Tigers beat Indians behind Price, 6-run 5th inning
Don’t ask Tigers manager Brad Ausmus to come up with a reason for his team’s dominance at Progressive Field.
"I can’t explain it," Ausmus said. "I can’t give you an answer for that."
David Price allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings and Detroit scored six times in the fifth to beat the the Cleveland Indians 7-3 win on Tuesday night.
The Tigers are 9-2 against the Indians and have won all five games at Progressive Field this season. Detroit is 20-5 in Cleveland over the past three seasons.
Price (7-2) scattered nine hits and struck out seven. The left-hander is 9-1 in his last 11 starts against Cleveland, including a shutout at Comerica Park on June 12.
Miguel Cabrera was 2 for 5 and is hitting .619 (26 for 42) with five homers and 16 RBIs in the season series. He’s 15 for 22 in five games in Cleveland.
Ironically, Cabrera’s weak tapper with the bases loaded in the fifth helped turn the game in Detroit’s favor. Danny Salazar (6-3) committed an error on the apparent inning-ending double play grounder that broke a 1-all tie.
Victor Martinez’s RBI single, Yoenis Cespedes’ two-run single and Nick Castellanos’ two-run double completed the scoring, which was also aided by two walks.
"It doesn’t bother me how we score six runs," Ausmus said.
Jason Kipnis was 4 for 5 with an RBI and extended his hitting streak to 18 games for the Indians, who have lost 11 of 16 at home.
Price allowed a run in the third on Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice fly and worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth in which he threw 32 pitches.
"I started out good, but the third and fourth inning, not so much," Price said. "The fourth inning was very long, but in the fifth the offense helped me out a lot by putting up a six ball, and we were able to take advantage of the mistake by Salazar."
Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Andrew Romine, who homered in the third, led off with a double before Salazar walked Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler with one out.
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway visited the mound and was ejected by plate umpire Eric Cooper on his way back to the dugout for questioning the strike zone. Manager Terry Francona had heated words with Cooper but remained in the game.
The inning proceeded to get worse for the Indians. Salazar fielded Cabrera’s tapper to the left of the mound, but the ball slipped out of his hand as he began to throw home and everyone was safe.
"I tried to rush on the play. Instead of taking the ball out of glove I tried to take it to my hand, that’s when I lost it and gave away the game," Salazar said.
Martinez’s bloop single and Cespedes’ double finished Salazar, who allowed seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. Castellanos doubled off Zach McAllister.
Price sent down the side in order in the fifth and retired seven of the next eight hitters.
GOOD NIGHT TO SIT
Right fielder J.D. Martinez, who has one hit and seven strikeouts in nine career at-bats against Salazar, wasn’t in Tuesday’s lineup even though he hit three home runs Sunday against the Yankees.
"If he had come out yesterday after hitting three homers and had another good day, I probably would have played him," Ausmus said of Martinez, who was 0 for 4 Monday.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (sore neck) didn’t start for the fourth time in five games. Francona said Gomes, 0 for 12 with six strikeouts lifetime against Price, took batting practice and might play Wednesday.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander was supposed to make his third start of the season Wednesday, but he was scratched because of back stiffness. Buck Farmer will start in his place.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, who has won four of his last six outings, is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against Detroit this season.