Victor Martinez drives in 3 runs, leads Tigers over Indians
DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera didn’t even have to swing the bat to hurt the Cleveland Indians this time.
Victor Martinez drove in three runs, taking advantage after Cleveland pitched around Cabrera, helping Alfredo Simon and the Detroit Tigers beat the Indians 4-1 Saturday.
Cabrera drew four walks in a game for the first time in his career, three of them intentional. Earlier this season, the two-time AL MVP went 11 for 14 with six RBIs in a three-game series at Cleveland.
“He’s an unusual hitter,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
With Cabrera batting third, Martinez was in position to do damage hitting cleanup.
And he did.
Martinez hit a two-run single in the first, after Cabrera’s non-intentional walk. He added an RBI single in the third after Cabrera’s first intentional pass.
“Yeah, the two singles right-handed were obviously big, big runs to get us on the board early,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said about the switch-hitting Martinez.
“He took some pretty good swings left-handed, too. He squared up on the ball. He’s not having a lot of luck left-handed when he is squaring up the ball, but I do see progress from him in terms of how his knee is feeling.”
Martinez had knee surgery just before spring training.
Neither Martinez nor Cabrera spoke to the media after the game.
Simon (4-0) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“Today was very heavy on the splitter, for sure,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila said about Simon. “He made some good pitches on the inside corner with his two-seam fastball.”
Said center fielder Rajai Davis: It’s really nice to go out and have our starting pitcher go deep into the game and throw a lot of strikes and we play good defense behind him.”
Tom Gorzelanny got Brandon Moss to ground into a double play with two on to end the eighth. Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Ian Kinsler drove in the other run for the Tigers, who had five stolen bases, three by Davis.
Michael Brantley had four hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in Cleveland’s run.
T.J. House (0-3) gave up three runs on four hits and four walks in three innings. He started in place of Trevor Bauer, who was scratched because of an illness.
“Probably not the flu. Probably food poisoning. He ate something last night that didn’t go down well,” Francona said. “He came to the park today and we tried to get some fluids in him. We put T.J. on notice that he might have to pitch. He warmed up and still didn’t feel good.”
Kinsler doubled home a run in the fourth. Brantley’s RBI single came in the third.
Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias made a spectacular diving catch toward the hole on a liner by pinch hitter Mike Aviles with a runner on first with no outs in the seventh.
Indians: OF Nick Swisher was scheduled to be off on Saturday in his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus from bilateral knee surgery. He played all nine innings Friday night and was 3 for 5. He is scheduled to play all nine innings in RF on Sunday.
Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-1, 2.38) is scheduled to start against Tigers LHP Kyle Lobstein (1-1, 3.27) on Sunday in the wrapup of the three-game series. Carrasco is 2-5 with a 6.86 ERA in 13 games against Detroit in his career.