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Detroit erupts for seven runs in extras, sending Tribe to 11-4 defeat

Indians offense comes back from early deficit, but Tomlin falters late

Detroit erupts for seven runs in extras, sending Tribe to 11-4 defeat
Josh Tomlin has struggled since being moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen.
September 5, 2014
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CLEVELAND—For the second straight night, the Indians blanked Detroit through nine innings of play Thursday.

There’s just one problem.

The game went 11 innings, and two of those innings combined to result in 11 runs for the surging Tigers.

Deadlocked in a 4-4 tie in extras, Motown scored seven runs on five hits in the 11th, rallying them to an easy 11-4 victory in the series finale. Winners of three of four in the series, Detroit and Cleveland even up the season series at 8-8 on the year.

“It’s very disappointing,” Josh Tomlin said. “Guys fought back and tied the game and the guys that came in kept it close. I come in there and they blew it up on me.”

It was Tomlin that was summoned to the mound in the 11th for the first time since leaving the club on Paternity leave earlier this week.

The right-hander was anything but effective, serving up five earned runs on three hits through just 1/3 of an inning. Loading up the bases with one out, Detroit designated hitter Eugenio Suarez drove in two on a base-hit to left field. Then, Tribe killer Victor Martinez capped Tomlin’s night off with a three-run homer to the seats in right.

“He had fairly good numbers against just about everyone except [IanKinsler,” manager Terry Francona said. Even Victor at 0-for-8, but at that point of the game you’re trying to matchup the best you can.”

“Everything was up that they hit,” Tomlin said. “The pitch to Victor I just didn’t get in enough. My job is to go out there and get outs and he put me in there to get outs and I didn’t do it.”

Having been moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen since August 8, the 29 year-old has struggled in his new role, but notes it hasn’t affected him.

“It hasn’t been difficult at all,” Tomlin said. “They let me know after the inning is over that I get the ball and I get my warm-up tosses in just like I would if I was starting. It’s not really a big transition for me. It’s just one of those nights that they beat me.”

Over his last three relief appearances, he has allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits through just 3 1/3 innings.

Down 4-0 early, Cleveland hitters chipped away throughout the ballgame to eventually knot the game up in the seventh. Yan Gomes plated the first two Indians runs on the night against Tigers ace Max Scherzer, first on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and then on an RBI groundout in the sixth.

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall came through on an RBI single right after Gomes, and the team tied the game on an RBI double off the bat of Michael Brantley in the seventh.

“We were down 4-0 before we even took a deep breath, and then you have Scherzer on the mound,” Francona said. “But we battled back so hard to tie that game. Everybody did such a good job to keep giving us a chance. You’re playing to try and give up none and you end up giving up seven. That obviously hurts.”

Scherzer gave up three runs (two earned) on just four hits through six innings against the Tribe offense. It was a horrendous first inning from Wahoos starter Trevor Bauer that made Cleveland hitters work hard early.

Struggling at the beginning of games all season, Bauer surrendered four first inning runs to Detroit, and then shut them down over his final next 4 1/3 innings.

“You can’t get into deficits like that,” Francona said. “He worked behind in the count the first time and a half through the order. Now the second time and a half he worked ahead and his results were drastically different.

It’s almost been night and day for the 23 year-old Bauer when it comes to early inning struggles. In the first inning this season, he owns a 6.55 ERA. Over the rest of the game, he’s posted a 3.59 ERA.

“I just think that he finds his rhythm and sometimes it takes awhile,” Francona said. “He’s a stubborn kid and he’s come a long way. You’re not always going to get it all in one jump.”

“It’s one of those things that happens,” Bauer said. “It just didn’t go my way today. I’m not going to lie to you and say it isn’t tough. We had a chance to win the game and to have it end especially like that, it stings a little bit. If there’s any silver lining tonight it’s the offense battled back and got us back in it.”

Cleveland (71-67) slips to five games behind Detroit for the second wild card seed in the American League.

Even after a tough loss, Tomlin and the team have one thing on their mind.

“Win the next one. Worry about coming in tomorrow and taking care of that tomorrow. Don’t let this one fester into something that could potentially put us out of the race.”

Up next for Indians: The Tribe welcomes division foe Chicago into town to open up a three-game weekend series with the White Sox. It will be a matchup of southpaws Friday night as T.J. House (2-3, 3.92 ERA) squares off against ChiSox ace Chris Sale (11-3, 2.11 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at

User Comments

September 5, 2014 - 2:10 PM EDT
Stubborn Bauer? Hard to believe. I mean how many balls can a MLB pitcher bounce in front of the plate in one inning?? Unreal.

Tomlin looks like Salazar last year. Nothing but flat fastballs over the plate. 18 hrs in a little over 100 innings is scary!

