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Tribe defensive woes continue, Detroit routs Cleveland, 10-4

Tigers seven run fifth inning seals three-game series sweep of Tribe

Tribe defensive woes continue, Detroit routs Cleveland, 10-4
Michael Bourn commits one of three Tribe errors in Sunday's loss to Detroit. (Photo: Chuck Crow)
June 22, 2014
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CLEVELAND—The word “error” is defined as a deviation from accuracy or correctness.

For the Indians, nothing has proven more costly this season than a lack of consistent defense. Three more errors Sunday, and an ugly seven run fifth inning was more than enough for Detroit to close the book on a dismal weekend at Progressive Field.

Slugging out 10 runs on 12 hits, the Tigers cruised to an easy 10-4 victory over the Tribe to sweep the three-game series.

“Against that lineup or against any team, you give them extra opportunities and there’s a decent chance you’ll pay for it,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You saw what happened when you’re going through the middle of that lineup after giving them extra chances.”

For the third straight game, Detroit struck for the game’s first run. Quiet in terms of driving in runs in the series, two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera launched a solo homer off Tribe starter Josh Tomlin (4-5, 4.39 ERA) in the first inning to give Motor City the early one run lead.

Tomlin labored through his first frame, throwing 34 pitches in the inning allowing just the one run.

“It took him a lot of pitches to finish the first inning with the home run by Miggy,” Francona said. “Then again when you’re going through that middle of that order, it’s tough. They made him work every inning.”

Cabrera struck again in the third, ripping an RBI single to left field off Tomlin to give Detroit a two run lead.

Then, the flood gates opened in the fifth.

After back-to-back singles by Ian Kinsler and Austin Jackson opened the frame, consecutive defensive woes by Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Bourn all but gift wrapped a seven run inning for Detroit.

Doubles by outfielders J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos highlighted the seven run onslaught off Tomlin, who finished the ballgame going just four innings, serving up eight runs (five earned) on eight hits.

It marked Cabrera’s team-high 14th error of the season, as Cleveland (37-39) leads the majors having committed 67 errors on the year.

“I felt pretty good going into that inning,” Tomlin said. “But I didn’t do enough to limit the damage in that inning. I think it’s tough not making the pitches to limit the damage than anything else, that’s on me. I’d rather made better pitches in that situation to not give up seven runs.”

Over his last three starts, the Indians right-hander falls to 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA.

“They put up a seven spot which basically took the game out of our hands,” Francona said. “They just blew it open and we helped them, and they don’t need any help.”

Offensively, the Tribe offense was stymied against 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (9-3, 3.71 ERA), who went six quality innings allowing just one earned run on six hits.

It wasn’t until the ninth inning that Tribe bats rallied for three runs against Tigers rookie reliever Chad Smith, striking him for three runs in his big league debut. Three of the four runs Cleveland scored Sunday came off the bat of Michael Brantley, going 3-for-5 in the series finale with a double and three RBI.

Just one month ago, it was the Tribe swept Detroit in a three-game series at Progressive Field. This time, the Tigers returned the favor thanks in large part to three key contributors in the middle of their lineup.

Cabrera, Martinez, and Victor Martinez, combined to go 13-for-37 (.357) with 4 HR and 13 RBI.

“Those guys hit the ball,” Tomlin said. “You got to keep those first two guys in their lineup off base and hope to face the middle of the order with nobody on.”

Detroit evens up the season series with Cleveland at 4-4, having dropped four of their first five meetings.

Up next for Indians: After an off day Monday, the Tribe hits the road to open up a short two-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks (32-46) beginning Tuesday night. Right-hander Justin Masterson (4-5, 4.75 ERA) gets the start against southpaw Wade Miley (3-6, 4.62 ERA) at 9:40 p.m.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

User Comments

rsamak
June 23, 2014 - 1:26 PM EDT
Bourn and ACab botched plays that were fairly easy. That was at least the 3rd time Bourn had a fly ball in the pocket of his glove and dropped it. ACab has so many routine plays that he's screwed up. ... I know the whole infield has been playing like this but imo these 2 do not care or their minds are elsewhere.
C L Who
June 23, 2014 - 1:02 PM EDT
Swisher is grossly underperforming as all know. He needs to be benched until he agrees to take the pitch he gets, like Brantley, Chisenhall and Murphy....instead of always swinging for the fences. Once he starts getting hits he'll get his confidence back; it must have left him by now.

The highest trade values on the team for players we should want to trade are for Masterson and Cabrera. Let's do it, and maybe throw Tomlin in there too. The guy is not the pitcher to handle a power line up. I see no down side in shaking things up, because the team as currently constituted will not be seeing any playoffs this year.
Nikolaos
June 23, 2014 - 8:59 AM EDT
The sad part is that even if Cleveland tried to Trade Cabrera, Swisher, Raburn...their lack of production has all but eliminated any value they may have had in a trade. If they do pull off a trade of one of these underperformers, they will not be getting any blue chip type prospects in return. So you have to ask yourself....stick with the undrachievers, or trade them for some flawed and limited ceiling prospects...I wouldn't want to be in the GM's shoes right now, I can tell you that much!
Steve
June 23, 2014 - 3:32 AM EDT
The tribe had a chance to win the first two games. Tito is too patient with our shitty players. Bat Swisher last in the line up or just outright bench him already. Time to put up or shut up Swish!
Bro Ohio is OVER RATED.
Quit doing the O-H-I-O
and just H-I-T already
Earn your M-O-N-E-Y you S-L-U-G
Mike
June 23, 2014 - 2:38 AM EDT
I don't understand why people are so concerned about Giambi being DFA'd. He is on the DL. He can sit there until September for all I care. Who exactly is he blocking right now?
LeaguePark
June 23, 2014 - 2:17 AM EDT
I predicted 88 wins this year but it's looking more like 80. We have to be sellers at the trading deadline. Masterson, Cabrera, Santana & Swisher can all go. You won't get much for Cabrera and Swisher but it opens up roster space for playes who can do better. Giambi has to be DFA'd immediately.
shy
June 23, 2014 - 1:45 AM EDT
Josh Tomlin limited the Tigers to just 3 runs in 5 innings and for his third consecutive start, an error by Asdrubal Cabrera opened the floodgates and ruined the game for Tomlin and the Indians. Tomlin always sticks up for his guys but I guarantee you he will not be buying Cabrera dinner. Nick Swisher left the series having struck out in 50% of his at bats since coming off the DL. Francona says " If you look at his baseball card, it says he's a good hitter. Maybe instead of looking at his baseball card, he should be looking at his at bats... Indians on the path to dead last in the Central. I think the Twins overtake them this year.

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