The Tigers won three of four from the Indians thanks to an 11-4 win in 11 innings on Thursday, but the game was obviously not as lopsided as the score makes it out to be.
The Tigers scored in a grand total of two innings – four in the first and seven in the eleventh. Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer has struggled in the first inning all season long and today was no different as command struggles led to four runs – a wild pitch and a pair of RBI hits from Bryan Holaday and Rajai Davis as the Tigers sent ten men to the plate.
All was quiet until the fourth, when a dropped popup thanks to miscommunication between Ian Kinsler and fill-in right fielder Tyler Collins led to an Indians sac fly. In the sixth, Rajai Davis dove and missed a line drive, turning a single into a double and a 2nd and 3rd situation, which led to a Yan Gomes RBI groundout and a Lonnie Chisenhall RBI single to make it 4-3. Only a line drive directly at Victor Martinez got Detroit out of the inning. In the seventh, old nemesis Michael Brantley came up with a two out RBI double off Blaine Hardy to tie the game at four.
The Tigers weren’t getting chances and the game went into extras as Detroit’s bullpen held. In the tenth, the Tigers squandered a first and third, one out situation, a strikeout of Nick Castellanos being the key at bat. In the eleventh, a walk, a perfectly placed popup, and an intentional walk with one out set the stage for Eugenio Suarez, who had pinch run for Miguel Cabrera earlier and was subsequently hitting in the three spot. Suarez did Cabrera proud with a line shot into left off Josh Tomlin to score two and give the Tigers the lead back. Victor Martinez followed with a three run homer, and the game was effectively over even before Detroit added two more in the inning.
The Tigers head home for three against San Francisco starting Friday night.