When the Indians and Tigers play, it’s not over until the fat lady sings. In another crazy one, Cleveland prevailed 9-4 to end with a split in the four game series.
Both teams got on the board in the first after taking basically a breakfast break from the marathon thirteen inning game Wednesday night to the 12:05 afternoon start on Thursday at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Detroit scored their run on a Carlos Guillen sac-fly to center that plated Curtis Granderson. Cleveland got their first score on back-to-back doubles from Ben Francisco and Jhonny Peralta. At the end of one, it was tied 1-1.
Francisco Carmona pitched as well as a guy should be expected to in his second outing after a long trip to the DL. It even appeared he might cruise to an easy win.
Then again, this is the Indians and Detroit we are talking about.
The Indians put up a three spot in the bottom of the fifth, opening up a 4-1 lead. After Sal Fassano was hit by a pitch, Asdrubal Cabera worked a work after a full count, setting the plate for Grady Sizemore’s 27th home-run of the season.
The Tigers got a run back in the top of the sixth. Ramon Santiago was hit by a pitch and Carlos Guillen moved him to second with a single. Matt Joyce was safe on a fielder’s choice. A rare fielding error by Cabrera allowed Santiago to score. With two out, Carmona bailed himself out by getting Marcus Thames to foul out to Indians third baseman Andy Marte.
The Indians padded their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Shin-Soo Choo singled with one out. After a Marte foul-out, Ryan Garko walked. With runners on first and second, Fasano singled home Choo. Detroitwent to the bullpen, bringing in Clay Rapada. Cabrera greeted him with a single to right, loading the bases. Sizemore was hit by a pitch, walking in Garko. Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a fielder’s choice, ending the two run inning.
The Tigers finally chased Carmona in the seventh. Edgar Renteria started the inning off with a double. Ryan Raburn singled Renteria to third, and a Carmona’s wild pitch scored Renteria. On a Fasano error, Raburn ended up on third. He scored on a Dane Sardinha groundout, and Rafael Perez came on in relief of Carmona.
Perez got the Tribe out of the jam after adding to the malay and then struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth paving the way for Masa Kobayashi to close down the Tigers in the ninth.
In the meantime, the Indians added three runs in the bottom of the eighth on a Garko single, and Fasano double that scored Garko. Cabrera and Sizemore drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases. Gutierrez hit a sac-fly that scored Fasano and moved Cabrera over to third. When Sizemore swiped second, Tiger catcher Sardinha registered a throwing error, and Cabrera scored.
The Indians finished the day with nine runs on eight hits, but had a whopping three errors. Detroit, not much better in the field, had four runs on six hit with a pair of errors.
Carmona went six and a third, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out three and walking one. Two of the runs were earned. He also came out just shy of 100 pitches at 99 and moves to 5-3 on the season.
Rafael Perez got the hold and deservedly so. Jason Verlander earned the loss, going five and two-thirds while surrendering six runs on five hits, all six earned. He did strike out nine and walked three.
Cleveland travels to Minnesota Friday, taking on a Twins team just a game and a half out of first place in the Central. Game time is 8:05. Jeremy Sowers (1-5, 5.86 ERA) goes up against Nick Blackburn (7-6, 3.69 ERA).