The Detroit Tigers entered Wednesday afternoon’s game on an 11-game losing streak against the Cleveland Indians in 2016 thus far. Michael Fulmer toed the slab and looked to put an end to the gut wrenching streak the Tribe held over the Tigers. Fulmer went six innings, scattering five hits, gave up two runs (one earned) and struck out two batters in his effort, earning the win in the long run. The offense went on a tear, scoring 12 runs on 12 hits.
1st-3rd Innings: Cleveland starting pitcher, Josh Tomlin struck out Ian Kinsler to begin the ball game and induced two ground balls thereafter to end the Indians’ half of the first inning. Michael Fulmer looked to have a 1-2-3 first inning, but a Cameron Maybin mishap in the outfield, extended the inning for the Tribe. Mike Napoli grounded out to end the inning. Tomlin saw himself produce yet another easy half inning in the second for the Indians, keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard. Jose Ramirez laced a lead-off double down the right field line in the second for Cleveland, then advanced to third base on a defensive lapse by Detroit. Lonnie Chisenhall hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field that would plate the first run of the game by either ball club. After a strikeout of Juan Uribe and a ground ball off the bat of Tyler Naquin, the Tigers were out of the inning. Tomlin’s third inning of work, mirrored his previous two innings with getting the Tigers’ offense 1-2-3. Back-to-Back singles led off Cleveland’s half of the third inning. There was a challenge presented by the Tribe on a possible Jason Kipnis three-run home run, but the play would stand with the original call of foul. Francisco Lindor knocked home Chris Gimenez with a sacrifice fly, or so we thought. The Tigers challenged that Gimenez left early at third base, but upon further review, the run would hold and the Indians extended their lead to two runs. Cleveland leads 2-0.
4th-6th Innings: Kinsler led off the fourth inning with a base hit to right field, giving the Tigers their first hit and base runner of the game. Maybin pulled a ball to left field that hung in the air for a while, but ultimately dinged off the foul pole to even the game a two runs a piece. Victor Martinez doubled and Nick Castellanos singled with one out. Justin Upton produced a sacrifice fly to give Detroit a 3-2 lead. The Indians had two runners on base in the fourth with two outs. Fulmer was able to induce a chopper right back to him and get the out at first base to end the inning. After retiring the first two batters of the fifth inning, Tomlin surrendered gave up a single to Kinsler and issued a walk to Maybin, that brought up Miguel Cabrera who laced a ball into the right center field gap for a single to plate both runs and extend Detroit’s lead to three runs. Castellanos crushed a three-run home run to center field to give the Tigers a six run lead. After a lead off walk to Carlos Santana, Fulmer got a ground ball from Kipnis that turned a double play for the Tigers. While running the play out at first base, Kipnis stepped on Fulmer’s foot when making the stretch to the bag down the line. Thankfully Fulmer was ok and was able to stay in the game. Nothing doing for both ball clubs in the sixth. Detroit leads 8-2.
Cleveland reliever, Zach McAllister loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning. Castellanos made him pay with a two-run double. Steven Moya joined the party with a two-run single, putting Detroit up by 10 runs. Shane Greene replaced Fulmer in the seventh inning for the Tigers. Greene gave up a hit and struck out a batter in his inning of work. Nothing doing for the Tigers in the eighth. Kyle Ryan replaced Greene in the eighth for Detroit. Ryan gave up a lead off double, but exited the eighth inning unscathed. The Tigers got a hit in the ninth inning, but nothing further. Bobby Parnell was tasked with ninth inning duty for Detroit. He gave up a walk and induced a double play to end to game. Detroit wins 12-2.
- When the Tigers took the lead in the fourth inning, it was only the second time they’d led the Indians so far this season.
- Nick Castellanos’ home run in the fifth inning was his 16th of the season thus far, which is a new career high for the Tigers’ third baseman.
- Ian Kinsler got his 100th hit of the season in the seventh inning.
- Michael Fulmer has gone 10 straight starts without giving up more than five hits in any of the starts made. Pretty impressive stuff by the rookie phenom.
Up next: The Tigers will fly north of the border and do battle with the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-game series. It will serve as the final series of the first half for both teams before the All-Star break.