Cleveland Indians Lose Series to Detroit Tigers As Francisco Lindor Debuts


The Cleveland Indians’ lengthy struggles against the Tigers continued on Sunday, as Detroit beat them in an 8-1 game that featured a nearly two-hour long rain delay. Corey Kluber pitched five innings before the delay, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk, with just two strikeouts. Tigers’ left-hander Alfredo Simon also did not return to the game after the rain, but he had allowed just three hits and a walk with five strikeouts through five scoreless innings at that point. On a brighter note, Francisco Lindor made his major league debut, going 1-for-2 with a ninth-inning hit.

Key Moments
It was all Tigers until the ninth inning. Kluber walked Anthony Gose to lead off the game, and he stole a base and scored when Ian Kinsler singled to left field. Detroit scored again in the fourth inning, when Miguel Cabrera hit a long home run to center field. That would be the only two runs the Tigers needed, but it didn’t stop them from adding on plenty of others.

After the fifth inning ended, the grounds crew pulled the tarp onto the field, and the players settled in for a rain delay that lasted one hour and 51 minutes. When they finally returned, Scott Atchison took the mound for the Tribe and promptly walked Kinsler and gave up a single to Cabrera. With one out, J.D. Martinez smashed a ball over the right center field wall to make it 5-0 in favor of Detroit. The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the eighth, when Ryan Webb allowed a trio of singles to Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes and Martinez. One run scored when Tyler Collins grounded into a force out, and two more scored on a Bryan Holaday double to left field.

The Tribe finally showed some fight in the ninth inning, when Brandon Moss hit a one-out homer to left field for the Tribe’s first and only run. A pair of singles off of the bats of Lindor and Zach Walters put runners on the corners for Ryan Raburn, who was hit by a pitch. Tom Gorzelanny got Mike Aviles to line out on a fantastic catch by Gose to end the game with the bases loaded, which seemed like a fitting ending for the Tribe’s series against Detroit.

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The Positives
Hagadone pitched 1.2 perfect innings with three strikeouts, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the rest of the Tribe’s pitching. Kipnis was 2-for-3 with a walk, continuing his hot streak, and Brandon Moss had a pair of hits, including a home run.

The Negatives
The Tribe left eight runners on base, including ending the game with the bases loaded. The Indians just can’t seem to solve the Tigers. Kluber certainly didn’t have his best outing, although some of that can be attributed to the rain, and Atchison struggled in his return from the disabled list. Even Webb, who has been stellar all year, faltered against the Tigers and put the game completely out of reach for the Indians. As usual, the Tribe just can’t wait to get out of Detroit.

Check It Out
– The most interesting part of this game was the debut of Lindor, who entered the game as a pinch hitter for David Murphy in the seventh inning. He struck out in his first major league at-bat, but he made up for that in the ninth inning, when he singled for his first hit. He might have had extra bases, but he tripped as he rounded first base. After stumbling, he fell down entirely and had to scurry back to first. It’s safe to say his teammates are not likely to let him forget his first day in the big leagues.

– The Indians will head to Chicago on Monday, but it won’t be to take on the White Sox this time. Instead, the Tribe will start a four-game split series with the Cubs, playing two games before heading back to Cleveland for two more. The last time the two teams faced off was in 2009, so it should be an interesting interleague series.

– After being roughed up his last time out, Trevor Bauer will get the start for the Tribe. Bauer allowed six runs in just 3.2 innings against Seattle, one of the worst starts of his career. This season, the right-hander is 5-3 with a 3.53 ERA, including 75 strikeouts in just 74 innings. The Cubs are countering with Jake Arrieta, who has a 3.16 ERA over 77 innings this year. He boasts a 6-4 record, with 83 strikeouts of his own.

– Players to watch include Chicago rookies Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. Bryant, the third baseman, is batting .297/.407/.484 with seven home runs. Russell has hit just .245/.301/.405 with four home runs, but his defense at second base has been stellar.

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