Tigers' 6-run outburst secures win over Indians
CLEVELAND -- A botched throw by Danny Salazar on a potential inning-ending double play ball led to a meltdown inning, as the Tigers put up six runs in the fifth en route to a 7-3 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.
David Price held the Indians to one run on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, with the only damage coming on a sacrifice fly by Francisco Lindor in the third inning. Price improved to 7-2, and he has now limited Cleveland to just one run in 20 2/3 innings over three starts this season.
"I wasn't as good tonight," Price said, "but you're not always going to have your best stuff. That's when you've got to go out there and kind of lock it in, because that's when it's not easy. Tonight was by no means easy."
Salazar had been cruising before the error in the fifth. He struck out seven in his first four innings, allowing just one run on a homer by Andrew Romine to lead off the third. His final line, however, didn't paint a pretty picture, as Salazar allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks in just 4 1/3 innings, while striking out eight.
The Tigers are now 35-14 against the Indians since the start of the 2013 season, and they have won 16 of the last 19 matchups. The Tigers are 20-5 at Progressive Field since '13 and have outscored the Indians, 171-105.
"We think we can beat them," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "We're competing with them. As soon as that big inning happens, it's deflating a little bit, because you're just like, 'Of course. Here we go again. Everything's going for them versus us this year.' It stinks. We're losing our fight too early."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Romine rakes again: Getting the start at shortstop instead of third base after three straight games, Romine kept on hitting regardless for the Tigers. After his third-inning solo homer opened the scoring, his leadoff double sparked a six-run fifth inning that chased Salazar from the game and put Detroit on top for good. More >
"That was the difference between him settling in and him getting behind on hitters, and us getting some runners going," Romine said of the double.
Kipnis ties record: A leadoff single extended Kipnis' career-best hitting streak to 18 games (longest active run in the Majors). The hit also gave the second baseman a 27-game hitting streak at home, tying the Progressive Field record (since 1994) for any batter. Texas' Elvis Andrus also had a 27-game streak here from Aug. 11, 2009, to May 26, 2015. Kipnis went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI, raising his batting average to an American League-leading .354.
"It's hard to even enjoy it too much," Kipnis said. "You want the hits to mean something. You want it to spark rallies. You want it to ignite an offense, to be that spark at the top of the lineup."
Danny's miscue: With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Salazar appeared to do what has been a tall task for the Indians this season: get Miguel Cabrera out. Cabrera hit a soft ground ball back to Salazar. However, Salazar never cleanly transferred the ball to his throwing hand, and it fell behind him. The Tigers ended up scoring six runs in the inning, taking a 7-1 lead and knocking Salazar out of the game. More >
"He just mishandled it," manager Terry Francona said. "I didn't think he rushed, he just mishandled it. When you get Miggy to hit a ball 15 feet, man, you're thinking we're going to get the out at home and maybe a double play."
Gose gets it: The main reason the Tigers got to the fifth inning with a 1-1 game was that Anthony Gose got to Giovanny Urshela's drive to deep left-center field for the final out of the fourth inning. The running catch saved two runs for Price, whose relief was visible on his way to the Detroit dugout.
"The ball was going right to left and away from Gosey," Price said. "That's what speed does right there. The amount of ground he's able to cover out there is fantastic. He gets really good jumps and uses his speed really well."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kipnis' 27-game home hitting streak is the longest by an Indians batter since Miguel Dilone had as many in a row at Municipal Stadium in 1980. Hal Trosky owns the longest home hitting streak by a Cleveland batter with a 31-game run at home in 1936.
Romine's home run was the fourth of his Major League career. Add in Austin Romine's one big-league homer, and the Romine brothers now have as many career home runs in the Majors as their father, former Red Sox outfielder Kevin Romine.
Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway earned his second career ejection after a mound visit in the fifth inning. Callaway went out to discuss with Salazar how to face Cabrera with the bases loaded, and he was ejected by home-plate umpire Eric Cooper on his walk back to the dugout. Callaway's only other ejection came on August 30, 2014, at Kansas City for arguing a check-swing.
Tigers: Buck Farmer will make his second spot start in place of Justin Verlander, who was scratched with back stiffness, as the Tigers go for the series sweep and their 10th win in 12 games on Wednesday afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET.
Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 4.35) will get the ball for the finale of the three-game set between American League Central rivals at Progressive Field. Carrasco has won four of his last six outings, and is one shy of a career-high for victories in a season.
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