The Detroit Tigers are not well. They are on pace to lose more than 100 games this season, and the Cleveland Indians, when all is said and done, will have been responsible for a decent share of those losses. Tonight’s 10-1 victory over the Tigers in Detroit is the Tribe’s twelfth consecutive win over their beleaguered AL Central foe. They’ve won 13 of 14 this season.
Yet I feel no sympathy for the Tigers, because the shoe was on the other foot not too long ago, as sad as it may be to see the ghost of Miguel Cabrera haunting home plate.
It was Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko who was largely responsible for the Tigers’ woes on Tuesday night, striking out a career-high nine batters over 5.2 innings of work. Aside from a turbulent second inning that saw him surrender two hits, two walks, and one run, Plutko mowed down the Tigers’ lineup for the most part, with his four-seam fastball and slider.
The Tribe made sure he had a comfortable cushion with which to work, tagging Detroit starter Spencer Turnbull for three runs in the first inning. Carlos Santana singled with two outs and scored from first on a Yasiel Puig double over the head of Harold Castro in center field. Jason Kipnis followed that up with his first opposite field home run since 2016, plating a pair and spotting Plutko a 3-0 lead before he even took the mound. Mike Freeman would add a run in the third with a sac fly to deep left to score Santana from third base for a 4-1 advantage.
But it was Franmil Reyes who decided to make it a party against the Tigers’ bullpen. Fresh off a double to the gap in the sixth, Reyes’ second hit of the game was a two-out, three-run homer to deep center field in the seventh. Not to be outdone, Roberto Perez followed suit two batters later, delivering a two-run shot to left field to extend the Indians’ lead to 9-1. Tyler Naquin walked and Francisco Lindor promptly doubled to left to bring him home for an even 10 runs.
In other good news, it was an uneventful evening for the Tribe bullpen. Adam Cimber, Tyler Clippard, and Phil Maton covered the last 3.1 innings, holding the Tigers hitless and scoreless during the final innings of play. The trio also combined for six strikeouts.