DETROIT (AP) — Jason Donald was back at Comerica Park, causing more commotion.
Two years ago, Donald was incorrectly called safe at first by umpire Jim Joyce, costing Detroit’s Armando Galarraga a perfect game. On Wednesday night, the Cleveland third baseman made a terrific catch in foul ground while tumbling into the crowd during the Indians’ 7-1 loss to the Tigers — but a young woman was shaken up.
“I felt terrible, because the young girl I landed on was already wearing a back brace, and she was crying, so I was trying to make sure she was OK and get off of her without hurting her,” Donald said. “Her dad seemed mad at me, but he said she was OK.”
The young woman was able to walk away after Donald’s fourth-inning catch. Then in the top of the fifth, Donald was called out on a very close play by Joyce, who happened to be umpiring first again.
“I asked Jim if that was a makeup call from two years ago, and he told me that I was going to give him a heart attack if I kept doing that here,” Donald said. “I told him I was more safe this time than I was last time, and we both laughed. He’s one of the best umpires in the game, and he knows how much we all respect him.”
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Prince Fielder added a solo shot in the eighth to help the Tigers avoid a three-game sweep. Detroit’s Doug Fister (8-8) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-15) gave up four runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings. He was generally sharp after allowing Cabrera’s 35th homer of the year, but Detroit tacked on five more runs in the eighth to break it open.
Cleveland reliever Chris Perez left the clubhouse shortly after the game without commenting after he was quoted in a foxsports.com report about the way the Indians are being run. Perez was comparing the Indians and Tigers.
“Different owners,” he said in the report. “It comes down to that. They are spending money. He (Detroit owner Mike Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”
Cleveland manager Manny Acta shrugged off the comments before the game.
“What really concerns me is that in the ninth inning, when he needs to save the game, he comes in and gets it,” Acta said. “The rest of the stuff, we handle it internally.”
The Tigers lost back-to-back 3-2 games to begin the series but took the finale to remain a game behind the first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Austin Jackson led off the Detroit first with a single. One out later, Cabrera homered to right.
Cleveland cut the margin in half in the fourth on an RBI single by Michael Brantley, who has hit safely in 16 straight games against Detroit.
Jimenez became the first major leaguer in 2012 to reach 15 losses. It looked as if he might pitch his first complete game since coming to Cleveland in a midseason trade last year, but he was pulled in the eighth after Andy Dirks hit an RBI triple.
Dirks scored on a sacrifice fly by Cabrera. Fielder followed with his 24th homer of the season, and Jhonny Peralta made it 7-1 with a two-run double.
While the game was still close, Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit walked Ezequiel Carrera to start the top of the eighth and fell behind 2-0 to pinch-hitter Casey Kotchman. After a visit from pitching coach Jeff Jones, Benoit got Kotchman to hit a routine fly to center. Shin-Soo Choo then grounded into a double play.
NOTES: Jimenez is 1-8 in 11 starts since the All-Star break. … Fister is 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA in his last seven starts against Cleveland.