Tigers split doubleheader with 9-2 win over Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians finally got back to .500 after winning the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Detroit. They fell under the break-even mark about four hours later.
Cody Anderson out-pitched Justin Verlander for the second time in a week in a 7-2 win in Game 1, moving the Indians to .500 for the first time since the fourth game of the season.
That momentum stalled as Game 2 starter Trevor Bauer didn’t record an out in the fourth inning in a 9-2 loss.
“It stinks from the team perspective,” said Bauer, who was charged with six runs in three-plus innings. “Wins are at a premium for us right now. I feel like I need to perform better to help the team.”
The Indians (70-71) fell 4 1-2 games behind Texas in the AL wild-card race after Game 2.
After Cleveland rallied for a 7-5 win Thursday night, the teams were rained out Friday, forcing the doubleheader, and again Saturday, a game that hasn’t been rescheduled.
“I don’t think you get rained out twice too often, but that’s OK,” manager Terry Francona said. “It’s not that big a deal. The first game we out-played them and the second game they out-played us. I don’t think the weather had anything to do with that.”
The Tigers salvaged something from the long weekend after falling behind 2-0 in Game 2.
“You win the first game and get an early lead in the second game, to not be able to at least protect that lead or keep it close is frustrating,” Bauer said.
J.D. Martinez drove in three runs, and the Tigers scored four times in the fourth inning.
Drew VerHagen (1-0) worked two scoreless innings for his first major league win after starter Randy Wolf threw 93 pitches in three innings.
Bauer (11-12) was pulled after the first five hitters in the fourth reached base.
Martinez, who was 3 for 5, tied the game with a two-run single in the second. Rajai Davis and Dixon Machado each drove in two runs for the Tigers, who had lost 16 of 21.
Wolf labored through a 50-pitch first inning, but gave up only two runs. Ryan Raburn had an RBI single and Giovanny Urshela drew a bases-loaded walk.
Martinez’s two-run single with the bases loaded tied the game in the third. Machado’s double, his first career RBI, put Detroit ahead. Davis followed with a two-run single before Miguel Cabrera’s double-play grounder added another run.
Anderson (4-3) allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings. Francisco Lindor, another rookie who has helped Cleveland get back in the playoff race, broke a 1-all tie with a two-run single in the fifth.
Verlander (3-8) gave up four runs in six innings.
Anderson said it was a rush facing the former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner.
“You definitely see him out there on the mound and watched him in college and growing up,” said Anderson, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Tigers a week ago. “It’s exciting. Anytime you’re in a tight game and Verlander’s on the mound, you don’t want to give up any runs.”
“It was kind of a mixed bag because I felt I pitched pretty good, but they got a couple of bloop hits that were costly,” said Verlander. “I would have liked to give us a better chance to win, but I kept us out there for a long time in the fifth.”
The Indians hadn’t been .500 since they were 2-2 on April 10. Detroit, the four-time defending AL Central champion, is last in the division with a 65-77 record.
Lonnie Chisenhall continued his impressive play in right field when he took an extra base hit away from Davis with a diving grab on the warning track in the sixth inning of Game 2.
“That was one of the nicer plays you’re going to see all year,” Francona said. “That’s a double. He left his feet going away from the play, which is not easy.”
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (strained rotator cuff) will start Wednesday against Minnesota. LHP Daniel Norris (strained right oblique) will pitch in relief that day. Both are on the 15-day disabled list.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (strained right hamstring) might start Thursday against Kansas City, but no firm decision has been made when the reigning Cy Young winner will return.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein (3-7, 5.31) will start the opener of a three-game series Monday in Minnesota.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (12-10, 3.70) will pitch the opener of a four-game home series against Kansas City on Monday.