The Tigers have dominated the Cleveland Indians this season and were looking for another series sweep of their rivals from their south, but the inability to get any offense going doomed the Tigers on Sunday as they fell 4-0 at Comerica Park. The only offense produced in the game was a Mike Aviles grand slam in the top of the ninth inning. The Tigers still win the series and will remain 7 ½ games up in the standings on Cleveland.
Pitching dominated the game from both sides. Justin Verlander started the game and had a very positive outing pitching seven shutout innings on only four hits and two walks while striking out six. He was opposed by Danny Salazar who for the second time this season shut down Tigers hitters. He pitched six shutout innings and gave up six hits and struck out five.
After Verlander departed the game, Bruce Rondon pitched a scoreless eighth inning and gave way to Joaquin Benoit in the ninth who struggled with control. He issued three walks to load the bases before Mike Aviles produced the game’s only offense with a grand slam to left field.
The Tigers did outhit the Indians 11-5. Alex Avila had three hits and Andy Dirks and Omar Infante both collected two hits to lead the way. Detroit also went 1-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. The game also saw the big league debut of Detroit’s top prospect Nick Castellanos who pinch hit in the seventh inning for Don Kelly and ended the game 0-2 at the plate.
Detroit now heads to Boston for a big series between two division leading teams. Game one will be Monday at 1:35. Doug Fister will make the start against John Lackey.