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Adam Plutko’s meltdown leads to ugly Indians loss

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The most runs the Tribe has allowed in a game all season

Detroit Tigers v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

One inning, Franmil Reyes was dancing in the dugout.

The next, the Detroit Tigers were dancing all over Tribe starter Adam Plutko, manufacturing a seven-run inning to erase a 5-0 deficit en route to a 10-5 victory — the Tigers’ first against the Cleveland Indians since April 10, 2019, snapping a 20-game losing streak.

The Indians started hot, plating five runs in the first three innings, capped by a Franmil Reyes two-run blast to right center in the third. But Plutko returned to the mound in the fourth inning and immediately went about squandering that lead.

The Tigers the first time through the order vs. Plutko: 1-for-9, 0 BB, 0 ER

The Tigers the second time through: 4-for-6, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 7 ER

When the opposing team’s No. 9 hitter takes you yard for a grand slam — and the first home run of their big league career — you’re probably doing something wrong. And Plutko didn’t do much right in the fourth inning. He walked Miguel Cabrera on five pitches and then left a hanging curveball in the heart of the zone against Jonathan Schoop, who deposited it into the Home Run Porch in left. That was followed by a hit-by-pitch, a single, and a walk, setting the stage for Isaac Paredes’ go-ahead grand slam on a belt-high four-seam fastball.

Plutko got the hook after that, but the damage was done.

José Ramírez had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth, with two outs and runners on second and third. But he skied a weak flyout to center, extending a funk that has now seen him collect one hit over his last 25 plate appearances. Domingo Santana was 0-for-4, reaching base on an error, and is mired in a 3-for-31 slump. César Hernández and Francisco Lindor were the only players in the Indians’ lineup to collect more than one hit on the night. Carlos Santana extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the ninth.

The Tribe bullpen tried to hold serve after Aaron Civale let them kick back and relax on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. Phil Maton came in in relief of Plutko and threw water on the flames for a couple innings of work before handing the ball to Dominic Leone. He struck out the side in the sixth, but then took a gas can to the mound with him in the seventh, surrendering a leadoff home run and then three consecutive hits for two more Tiger runs.

Cam Hill pitched two scoreless innings late in the game, striking out three. Adam Cimber allowed two baserunners in the ninth but escaped with no damage done.

To end on a positive note, here is the aforementioned scene of Franmil dancing: