Tigers tear through Indians pitching, 9-4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Torii Hunter drove in three runs, Miguel Cabrera cracked a two-run homer and the Detroit Tigers dominated Cleveland again, pounding the second-place Indians 9-4 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.
Hunter hit a two-run homer, tripled and doubled as the Tigers won their seventh consecutive game over the Indians and increased their lead in the AL Central to 3 games. Needing a single for a rare cycle, Hunter grounded out in the eighth.
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Detroit is 8-2 against Cleveland this season, and the Tigers have outscored the Indians 16-4 in winning the first two games of the four-game series.
Anibal Sanchez (7-5) returned from the disabled list and pitched five innings for his first win since June 4.
Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered in the third off Carlos Carrasco (0-4), who was recalled from the minors to face the AL’s best hitting team.
Nick Swisher and Ryan Raburn went deep for Cleveland, which has dropped four straight.
In the eighth, the Tigers learned that Cabrera will start for the AL in the All-Star game and will be joined by five teammates; Hunter, Fielder, shortstop Jhonny Peralta and pitchers Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Detroit’s Jim Leyland will manage the AL squad for the July 16 game at Citi Field in New York.
The Indians will be represented by pitcher Justin Masterson and second baseman Justin Kipnis, who had his hitting streak stopped at 16 games.
Hunter’s two-run homer in the sixth put the Tigers ahead 9-1. With a chance to become the first Tigers player to hit for the cycle since Carlos Guillen in 2006 — and the first to do it in Progressive Field history — Hunter weakly tapped a grounder to reliever Vinnie Pestano in the eighth.
Sanchez had been sidelined since June 16 with a strained shoulder. With the luxury of a large lead, he was able to pitch relaxed and allowed one run and three hits before Leyland pulled him after 73 pitches.
Carrasco wasn’t so lucky.
He survived his first trip through Detroit’s vaunted lineup unscathed, but the right-hander wasn’t so fortunate the second time around as the Tigers roped two homers, two doubles and a single in the third off Carrasco, who hasn’t won in the majors since June 29, 2011. He missed all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery.
Cabrera connected for a two-run homer and Fielder followed with another drive as the Tigers, who blanked the Indians 7-0 on Friday, scored four times — all with two outs.
With one out, Austin Jackson doubled before Carrasco retired Hunter on a hard liner to center. Cabrera fouled off two pitches before launching his 27th homer into the left-field seats to make it 2-0, thrilling thousands of orange-and-blue clad Detroit fans who made the trip from Michigan.
Two pitches later, Fielder hit his 15th homer, a towering blast into the right-field seats to put the Tigers up 3-0 in the game and 10-0 in the series.
After a visit from Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Carrasco gave up a double to Victor Martinez and Peralta hit an RBI single.
The Indians got a run back in the bottom of the inning on three straight singles, the last an infield bouncer by Michael Bourn.
However, the Tigers weren’t finished with Carrasco, adding three runs in the fourth to go up 7-1.
Carrasco didn’t help his cause with a throwing error that brought home a run. Jackson hit a sacrifice fly and Hunter added an RBI double.
NOTES: The Tigers have six All-Stars for the first time since 1985. … Indians manager Terry Francona is opposed to the league that wins the All-Star game receiving home-field advantage in the World Series. “I’m not sure I have the answer,” said Francona, who managed the AL team in 2005 and 2008. “But you play all year in our sport, I think that should mean something.” … Before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, former Indians SS Omar Vizquel spent 30 minutes discussing his playing career and future. Vizquel, currently a roving infield instructor with the Angels, aspires to manage in the majors. As for his chances of making the Hall of Fame, the 11-time Gold Glove winner, believes he has a shot at enshrinement. “The numbers are there,” he said. … Leyland isn’t sure when 2B Omar Infante (bruised left shin) will return. He hasn’t played since being taken out on a slide by Toronto’s Colby Rasmus on Wednesday. … Indians 3B Mark Reynolds, in the middle of a miserable slump (0 for 20) didn’t start. He pinch-hit in the ninth and struck out.