After beginning the year winning 11 straight against the Tigers, the Cleveland Indians finally fell losing 12-2 to Detroit Wednesday afternoon. The loss was also the first at home for the Indians since May 31st against the Texas Rangers, breaking a streak of 13 in a row at home. The Tribe is now 51-33 on the season while the Tigers moved to 45-40 with the win. Despite the loss, the Indians still were able to take the three-game series two games to one and remain 6.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the division.
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Typically reliable Josh Tomlin (L, 9-2) had an afternoon to forget, getting drubbed for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings. Only five of the runs were earned thanks to a crucial (and rare) error by Francisco Lindor but Tomlin was tagged for seven hits, two of which left the yard. The Tigers got to Tomlin for three in the 4th inning to give them a 3-2 lead, powered by a two-run home run by Cameron Maybin. They then put up five runs in the 5th inning to knock out Tomlin thanks to the aforementioned Lindor error and a big three-run home run by Nick Castellanos, his 16th of the year, to give the Tigers an 8-2 lead.
Tommy Hunter came on and worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings and collecting a pair of strikeouts in the process. Zach McAllister came on to work the 7th inning but recorded just one out and was tagged for four runs on three hits and a walk. Newly called up T.J. House finished the 7th, striking out two but giving up a two-run single to Steven Moya making it 12-2 Tigers. Overall though it was a solid return to the bigs for House who went 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs on just one hit, no walks, and the two strikeouts. Veteran Jeff Manship finished the game for the Indians.
The Indians offense got to rookie Michael Fulmer (W, 9-2) early, taking a 2-0 lead at one point but they struggled again with runners in scoring position going 0-6 on the afternoon and failing to score after the third. The Indians first got on the board in the 2nd inning, thanks to some poor Tigers’ defense. After Jose Ramirez doubled, he went to third on a throw by Moya in right field and Lonnie Chisenhall drove him in with a sacrifice fly giving the Tribe the 1-0 lead. The Indians added their second run in the 3rd inning on another sacrifice fly, this time off the bat of Lindor and scoring Chris Gimenez giving the Tribe the 2-0 lead.
Beyond that though there wasn’t much to cheer about offensively. Rookie Tyler Naquin continued his hot play though going 2 for 3 with a walk, raising his season average to .320. Abraham Almonte, a late replacement when the game got out of hand, recorded his first big league hit of the 2016 season as well, a double to lead off the 8th inning. Unfortunately, he was one of the seven left on base for the Tribe on the afternoon getaway day.
The Indians will welcome the New York Yankees to town beginning tomorrow for a four-game series to close out the first half of the season. Trevor Bauer (7-2, 3.02 ERA) will take the hill for the Indians in the series opener Thursday while Ivan Nova (5-5, 5.06) will take the hill for the Bronx Bombers. It will be the first meeting between the Indians and Yankees of 2016 and the only time New York comes to Cleveland. Following the series, most of the Indians will get a nice four-day All-Star break, which will be much needed after 17 straight days of games.