CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have dominated the Tigers this season, and Brad Ausmus has seen enough.
The Detroit manager finally reached his boiling point Thursday, when the Indians completed a three-game home sweep with a 9-4 victory at Progressive Field.
The Indians are 6-0 against the Tigers.
"Quite frankly, they’ve kicked our butts over these six games," a visibly agitated Ausmus said. "We didn’t do anything offensively or on the mound in this series. They outpitched us, outdefensed us, and outhit us. They’ve been the better team all six times we’ve played against them."
Cleveland, which swept a three-game set at Comerica Park in late April, has outscored the Tigers 38-12. The American League Central rivals will play 13 more times, with their next meeting on June 24 in Detroit.
"Obviously, I’m not too happy about how we’ve played against Cleveland this year, at home or on the road," Ausmus said. "I hope the guys are a little ticked right now, and I hope they hold on to some of that until we play the Indians again."
AL batting leader Nick Castellanos hit a three-run homer in the fourth and scored twice for the Tigers. He went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .383.
Detroit managed just five hits off Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-0) and four relievers. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the Tigers’ final run with a ninth-inning single to plate Castellanos.
"We need to play better in our division, and Detroit is the one team that’s really had their way with us," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose club was 19-37 against the Tigers over the three previous seasons. "There’s a long way to go in this year, but we’ve done a good job with them so far."
Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer (1-1), who won his major league debut on April 29 in Minnesota, allowed five runs over five innings in his second start. He struck out six, but allowed a three-run homer to Mike Napoli and a solo shot to Chris Gimenez.
Fulmer was recalled from Triple-A Toledo when right-hander Shane Greene went on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger.
"I know I can be better, obviously, and I have the confidence to do it," Fulmer said. "I didn’t come out prepared enough tonight, and it all went downhill from there. It was just a tough one to take."
Cleveland tacked on four runs in the eighth off Tigers relievers Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy, two of them unearned thanks to an error by shortstop Mike Aviles.
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera had his hitting streak snapped at nine games by going 0 for 2. He is a .348 hitter in 152 career games against the Indians, but has only managed three hits in 17 at-bats this season.
Tigers utilityman Andrew Romine made his first career start in the outfield, playing center, as Ausmus attempted to inject some life into his offense. Romine had eight innings of big league experience as an outfielder before batting ninth against the Indians. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.
Tigers: C James McCann (right ankle sprain) was given the day off after starting the last two games. He was activated off the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.
Indians: C Roberto Perez (right thumb fracture) will undergo surgery Friday. A timetable for his return will be announced following the procedure.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann opens a three-game series against Texas at Comerica Park. The AL pitcher of the month went 5-0 with a 0.55 ERA in April.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar starts against the Royals in the opener of a three-game home set. Four of his first five outings this year have been on the road.