Indians shake Tigers, win 4-0
Tigers lead series 15-4
By RAY ROBINSON | 9/1/2013, 8:51 p.m.
It looked as though it was going to be just another ho-hum day at the park for our limping and barely breathing Indians as they played the final game of a three-game series against Detroit in the Dee.
The Tigers had already taken the first two games of the series and were looking for yet another sweep of the Tribe. Earlier this month, Detroit gave the Indians the thumping of a lifetime. They came to Cleveland, took a four-game series from the Tribe and all but ended any talk of a possible playoff run and our chances at a wild-card spot.
On Sunday though, the Indians just weren't having it. After a scoreless game and opening up the ninth, the Indians were blessed by Tiger's pitcher, Joaquin Benoit, who walked three Tribe batters, loading the bases and giving the Indians a get out of jail free card. And they used it right away.
Carlos Santana walked to open the ninth. Rookie, Jose Ramirez, pinch ran for Santana and was followed by another walk, with Michael Brantley being the recipient of the freebie. A sacrafice bunt by Asdrubal Cabrera moved all runners around. Tiger's manager, Jim Leyland then decided to intentionally walk Jason Kubel to get at Alex Aviles.
Bad move. Aviles, with the count standing at 2-2, blasted a shot deep over the wall for the grand slam and a 4-0 lead. The 4-0 lead was enough to keep the Tigers at bay, securing the victory for the home team.
Rookie pitcher, Danny Salazar threw a nice game and was able to keep his head about himself. In six innings of work the Tigers were only able to manage just six hits off of the youngster. His head was on straight as he struck out five and was strong enough not to walk a batter.
Although you never look down on a win, it could simply be, too much, too little and much, much too late. After losing three to the Braves in Atlanta and then dropping two of the tree to the Tigers, the Indians have dug themselves a hole that may be too deep to climb out of. There are only 26 games left in the regular season and the Tigers seem almost light-years ahead of the Indians, although they are only ahead by 7 1/2 games. Still, I don't see the wheels falling off of the Tigers' scoring machine any time soon.
They battled the Indians on Sunday without the services of the league's most ferious slugger, Miguel Cabrera. Austin Jackson was not in the lineup either. Both Cabrera and Jackson were on the bench nursing injuries.
The Indians are still contenders for a wild-card spot, however, with each loss, the picture gets fuzzier and their chances of advancing appear slim.
The Indians open a three-game series tomorrow against the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field. Baltimore is also in the race and seeking a wild-card spot.