The Cleveland Indians cruise to their fifth straight win in a dominating performance against division rival Detroit Tigers.
The Cleveland Indians faced Motown rivals Detroit Tigers for the first time this year. The Tribe has owned the Tigers over the last three seasons with a head-to-head record of 41-16. Today was a continuation of that trend as the Indians waylaid Detroit in the series opener 8-2 to claim the top spot in the American League Central Division.
Brad Miller slugged a two run bomb in the second, and Roberto Perez added a solo shot in the fifth. Not to be left out, Jake Bauers crushed his first home run as an Indians out to right field to kickoff the sixth, giving the Indians their fourth home run of the day.
Zimmermann hasn’t pitched well against Cleveland in his career. He’s 0-5 in 7 starts with an 11.08 ERA. The boogieman reared his ugly head early for Zimmermann and he crumbled giving up 3 total home runs.
The offense capitalized on the long ball to push runs across the plate. They were actually out hit by the Tigers despite the lopsided score. Four home runs on the day meant the difference in this one. The Indians just barely outhit the Tigers eight to seven, but the long ball proved fatal for Detroit.
For his part, Indians ace Corey Kluber was not sharp in today’s contest. He threw 88 pitches through the first five innings with only a 61% strike rate. He was good enough though to keep the Tigers offense at bay. He was able to get strikeouts when it counted, getting himself out of jams in the first and fifth innings.
He didn’t look the typical Kluber, but the veteran kept his composure and got the job done going 6 innings giving up just 1 earned run on 7 hits, 8 strikeouts, and just 1 walk.
Detroit has historically been the toughest of the Central Division opponents for the Kluber. He has his worst ERA (3.55), WHIP (1.15) and hits (149) against the Tigers than any of the other division rivals. With today’s win, Kluber was able to improve his record against Detroit to 12-7.
Tomorrow the Indians will be in Detroit for game two of the series. Excentric hurler Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.64) takes the hill against the Tigers Matthew Boyd (0-1, 3.18) as the Tribe looks to make it six in a row.