Cleveland Swept By Detroit
CLEVELAND – A weekend of high expectations and large crowds ended with a thud for the Indians.
Another rocky start by Josh Tomlin and three errors sent Cleveland to a 10-4 loss Sunday as Detroit completed a three-game sweep.
Tomlin (4-5) didn’t retire a batter in the fifth when the Indians committed two errors, which helped Detroit score seven runs. Meanwhile, the offense struggled until the ninth when the Indians scored three times.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis, who was 0 for 5 in the finale and 1 for 14 in the series, tried to keep the weekend in perspective.
“Is it disappointing? Of course, we just got swept at home,” he said. “But at the same time, we swept them last time they were here and now look where they are, they’re back in first place. So it just goes to show you how long the season is. It goes to show you how tight this division is.”
The Indians drew 100,280 fans on the weekend, including a sellout on Saturday, and entered the series on a high note following Nick Swisher’s game-winning grand slam in the 10th inning Thursday against the Angels.
That momentum quickly came to an end, and the Indians have lost four of five at home following a 10-game winning streak at Progressive Field.
“We can’t just show up and win. We’ve got to do the little things,” Kipnis said. “We’ve got to play defense, pitch well and we’ve got to hit with runners on base. When we don’t have that going, you can see that games like this happen.”
Tomlin allowed eight runs in four-plus innings. He faced six hitters in the fifth and all reached base. He has been handed the loss in his last three starts.
“I didn’t do enough to limit the damage in that inning,” he said. “That’s on me. I’ve got to make better pitches and pitch selection to not give up seven runs in that inning.”
The Tigers took advantage of errors by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and center fielder Michael Bourn in taking a 9-0 lead in the fifth.
Singles by Ian Kinsler and Austin Jackson placed runners at the corners. Miguel Cabrera’s grounder scored a run, as the call of an apparent force play at second was overturned when a replay review requested by Tigers manager Brad Ausmus showed the shortstop dropped the throw from Kipnis before completing the out on Jackson. It was Cabrera’s team-leading 14th error.
Bourn charged in for Victor Martinez’s line drive but dropped the ball, loading the bases. J.D. Martinez, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, doubled to right before Nick Castellanos doubled to left for a 7-0 lead. Austin Romine added an RBI single off Kyle Crockett and Ian Kinsler added another RBI single off John Axford to make it 9-0.
“Against any team, if you give them extra opportunities there’s a decent chance you pay for it,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “They just blew it open and we helped them. They don’t need the help.”
Cabrera had three RBIs for the Tigers and hit his 13th homer in the first. He was 5 for 13 (.384) in the series with one homer, four RBIs and five runs scored. His RBI double in the 10th inning Saturday gave Detroit a 5-4 win.
“Going through the middle of that order is tough,” Francona said. “They made Tomlin work every inning and finally when things broke through, our defense kind of collapsed at the same time.”
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall committed an error in the eighth, his 10th of the season. The Indians have made 67 for the season, the most in the majors.
Michael Brantley drove in three runs for Cleveland with an RBI double in the fifth and a two-run double in the ninth.
The Tigers, swept in a three-game series at Progressive Field last month, have won four in a row overall.
Max Scherzer (9-3) allowed one run and struck out eight in six innings.
“Early he was in a lot of deep counts, but if you’re going to get into those deep counts you have to make a pitch, and he always seemed to do that,” Francona said.