Tigers lose to Indians for 12th straight time, 10-1
DETROIT (AP) — The Cleveland Indians found out Tuesday that star third baseman Jose Ramirez will miss the rest of the regular season because of a wrist injury.
They couldn’t have picked a better place to get the news.
Hours after the team announced Ramirez had undergone surgery, the Indians did what they’ve done for the past three seasons — beat up on the Detroit Tigers.
Franmil Reyes hit a three-run homer to highlight a six-run seventh inning, and the Indians won their 12th straight game against the Tigers, routing them 10-1.
The Indians are 13-1 against the Tigers this season and 33-7 in their last 40 meetings.
“I don’t really understand it,” said Roberto Perez, who homered for the Indians. “We come here and they always seem to play us tough, and then you look at 12 straight and 13-1.”
It helps that the Tigers are one of the worst home teams in major-league history. They are 17-44 at Comerica Park and need to win five of the final 20 home games to avoid becoming the first team since at least 1908 to lose 60 at home.
“We missed a few plays and it ended up costing us runs,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s what happens when you play a team that hits like they do.”
Jason Kipnis homered, Carlos Santana had three hits and scored three times for Cleveland and four pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.
“That was a really nicely played game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The Tigers also lost Miguel Cabrera, who left the game after two at-bats with tightness in his left biceps — the same one he tore to end his 2018 season in June.
“We were a little worried and he didn’t want to do anything silly, so he took himself out,” Gardenhire said. “After the game, he said it feels pretty good.”
Adam Plutko (6-3) improved to 2-0 in his last three starts, giving up one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out a career-high nine.
Plutko’s line masked a tough second inning.
With the Indians up 3-0, he allowed an RBI single to Ronny Rodriguez, then walked Brandon Dixon and Jake Rogers to load the bases with two out. Victor Reyes followed with a sinking liner to center, but Oscar Mercado made a diving catch to end the inning.
“I just wasn’t feeling my stuff in the first couple innings, but (Perez) told me to take a breath and relax,” he said. “Oscar made that catch and I was able to turn it around.”
Spencer Turnbull (3-13) allowed four runs and seven hits, needing 98 pitches to get through five innings. He is tied for third in the majors in losses, one behind Brad Keller and Aaron Sanchez.
“I don’t feel like I missed by much, but they did real damage on a couple swings,” he said.
The Indians took a 3-0 lead with a two-out rally in the first. Santana singled off Rodriguez’s glove at second base and scored on Yasiel Puig’s double. Kipnis followed with his 14th homer.
Mike Freeman’s sacrifice fly gave the Indians a 4-1 lead in the third.
Plutko struck out seven of eight Tigers hitters in one stretch, surpassing his previous career-high of eight strikeouts in the fifth inning.
“He had that one tough inning, and then he strikes out seven guys the second time through the order,” Francona said. “That was a great job, because it was still a tight game.”
Cleveland padded the lead against Nick Ramirez and David McKay in the seventh.
Ramirez kept the Indians going in the inning by misplaying a two-out grounder and Franmil Reyes followed with a three-run homer into the shrubbery in center. Reyes has homered in there straight games, matching his previous career best set between May 28-30, 2018.
“When he first got here, you could tell he was trying to do too much,” Perez said. “Now he’s getting comfortable and it is impressive to watch.”
Freeman followed with a grounder to Brandon Dixon at first and beat Ramirez to the bag for an infield single. Perez then ended Ramirez’s night with a long homer down the left-field line. McKay walked Tyler Naquin and Lindor followed with an RBI double and a 10-1 lead.
Indians: Ramirez will miss 5-7 weeks after having surgery to repair the broken hamate bone in his right wrist. He is expected to miss the rest of the regular season, but could return if Cleveland reaches the postseason.
Tigers: Utilityman Niko Goodrum (groin) will be shut down from all baseball activities for the next two weeks and could miss the rest of the season. Goodwin’s recovery would be hampered by a lack of minor league games for a rehab assignment.
TOO MANY LONG BALLS
The Tigers have allowed 109 home runs at home this season — the most they’ve yielded since moving to spacious Comerica Park in 2000. Detroit is on pace to allow 144 homers at home and 254 overall, which would break the franchise records of 130 and 241, both set in 1996.
The teams continue their three-game series on Wednesday night with Cleveland’s Aaron Civale (1-3, 1.82) facing Jordan Zimmermann (1-9, 6.48).