Price, Tigers trounce over Indians, 7-2
Carrasco hangs tough, but Tribe bats stay quiet in Motown
DETROIT—The price for a spot in the postseason continues to climb for the wavering Indians.
Opening a crucial three-game series with division rival Detroit, Cleveland’s woes offensively continued at Comerica Park Friday night. Behind a stellar start from lefty David Price (14-11, 3.26 ERA), Tigers bats stole the show late, leading them to a 7-2 victory.
“He’s got plenty of velocity and his ball has really good life through the zone,” manager Terry Francona said. “Then he threw a lot of good changeups and so many first pitch strikes, but stayed out of the middle. He’s been good for awhile now.”
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team blockbuster trade in July, Price went a strong 7 2/3 innings, limiting the Wahoos to just one run on eight hits while striking out eight.
“It’s tough,” right fielder Ryan Raburn said. “Anytime you lose it’s tough. They’re a good team, you’re facing one of the better pitchers in the league and he showed why he is. You don’t want a guy with that kind of stuff getting ahead of you.”
It was Raburn that got out ahead on a first pitch fastball from Price with two outs in the second inning, belting a solo homer to the seats in left field. The former Tigers outfielder went 2-for-3 against the Detroit southpaw in the game, connecting on just his fourth long ball of the season.
“A little bit of luck,” Raburn said of his homer. “Just because I’m on the bench doesn’t mean I’m not working. I’m just trying to give it everything I got. I was here last year so it’s no different, but it’s always a pleasure coming back here to see a lot of those guys.”
Despite an early lead, that would be all the run support the lackluster Tribe offense gave starter Carlos Carrasco (7-5, 2.86 ERA) on Friday.
Coming into the ballgame having allowed just three earned runs over his last 38 2/3 innings, Carrasco battled early, but felt the roar of a powerful Tigers lineup late.
After tossing two scoreless frames to start the game, Detroit combined to score four against the right-hander over the next two innings. A two out bloop double by Ian Kinsler knotted the game at 1-1 in the third before Indian killer J.D. Martinez ripped a two-run homer deep into the night to give Motown a quick two run lead.
“I just tried to make a good pitch,” Carrasco said. “I threw a sinker inside and it stayed right in the middle and he hit it.”
In 14 games against the Tribe this season, Martinez is hitting .327 (18-for-55) with six homers and 18 RBI.
The Martinez homer came two batters after Carrasco was knocked to the ground on a line drive single off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
“He landed pretty hard on his elbow,” Francona said. “His other elbow, but I thought that kind of shook him for a little bit. He looked a little out of sorts.”
So did the Indians, who were blown out with a huge four-run seventh inning for Detroit, capped off on a two run triple by the hot hitting Martinez off reliever C.C. Lee.
Carrasco picks up his first loss as a starter since April 25, going a solid 6 1/3 innings yielding four earned runs on seven hits.
“He continues to be a really good pitcher,” Francona said. “Against their lineup, when you make a mistake, they could make you pay for it.”
Over their last six games against Detroit, the Indians have been outscored 39-17.
With the loss, Cleveland (76-70) slips to four games in back of the Kansas City Royals in the push for the second wild card seed in the American League.
Up next for Indians: The Tribe looks to get back in the win column in the middle game of the three-game set Saturday night. Right-hander Danny Salazar (6-7, 4.19 ERA) toes the rubber opposite of Tigers southpaw Kyle Lobstein (1-0, 2.78 ERA) at 7:08 p.m.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indians have a knack for blowing the big games vs. good teams going back to last year.
In past Cabrera has been a thorn. This year its the company of Martinez and Martinez.