The Detroit Tigers were on the brink of being swept by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night. The Tigers were trying to stay within one game of the division leading Chicago White Sox, and avoid falling two games behind.
Doug Fister was on the mound for the Tigers. In Fister’s last start, he went only five innings but walked four. On Wednesday, walks, hits, and runs were all hard to come by off Fister.
In seven impressive innings, the tall right hander allowed only one run and scattered four hits with the lone run coming from a Michael Brantley single that scored Jason Kipnis in the top of the fourth.
The Tigers’ offense provided Fister with some early runs. Miguel Cabrera hit his 35th home run of the year in the bottom of the first. Cabrera also tied Mike Trout for the highest average in the AL. And moved in front of Josh Hamilton for most RBIs in the AL.
Ubaldo Jimenez held the Tigers’ offense dormant for six innings after Cabrera’s home run. At one point Jimenez retired nine-straight Tigers and hadn’t walked a hitter.
Then in the eighth inning, Jimenez — and the Indians’ bullpen– fell apart.
The Tigers rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eight. It all started off when Austin Jackson walked to start off the inning. Andy Dirks tripled Jackson in, then Cabrera collected his third RBI of the night with a sac-fly. Prince Fielder hit a solo shot — his 24th of the year — making it 5-1 Tigers.
It would not stop. Delmon Young singled to right to keep the rally alive. Avisial Garica pinch-hit for Brennan Boesch and collected an infield hit. Jhonny Peralta hit a two run double, making it 7-1 Tigers.
It turned a start for Jimenez that was once seven strong, two earned runs innings, to a seven innings, four earned run start. Brandon Allen was responsible for three of the five runs score in the eighth.
Jose Valverde retired the Indians in order in the ninth, securing a Tigers’ victory and avoided a big sweep.
The Tigers have an off-day on Thursday before opening a three games series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Anaheim. Max Scherzer (15-6) will face off against Ervin Santana (8-11) in game one. Scherzer has been tremendous in his last five starts. Scherzer has an ERA of 1.03 in that time span.
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