Max Scherzer pitched eight innings of one-run baseball and the Tigers broke open the game in the sixth with two home runs as the Tigers defeated the Indians 5-1 on a warm Tuesday evening in Cleveland.

Scherzer pitched eight innings while allowing only three baserunners, two singles in the first inning by Michael Bourn and Asdrubal Cabrera and a walk by Carlos Santana.  After that walk, Scherzer went on to set down 22 straight Indians on his way to his sixth win of the season.  Scherzer, who came into the game with an 11.3 K/9 rate, did not record his first strikeout until the beginning of the fifth.  However, he went on from there to strikeout seven Indians in his final four innings of work.  Despite this impressive performance, Scherzer has still never pitched a complete game in his 141 career starts (though he has pitched 12 eight-inning starts).

This is Scherzer’s (6-0, 3.61 ERA) second start of the season against the Indians.  In the first on May 10, Scherzer pitched eight innings but allowed four earned runs while striking out seven as the Tigers defeated the Indians 10-4.

The Indians offense scored their only run on a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly in the first inning, which scored Michael Bourn.  From there on, the bats were silent and there was quite a breeze at Progressive Field.  The bats were quite cold at a game that had a game-start temperature of 86º.

The game was relatively close until the sixth inning, when Indians starter Corey Kluber (3-3) imploded.  Through the first five innings, Kluber has not allowed a run and only had allowed three hits (all to former Indians, two to Victor Martinez and one to Jhonny Peralta).  Andy Dirks started the sixth with a solo home run to right field.  After a Torii Hunter double, AL MVP Miguel Cabrera operated his weapon and sent a moonshot to center field to make it a 3-1 game.  Cabrera is currently batting .384 with 12 HR and 49 RBI, and is batting .333 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in four games against the Indians this season.

Kluber finished with the following line: 6.1 IP/8 H/3 R/3 ER/0 BB/8 SO/2 HR/111 pitches.  It was a solid start from Kluber, especially because of the brilliant command he displayed (no walks and eight strikeouts).  Kluber has shown his ability to be a strikeout pitcher, currently boasting a 96 mph fastball and an 8.57 K/9.  He pitched as well as you would want out of a replacement arm.

Cody Allen pitched 1.2 innings in the 7th and 8th innings and was quite impressive, totaling four strikeouts with what looks like an improved breaking ball to pair with his rocket of the fastball.  He seems to be developed into one of Francona’s favorite arms in the Tribe pen.

However, the Tigers tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth with questionable decision-making from manager Terry Francona.  With the game relatively close (3-1) heading to the ninth, Francona handed the ball to AAA stud David Huff, who allowed three baserunners and ceded one run.  From there, Francona called in mop-up man Matt Albers, who gave up an inherited run on a Prince Fielder single to put the game out of reach.

The Indians had a chance in the ninth with runners on second and first and only one out against closer Jose Valverde, but Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana both flied out to finish the ball game.  Michael Brantley has now batted in every spot in the lineup this season except ninth, having batted cleanup tonight with Nick Swisher out on paternity leave.

The Indians are still winners of 18 of their last 23, and are now 1.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central.  Ubaldo Jimenez (3-2, 5.31 ERA) will toe the hill tomorrow night at 7:05 pm against Tigers ace Justin Verlander (4-4, 3.17 ERA).


  • Steve Alex says:

    Kluber did a good job. He lost his command for one brief moment and the Tigers pounced on it for 2 quick homers.

  • Steve Alex says:

    P.S. Is our bullpen so depleted that we’re turning over close games to David Huff in the 9th inning? How does that happen?

    • Chris Burnham says:

      I honestly did not know they called him up. And when I saw him, I was not at all shocked by the outcome.

      He’s a lot like LaPorta; there’s no real logical reason to keep him, but they do for whatever reason.

  • medfest says:

    Scherzer was in total command after the first inning,his fastball had a lot of late movement,he really didn’t need to throw anything else it was just that good.

    Kluber was just as good until the third time through the line up,his slider was racking up K’s for him all night.
    The homer Cabrera hit was a rocket shot.When he hit it,the sound was like the crack of a rifle.

    Winning streaks usually end when you run into a hot pitcher and bingo the Tribe ran into Scherzer.

  • Jordan Wilhite says:

    Cabrera’s homerun was harldy a moonshot, but, I know, you can’t hear me over the 2 runs it scored against us as the decisive difference in the game.

    That being said, I’m not even remotely upset about that loss. Scherzer may be the most underrated starter in all of baseball.

  • mondo says:

    That was a “good loss”. The Tribe just got shut down by a very good pitching performance. I’d hardly say Kluber “imploded”: he had a quality start agains one of the most dominant offenses in the game.

  • DaveR says:

    No walks, 8 Ks, and just a tough hr by the best offensive player in the AL is a decent day.

  • Erod says:

    Believe me, I love Francona but I felt like it was Acta managing last night. The night before Tito said in his interview how last night’s game against the Tigers was the most important game. So if that is the feeling then why pull a Acta and not put your best lineup on the field? Granted he probably wasn’t expecting to be missing Swisher but I think a lineup with Reynolds at 3rd; Santana at 1st and Gomes at catcher with maybe Rayburn (since they say his HRs come in bunches and he hit one day earlier) at DH better than what he went with last night. I never understood why managers use games against contenders as games to get reserves in the starting lineup. IMO I think you should put your best lineup possible against contenders and use the lesser games as those to get reserves in.

    I personally feel that depending on how they do with these 6 games (2 vs Tigers; 4 vs Red Sox) could determine if the fans would buy into this year’s Tribe. That if they can’t win against the contenders then they are just a mirror of the teams the past 2 years. I personally don’t think they are a mirror image.

  • shaun says:

    scherzer was dynamite…definitely seemed like an off night for our offense though which didn’t help the matter..

    what i did like was how pissed santana was after he popped it…this team really does not seem interested in rolling over and dying…tonight should be real cracker