The Tigers fell behind early and their late inning efforts were not enough as Detroit fell 7-6 at home to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night. The Tigers fell behind by a 6-1 score, and charged back to cut the lead to 6-5 in the seventh inning, and had chances in the final two innings, but they couldn’t find the needed runs as the series is now even one game apiece.
Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who has had plenty of struggles this season, looked every bit the part of his once dominant self, pitching six strong innings. The Tigers managed only four hits against him and he struck out eight. After his departure, the Tigers did their work against the Cleveland bull pen scoring four runs in the seventh inning highlighted by a two RBI triple by Omar Infante. Trailing by two in the eighth the Tigers put two runners aboard, but were turned away. In the ninth the Tigers scored one run on an RBI hit by Torii Hunter and brought Miguel Cabrera to the plate with two outs and the go ahead runners on base, but he bounced out to third to end the game.
Justin Verlander was not his usual dominant self, as he pitched only five innings and allowed four runs. A lack of control led to a high pitch count for Verlander as he threw over 60 pitches through the first two innings. While he struck out seven he also gave up six hits and a season high five walks. The Indians jumped on Verlander right away scoring two runs in the first. They went on to add single runs in the second, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Cleveland enjoyed plenty of base runners with Tigers pitching giving up 12 hits and eight walks.
The final game of the series is on Sunday afternoon at 1:08. Rick Porcello will start for Detroit and Cleveland will counter with Zach McAllister.