It's amazing this lineup is still over 500 this late in year. As we discussed yesterday a major overhaul is needed

Why on earth is Gomes behind kipnis????? Helloooo Tito!!!
September 5, 2014 - 1:47 PM EDT
Not sure McAllister would go unclaimed if DFAed, so why not include him in a deal this offseason before it comes to such a situation, where he has little value to bring something back? I expect another reclamation vet SP to get a chance for the 5th SP spot along with House/Tomlin, so that should be plenty of depth along with Maronde and Colon/Roberts for next season
September 5, 2014 - 1:16 PM EDT
The way it looks to me is if the five of Kluber, Salazar, Bauer, Carrasco and House are the starting five to open next season, then McAllister, Tomlin and Maronde are starting depth (with McAllister as the long man if not the #5 starter). I would think the Indians will try and sign a veteran or two to minor league deals like Kazmir, Harang and Marcum the last two offseasons to maybe add more depth and get lucky on a guy.
September 5, 2014 - 1:13 PM EDT
Tondo, you are right about McAllister. I forgot that I had originally corrected myself on his roster status for next year a few months back....keep thinking he has an option left when he does not. So it is going to be like the Carrasco situation this year with him where he is either the #5 starter or in the pen to start the year.
September 5, 2014 - 12:57 PM EDT
Just being curious here Tony, but wasn't there an article not long ago on here, saying McAllister is out of options (when he was sent down to AAA) and either makes the 25 next season or has to be DFAed? Similarly to Carrasco this season, at least that's how I remember it. If he has, then it's a no brainer to let him compete with House/Tomlin and whoever loses out goes to Columbus as depth. Do you see the Indians trade for a SP this offseason with this in-house depth?
September 5, 2014 - 12:05 PM EDT
Kudos to Tomlin for stepping out in front of the media last night. I know that is not easy to do when you maybe feel like you let the team down and you are going to be barraged with questions about your poor performance. No one will ever doubt his commitment, dedication and toughness. A great teammate.

As for the performance of Tomlin, I wondered why Francona went to him so early. Why not go back to Atchison for another inning? Yes, he got in some trouble the previous inning, but he worked out of it and only threw 20 pitches. What about going to Crockett or Rzepczynski? Both of those guys have made a combined one appearance this month. Now, if you have to go to Tomlin in the 13th or 14th inning, then fine.....but I thought Francona mismanaged that decision last night (He's done an overly excellent job all year at handling the pitchers.....the lineup is another thing entirely lol).

Tomlin is looking like a guy who will stick around next year but as starting depth in AAA only. The Indians will need 7-8 starters and he and McAlister right now both have options and both could open in Columbus as depth. In fact, if everyone is healthy, that is exactly what will happen. There is no need to have Tomlin in the bullpen. His value is as a depth starter only.

But props to this team for battling back when it was 4-0 in the first. I felt by coming back that had they won the game it would be a signature win for them considering how they came back from the blown save with two wins and split the series. But now this might be a signature loss. They are not mathematically out of it, but you can't lose 3 of 4 to the team you are chasing this late in the season. This series hurt. As GSon correctly noted, the Indians no longer can focus on just winning series....they have to start sweeping teams. They almost need an 19-5 or better stretch to end the season to have any shot and even that might not be enough.
September 5, 2014 - 10:23 AM EDT
This was a big game, a big series. For the Indians to realistically continue in the hunt for green October they have to win last night and split the series. Mentally and mathematically it's tough to overcome the loss. I agree w League Park, poor choice of bullpen management sending Tomlin out there. If you've had a baby you know you don't get much sleep the first week. You can't send Josh Tomlin out in the 11th inning of a must win game to face the heart of the Tigers lineup, especially after his last performance presumably w more sleep. Bottom line though the Indians don't hit. The mantra for next year should be get em on, get em over, get em in. And if you can't do that, you don't play.
September 5, 2014 - 10:14 AM EDT
I'm sure Trevor Bauer will work on it all offseason. Take away the first inning struggles and he's a much more dominate pitcher. It's part of it, the maturation process of a young SP.
September 5, 2014 - 10:07 AM EDT
If Victor Martinez does not make the play to rob Walters of a hit that would have tied the game in the 6th this game could have turned out differently. However you can not give the Tigers a 4 run lead before you even get a chance to bat. Bauer needs to find a way to learn how to pitch in first inning.

September 5, 2014 - 8:56 AM EDT
Tough way to end the game..

Bauer couldn't avoid or mitigate the big inning.. created the hole the Tribe had to dig out of..

The Pen was spectacular....until Tomlin came in a peed on the rug..

Two dozen games remaining.. five games to make up in the standings... four teams in front of the wounded Wahoos.... one more W from this series would have been huge.. Relying on other teams sucks..

Onto the Pale Hose... Winning a series is no longer an option for these guys.. While the Indians don't have to win every game it's getting uncomfortably closer to that...
September 5, 2014 - 7:58 AM EDT
Time to face reality. The playoffs are a pipe dream now. Tomlin is another player I don't want to see back next season
September 5, 2014 - 7:54 AM EDT
What a shame after coming back from an early 0-4. Bauer needs to fix his 1st Inn issue. He had a 3.3 ERA before that game from Inn 2-6, but 5.5ish in the 1st. That should be fixable with experience/better preparation.

Indians should have split this series, losing both close games really hurts. Still, I'm sure most on here would have taken a 4-3 record (hoping they close out the last KC game) before the KC/DET week began. Tigers have some tough series coming up, Indians look to have an easier schedule, but they need to play .750-.800 ball from now on to have a shot.
September 5, 2014 - 4:59 AM EDT
Detroit toys the Indians and it's just painful. With extra arms you cannot leave Tomlin in the game. That was poor managing.

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