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Aviles's slam propels Tribe to 4-0 win to end road trip

Indians snap losing streak with late-inning offense in Motown

Aviles's slam propels Tribe to 4-0 win to end road trip
September 2, 2013
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Detroit, MI -- Mike Aviles hit a grand slam, the first of his career, off Joaquin Benoit in the ninth as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 4-0 in the finale of a three-game series.

 

The Tigers had won seven straight games against second-place Cleveland. Detroit won the season series 15-4, helping form a 7.5 game lead in the division with one month left in the regular season.

 

After both teams failed to plate a run in the first eight innings, Benoit (4-1, 2.13) walked Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley to start the top of the ninth. Asdrubal Cabrera advanced both runners with his second sacrifice bunt of the game. After an intentional walk of Jason Kubel loaded the bases, Aviles teased a sold-out Comerica Park with some foul balls that were almost caught before driving a hanging slider over the left-field fence for his ninth homer of the season.

 

Joe Smith (6-2, 2.56) picked up the win after allowing one hit and a walk in the eighth, keeping the Tigers scoreless. Chris Perez worked around three hits in the ninth to end the game.

 

Danny Salazar and Justin Verlander matched one another pitch-for-pitch through six innings, though neither factored into the game's final decision.

 

After striking out 10 Tigers in his second career start, Salazar again kept batters off balance, pounding the zone while striking out five. Detroit got runners to third against Salazar in the third and fifth innings, but failed to plate a run.

 

With runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the third, Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder's choice, ending up with Alex Avila out at home. Torii Hunter then hit a fly out to right to get Salazar out of the jam.

 

After Andy Dirks hit a two-out single to put runners on first and third in the fifth, Salazar got Iglesias to pop out to second to keep the shutout intact.

 

In all, Salazar allowed six hits in six innings of work. He threw just 77 pitches (54 strikes).

 

Lefty reliever Nick Hagadone, recalled from AAA Columbus earlier in the day, was given a chance to pitch for the first time since July 2 but was given a quick hook after he gave up one hit and one walk while getting only one out. Cody Allen came on and stranded a runner at third by striking out Dirks.

 

Verlander, who had allowed 11 runs in his last two starts, kept the Indians in check through seven innings, allowing just four hits and walking two. The Tribe threatened with two on in the first inning, but failed to capitalize against the Detroit ace.

 

The Tigers kept Miguel Cabrera out of the lineup for a second straight day due to a strained abdomen. They were also without center fielder Austin Jackson after he hurt his right shoulder colliding with the wall trying to make a catch on Santana's inside-the-park homer Saturday.

 

The Indians return home Monday to start a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles. Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.49) will take on Bud Norris (9-10, 4.13) at 4:05 p.m.

Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English.  He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall.  Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.

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