CLEVELAND -- Jim Adduci rounded third base and gave a big high five to third-base coach Dave Clark before greeting Jeimer Candelario and Christin Stewart at home, followed by a flurry of high fives in the visitor's dugout at Progressive Field on Sunday.Adduci's trot was the product of his three-run
CLEVELAND -- Jim Adduci rounded third base and gave a big high five to third-base coach Dave Clark before greeting Jeimer Candelario and Christin Stewart at home, followed by a flurry of high fives in the visitor's dugout at Progressive Field on Sunday.
Adduci's trot was the product of his three-run homer off Shane Bieber in the fifth inning, sparking the Tigers 6-4 rubber match win against the Indians, ending a spell of five straight series losses dating to April of last season.
"I thought it was off the wall," Adduci said. "Everyone started slowing up, so I thought it must have gone out."
Manager Ron Gardenhire praised the mettle he saw from his team, which bounced back from a 15-0 loss Saturday.
"The [guys] weren't down or anything like that, they came to play" Gardenhire said. "It was a nice ballgame. Like I said, we needed that. They rested their regulars, but you know what? We came to play."
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Adduci's third homer was his only hit on the day, finishing 1-for-3 with four RBIs to back a strong start from Francisco Liriano (5-10). The left-hander struck out seven and held the Indians to three runs and five hits over seven innings. Josh Donaldson was the Tribe's only everyday player in the lineup, allowing most other starters to rest after the team clinched its third straight American League Central championship on Saturday.
"Seeing him hit a home run right there was a lot of motivation for me," Liriano said of Adduci. "I was able to command my fastball around the plate where I wanted to. They were swinging hard, too. Guys made a lot of good plays for me defensively, and just getting a lot of ground balls."
Adduci opened scoring in the first with a sacrifice fly that scored Candelario, who led the game off with a first-pitch single up the middle off of Bieber (10-4). However, Tribe first baseman Yandy Diaz tied the game in the bottom of the first to even the score, 1-1.
After the Tribe put up two runs in the fourth, Detroit responded the next half-inning and took the lead for good with a four-run fifth. Bieber allowed the first four baserunners to reach. Candelario and Stewart hit back-to-back singles, setting the table for Adduci's 381-foot opposite-field homer, per Statcast™, over the 19-foot wall in left. In the eighth, Michael Mahtook added some insurance, hitting a 386-foot solo shot off reliever Andrew Miller for the outfielder's eighth of the season.
Joe Jimenez pitched a perfect eighth and closer Shane Greene notched his 30th save of the season.
"The rest of the guys got the job done, and there you have it," Gardenhire said. "Some good days at the plate for a few guys. Middle guys caught the ball very well, played good defense and that's one of the things that's gonna make us a little bit better -- we start making some plays. So it was a really good day for us."
Candelario and Stewart each went 3-for-5 and finished the series a combined 10-for-26. Candelario collected his 28th multi-hit game of the season and Stewart has hit safely in five of his six starts at the Major League level, hitting .280 (7-for-25) in that stretch.
Adduci's homer was the fifth of his career and completed his first ever four-RBI game. In 33 games since the start of August, the outfielder-turned-first baseman is hitting .306 in 111 at-bats, with two homers, two triples, seven doubles and 15 RBIs.
"We had a few guys put some nice swing up there on the balls," Gardenhire said. "Candelario, again swinging very good and is playing very good. Stewart with a big hit. It was fun. Guys were up for it in the dugout after getting pounded yesterday. We had life, I mean that was good."
Liriano was tagged for two runs in the fourth, which gave the Indians a 3-1 lead. He allowed a leadoff double to Diaz and walked Brandon Guyer, both of whom scored. Eric Haase knocked in Diaz with his first career hit, and Guyer scored on a fielder's choice. The knock was especially sweet for Haase, a Westland, Mich., native. He was named Michigan's "Mr. Baseball" while playing at Divine Child High School in Dearborn.
HE SAID IT
"We would have liked to sweep so they couldn't clinch with us here, but we took a series from the division leader, so you want to take that and run with it. Especially after bouncing back and winning a game [after a big loss Saturday], it's big. Especially for a young team." -- Mahtook, on winning two of three
Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (7-7, 4.17 ERA) will take the hill in the first of three games against the Twins at Comerica Park, marking the team's final homestand of the season. The right-hander allowed five runs and six hits over five innings against the Astros on Tuesday. Minnesota will send Gabriel Moya out to the mound, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
** Casey Harrison ** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.