ian Kinsler led things off with a double down the right field line against Tribe ace Corey Kluber. Alex Presley moved Kinsler up to third with a sacrifice bunt, but Miguel Cabrera struck out looking and Nick Castellanos struck out swinging as the Tigers wasted a prime opportunity to get an early run against a very good pitcher.
TIGERS AT INDIANS
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Progressive Field, Cleveland
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 60-83, fourth place in the American League Central, 27.5 games behind the Indians. The Indians are 88-56, with the best record in the AL.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Alex Presley, LF
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Nick Castellanos, RF
5. Jeimer Candelario, 3B
6. Tyler Collins, CF
7. Bryan Holaday, C
8. Efren Navarro, DH
9. Andrew Romine, SS
SP: Matthew Boyd, LHP
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
2. Austin Jackson, CF
3. Jose Ramirez, 2B
4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
5. Carlos Santana, 1B
6. Jay Bruce, RF
7. Yandy Diaz, 3B
8. Brandon Guyer, LF
9. Yan Gomes, C
SP: Corey Kluber, RHP