Cleveland recorded season highs in hits (19) and runs (13) in a 13-5 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Monday night, presumably prompting a number of fans to mutter, “They need to save some of these runs,” to no one in particular as they watched from home.
1st inning: 2 runs
Cleveland wasted no time roughing up Detroit’s rookie starter Matt Manning, who was making only the third start of his big league career. Cesar Hernandez beat the shift for a leadoff single, pushing a grounder through the left side of the infield. Amed Rosario stroked a double into the gap in right-center, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Both would come home to score, one courtesy of a José Ramírez RBI groundout and the other thanks to an Eddie Rosario sac fly.
2nd inning: 3 runs
Having seen their 2-0 lead cut in half by Miguel Cabrera in the top of the second inning, Cleveland responded in kind. Harold Ramirez laced a leadoff double into right field before coming around to score on a bloop RBI single from Bradley Zimmer, restoring their two-run lead. After Ernie Clement grounded into a fielder’s choice, Austin Hedges turned on an inside fastball and deposited it into the home run run porch in left field, giving Cleveland a 5-1 lead.
3rd inning: 0 runs
Not sure what happened here. Manning somehow managed a 1-2-3 inning. Terry Francona was likely tempted to bench all three of the players involved but thought better of it.
4th inning: 4 runs
Seeing Detroit score another run in the top of the fourth inning, Cleveland is believed to have held a closed-door team meeting in between innings to right the ship. Ernie Clement set the tone by taking a pitch off his left hand and assuming his rightful place at first base with one out. One batter later, Cesar Hernandez sent a two-out blast to the wall in right-center, settling for an RBI double when he was only inches away from a home run. Amed Rosario followed with an infield single before José Ramírez wiped the bases clean with a three-run down the first base line.
5th inning: 2 runs
The Tigers scored again in the top of the fifth inning and Cleveland took that personally. Bobby Bradley smoked a 110.6 mph line drive into center field that caught the center fielder off guard, slicing past him for a leadoff double. Harold Ramirez drilled an RBI single to center to score Bradley. With one out, Ernie Clement singled, before he and Harold advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. That at-bat ended with an Austin Hedges sac fly to bring Harold home.
6th inning: 1 run
José Ramírez, realizing he hadn’t doubled since Sunday, rectified the situation with a one-out double to the corner in right field. Eddie Rosario, desiring a double of his own, doubled off the wall in left-center to score José and take his place at second base.
7th inning: 1 run
With two outs and runners on first and second, José Ramírez assessed his performance at the plate thus far, coming to the conclusion that he either needed to hit a single or a triple. Being modest, he opted for the single, scoring Ernie Clement from second.
8th inning: 0 runs
I wish I had an explanation for you. We’ll see if Francona addresses it in his postgame comments. Two innings with no runs scored? This malfeasance will not stand.
Eli Morgan was okay, striking out four over five innings of work. He alternated his four-seam fastball and changeup effectively, but his slider continues to be a problem pitch. Coming into the game, the batting average against his slider was .444 and opposing hitters were slugging 1.000 against it. The Tigers twice punished sliders that caught too much the plate, including a Miguel Cabrera solo home run in the second inning and a two-run homer by Jake Rogers in the fifth inning. That is three of the four earned runs he gave up Monday night.
The bullpen — Nick Sandlin, Blake Parker, Nick Wittgren, and Bryan Shaw — sewed things up in the final four frames, though Wittgren did allow a solo home run to Robbie Grossman in the eighth.
I leave you with this, a parting shot of your sweet prince: