A night after being rained out, Justin Verlander eagerly awaited his turn on the mound to wash away the bad taste that the Los Angeles Angels left in his mouth after getting hit around last start. It was clear from the start, Verlander was going to go be in Cy Young form.
For Corey Kluber, it was not such a memorable night. Kluber has a win over the Detroit Tigers this season. On September 3rd, Kluber gave up just three runs in six innings against the Tigers at Comerica Park. This start, he would not make into the sixth inning.
The Tigers’ offense has really come alive in the past two games coming into Friday night. Scoring 13 runs in that time span. The Tigers would get off to a quick start and provide their ace with some early run support.
After Kluber retired the first two hitters of the game, the Tigers collected four straight two out hits to jump ahead 2-0. Then in the bottom of the second Alex Avila lead the inning off with a walk. Later in the inning, Austin Jackson doubled him home. With two outs in the inning, Miguel Cabrera collected RBI 119 on the year with a single to score Jackson.
It was the last time the Tigers would score on the night. Kluber settled down and the Cleveland Indians‘ bullpen held the Tigers in check the rest of the way through. But it would be more than enough run support for Verlander.
Verlander was dominate in his seven innings of work. The Indians had Verlander on the ropes twice in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth the Indians got a two runners in scoring position with no outs. Verlander would got Matt LaPorta to ground out, then struck out Ezequiel Carrera. Prince Fielder ended the inning with a diving stop at first which saved two runs and extra bases for Jason Donald.
In the sixth it was the same story: Runners at second and third, one out. Russ Canzler grounded out, and Cabrera saved two runs with a diving stop at third and nailed Casey Kotchman at first.
It was an all around great performance by the Tigers. Solid pitching, good defense, and a good night at the plate by Tigers’ hitters.
Tomorrow Justin Materson (11-13) will face off against Anibal Sanchez (7-12). Sanchez has a 1.69 ERA in his last four starts. Last time Sanchez pitched against the Indians, he lost 2-0, but pitched seven innings and struck out four.
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