Lindor, Tribe overpower Tigers to cap series
CLEVELAND -- Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor stole the show, reaching base four times and belting his first career home run to help Cleveland jump on Detroit's emergency starter Buck Farmer in an 8-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Starting in place of Justin Verlander, who was scratched with mid-back stiffness, Farmer allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings, while striking out seven. The 24-year-old right-hander owns an ERA of 11.02 over 20 2/3 career innings with an 0-3 record, and he was optioned following the game to make room for reliever Bruce Rondon. More >
"First time around, they were taking some offspeed early. And then the next time through, it seemed more that they were swinging at it," said Farmer, who arrived in Cleveland around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. "I thought I threw the ball decent, not up to my standards obviously."
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco worked efficiently through a Miguel Cabrera-less Tigers lineup, cruising through eight innings while allowing just two earned runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven batters, and his pitch count exceeded 15 in just two of his eight frames. The only damage against Carrasco came on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the seventh inning, following a double by Yoenis Cespedes.
"He had a real good breaking ball right from the very beginning," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And he threw it for strikes, and he threw it a lot. It was working and probably allowed him to get away with a few maybe later." More >
The win improves Carrasco's record to 9-6 and establishes a new career high in wins for the 28-year-old. The Indians had won just one of their previous seven games against the Tigers, and just five of their previous 25 at home.
"They've really pushed us around," Francona said. "It felt good to win."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kipnis sets record: Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis set a new Progressive Field record with a single in the third inning, extending his home hitting streak to 28 games. Michael Brantley previously held the longest streak by an Indians player at 19 games, and Kipnis surpassed Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who held the overall record. Kipnis later came around to score. His hit sparked a third-inning rally that got the Indians rolling.
"He's one of the better players in the game, and he continues to show it every game," Francona said. "That's what the premier players do." More >
Lindor-mania: Lindor tacked on to the Indians' lead in the fifth inning by slugging his first career home run on an 0-1 Farmer pitch. He was batting from the left side of the plate, and he deposited the pitch just over the right-center-field wall. Lindor also drew his first career walk in the first, singled in the third and drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.
"I'm not used to hitting home runs; I don't hit home runs," Lindor said with a laugh. "I knew I got something good, but then I saw J.D. turn around. I was just trying to go two, but it went over the fence. I'm happy." More >
Rallies stalled: The Tigers missed a chance at an early lead when they couldn't drive in Andrew Romine from third base with nobody out in the third inning, thwarted by a Rajai Davis double play. Detroit finally got on the board in the seventh with the Martinez home run, but missed a chance for more when the Indians finally cooled off the hot-hitting Romine, who hit into an inning-ending double play.
Finally first: One of the key issues that has led to Cleveland's struggles against Detroit this season has been the Tigers scoring first. Detroit has jumped out to a lead in 10 of the 11 matchups between the teams this season, but the Indians remedied that with a three-run third inning. Starting with Kipnis, the Tribe lineup strung together five consecutive hits to gain an early in advantage in the contest, capped off by a two-run double off the bat of Carlos Santana.
"I didn't think it was a bad pitch," Farmer said of Santana's double. "It was down and away, but he put a good swing on it."
"Carrasco was good. Sometimes you got to tip your cap. As much as you guys want to blame someone in this clubhouse, sometimes you've just gotta give them credit." -- Brad Ausmus
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers are 24-13 against AL Central opponents this season, compared with 13-22 outside the division. They own the best in-division record of any team in the American League.
Tigers: The Tigers begin a 10-game homestand with a Thursday matinee, welcoming the White Sox for a 1:08 p.m. ET start as part of a four-game series at Comerica Park. Alfredo Simon (7-4, 3.29 ERA) will try to rebound from his rough start last weekend at Yankee Stadium when he takes the mound opposite Carlos Rodon.
Indians: After an off-day, the Indians travel to Baltimore to begin a 10-day road trip by taking on Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles. Corey Kluber (3-9, 3.65 ERA) will start the series opener at 7:05 p.m. ET, coming off a somewhat shaky outing for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, in which he walked four and allowed four earned runs in seven innings against Tampa Bay.
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