By Michael Rodgers
The Cleveland Indians (56-47, 24-26 Away) dropped game two of three against divisional rival Detroit Tigers (45-61, 27-26 Home) Saturday evening at Comerica Park 2-1.
The Tigers originally had Francisco Liriano scheduled to face the Tribe tonight, but because of an allergic reaction that landed him in the hospital, he was replaced by left-handed pitcher Blaine Hardy.
The left-hander was impressive going five innings, giving up four hits, one earned run and getting the win to improve to 4-3 on the season. Tigers closer Shane Green recorded his 21st save of the season.
The Tribe countered with right-hander Mike Clevinger (7-7) who took the loss but pitched extremely well. Clevinger lasted five innings too, striking out eight Tigers, giving up five hits but a costly two run homer in the third inning that proved to be the difference.
The Indians lone run came in the second inning after Jason Kipnis singled to right to bring home Yonder Alonso. After that the Tribe couldn’t seem to muster up any offense, finishing the game with one more hit after Hardy was relieved.
Here are a few quick notes from the Setback
1. Clevinger Was a Question Mark
The hard throwing righty was a question mark to start Saturday evening’s game. Indians beat-writer, Paul Hoynes reported that Clevinger was sick all night and was questionable prior to the game.
He gave the team a chance to win, allowing just the two runs on five hits in five innings of work, and deserved a better fate.
2. Average Since the All-Star Break
The Tribe need another outfielder, we all can agree on that, but they may also need an influx of energy. Since their return from the all-star break they are 4-4, getting shut out twice and scoring two runs or less three times.
Luckily for them they still have a 7.5 game lead on the Minnesota Twins who aren’t a threat to do much of anything this season.
3. They’re Still in the Driver's Seat
As noted earlier, the Tribe has been average since their return from the all-star game, but they’ll still in a great position. They have been dominate in divisional games and still have 33 games left against the AL Central. That, along with an addition or two should allow them to get their groove back.
A good performance in tomorrow’s finale will give them the series win and an overall 12-4 record against the Tigers for the season.
Sunday's game will be at 1:10 pm as Corey Kluber (12-6, 2.88 ERA) will take on Jordan Zimmerman (4-2, 3.97).