Tigers, Cabrera rout Indians on Labor Day, 12-1
Kluber's struggles continue as Price shuts down a cold Tribe offense
CLEVELAND—The last time David Price took the mound at Progressive Field, he was spraying silly string on his teammates as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays in October.
On Monday, he just made the Indians offense look silly.
Scoring 12 runs on 20 hits, division rival Detroit routed the Tribe, 12-1 in the first game of a four-game series.
“I elevated some pitches and they took advantage of them,” Cleveland starter Corey Kluber said.
Entering the ballgame going at least six innings in 13 straight outings, the right-hander wouldn’t even make it out of the third Monday. The Tigers tagged Kluber (13-9, 2.72 ERA) for five earned runs on seven hits over just 2 2/3 innings for the shortest start of his big league career.
Despite being one of the best pitchers in baseball all season, the Tribe ace has began to struggle of late, posting a 0-3 record and allowing 11 earned runs over his last 16 innings. In his previous 10 starts, Kluber owned a 1.19 ERA having surrendered just 10 earned runs spanning 75 2/3 innings.
It would be all Motown from the very first play of the game with the help from utility man Mike Aviles. Making just his third start in right field in his major league career, his lack of experience proved costly.
What looked like a leadoff bloop base-hit by Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler to open the game, resulted in triple a missed dive attempt from Aviles. Two batters later Detroit had a 2-0 lead on a line drive two-run homer off the bat of two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera.
Battling injures coming into the game having not homered since August 2, Cabrera went onto belt two long balls on the afternoon.
“It didn’t look like he was running really good, but I’m not sure it matters when you’re jogging,” manager Terry Francona said. “His bat’s not broken.”
The Wahoos held tough against Price early, cutting the deficit to one run in the bottom half of the first on a RBI double from Carlos Santana.
Then, they decided to take the rest of the Labor Day holiday off.
With two outs in the third, another botched play in right field by Aviles this time on a misjudged fly ball led to three more runs for Detroit, courtesy of the Martinez and Martinez combo.
“They’re good hitters and when you make mistakes they take advantage of it,” Kluber said.
Against the Tribe this year, Cabrera and the Martinez duo have hit a combined .355 (49-for-138) with 12 homers and 31 RBI. The rest of the Tigers hitters have hit .263 (74-for-281) with 8 homers and also 31 RBI.
Aviles would exit the game in the fourth inning due to illness after his dive on the first play of the ballgame.
“His face hit hard on the ground and then he started to feel nauseous,” Francona said. “He didn’t really say anything until the second play so we took him out. But that’s tough because that’s a one, two, three inning for Klubs and a lot happened after that.”
Having been ineffective of late while amassing over 200 innings for the first time in his career, Kluber continued to say he feels fine tossing just the 2 2/3 innings Monday.
“I think the way he’s pitched you’re going to amass innings,” Fraoncona said. “He’s one of the better pitchers in the game, and because of that on a day like today, we didn’t want to make him work any harder than he did already. So hopefully his next start it will pay off.”
Still hanging onto a 5-1 lead after six innings, Detroit opened the flood gates up in the seventh to outscore the Indians 7-0 over the final three frames.
The easy win gives Price (13-10, 3.25 ERA) his second win as a member of the Tigers, tossing seven strong innings and surrendering just the one earned run on eight hits.
“He’s a little bit different than he used to be in that he can now sink his fastball and still have very good life and movement,” Francona said. “He’s been pitching for awhile now and he knows what he’s doing. We had hits, but he was really good.”
Offensively, the club would finish the game 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving nine on base.
Having won six of seven coming into the contest, Cleveland (70-65) drops to 4 1/2 games behind the first place Kansas City Royals in the American League Central. They are now 7-6 in 13 meetings with Motown on the season.
Up next for Indians: The Tribe looks to get back in the win column against Detroit on Tuesday at Progressive Field. An undefeated 3-0 in his last four starts, right-hander Carlos Carrasco (6-4, 3.01 ERA) gets the start opposite of Tigers southpaw Kyle Lobstein (0-0, 3.09 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.
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