CLEVELAND (AP) – The Indians can’t do anything right against the Detroit Tigers this season.
Cleveland’s 7-3 loss Tuesday night was a perfect example when even a weak tapper hit by Miguel Cabrera, who has worn out the Indians this season, with the bases loaded led to a big Detroit inning.
With a 1-all score in the fifth, Cleveland starter Danny Salazar got Cabrera to hit what looked to be a harmless roller. Instead of turning an inning-ending double play, Salazar committed an error to score the go-ahead run as Detroit continued its dominance over its AL Central rival.
The Tigers are 9-2 against the Indians and have won all five games at Progressive Field this season. Detroit is 20-5 in Cleveland over the past three seasons.
“I think Danny knows (as) well as anybody else, it was going to be an easy double play,” said second baseman Jason Kipnis, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games. “That being said, it’s part of the game. It was only one run scored on that play. We let it kind of domino effect into a bunch of other things and kind of let it slip out.”
Salazar (6-3) fielded Cabrera’s tapper to the left of the mound, but the ball slipped out of his hand as he began to throw home and everyone was safe as Andrew Romine scored the go-ahead run. Romine, who homered in the third, led off with a double before Salazar walked Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler with one out.
“I tried to rush on the play,” said Salazar. “Instead of taking the ball out of my glove I tried to take it to my hand, that’s when I lost it and gave away the game.”
The inning proceeded to get worse for the Indians. Victor Martinez’s bloop single scored another run and Yoenis Cespedes’ two-run single finished Salazar, who allowed seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. Nick Castellanos had a two-run double off Zach McAllister to complete the six-run fifth.
“When you get Miggy to hit a ball 15 feet, man, you’re thinking we’re going to get the out at home and maybe a double play,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “If we just get the out at home, our infield’s back and then Victor’s ball is not a . but you get those two guys to hit two balls like they did, and runs are still scoring, that’s tough.”
Cabrera was 2 for 5 and is hitting .619 (26 for 42) with five homers and 16 RBIs in the season series. He’s 15 for 22 in five games in Cleveland.
David Price (7-2) allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander, who is 9-1 in his last 11 starts against Cleveland, scattered nine hits and struck out seven
The Indians outhit the Tigers 12-9 but were 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Kipnis was 4 for 5, including an RBI double in the ninth. Cleveland has lost 11 of its last 16 at home and won only one of its 13 series at Progressive Field this season.
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway visited the mound during the fifth inning and was ejected by plate umpire Eric Cooper on his way back to the dugout for questioning the strike zone. Francona had heated words with Cooper but remained in the game.
“I just thought that it looked to us.We want every call, but I thought Price was getting some pitches than Danny wasn’t. They’re a tough enough team to beat,” said Francona of the strike zone.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (sore neck) didn’t start for the fourth time in five games. Francona said Gomes took batting practice and might play Wednesday.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander was supposed to make his third start of the season Wednesday, but he was scratched because of back stiffness. Buck Farmer will start in his place.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco, who has won four of his last six outings, is 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against Detroit this season.