Tigers diligent against Indians but fall short

Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 19:13:15-04

DETROIT (AP) — Tigers manager Brad Ausmus tried a new lineup and got the same result.

With slumping Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton spending most of the day in the dugout, Detroit managed seven hits in a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. The Tigers have scored just five runs during a four-game losing streak.

"We had two guys who were slumping, and that's usually the best time to give someone a day off," Ausmus said. "We're just not clicking right now on offense, or with our pitching, to be honest."

Detroit also lost right-hander Shane Greene (1-2) to an injury in the fourth inning. Greene broke open a blister on his pitching hand, leaving blood on his jersey and the ball.

Ausmus said he isn't sure if Greene will be able to make his next scheduled start on Friday or who would replace him.

Greene and Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco departed in a span of about 15 minutes.

Carrasco had only allowed one hit when Andrew Romine hit a slow roller to the right side of the infield. Carrasco covered the bag, but had to reach back for Carlos Santana's throw and hit the base at an awkward angle.

He recorded the out, but immediately fell to the ground, grabbing the back of his leg due to a hamstring injury.

"It's going to be a DL situation, but we're just hoping it isn't terrible," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "We sent him back to Cleveland, because without an MRI, we're not going to know anything."

Trevor Bauer (1-0) picked up the win, allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

Drew VerHagen struggled after coming out of the bullpen to replace Greene. With one out, he allowed an RBI double to Jose Ramirez, and a run-scoring single to Marlon Byrd.

Tyler Naquin made it 3-0 with his first career triple, but the Tigers responded with two in the bottom half on Nick Castellanos' two-run single.

VerHagen got into trouble again in the fifth, surrendering RBI singles to Ramirez and Byrd before being replaced by Matt Boyd. Juan Uribe hit an RBI single to make it 6-2 before Boyd got out of the inning.

"We knew we needed to keep scoring," Francona said. "I didn't want them to be able to use Miggy as the tying run, but I knew it would probably happen."

Victor Martinez hit an RBI double for Detroit in the eighth, and Bryan Shaw walked the bases loaded with two out. That brought Cabrera out of the dugout to a standing ovation, with Jeff Manship entering for Cleveland.

The crowd was still on its feet when Cabrera worked a full count, but he popped foul to first base, leading many of the fans to head immediately for the exits.

"We wanted to get Miggy and Upton a chance to get off their feet and not have to grind through a day full of at-bats," Ausmus said. "We still have to win games, and we thought Miggy was our best chance in that situation."


Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez was placed on the family-emergency list for an unspecified issue, and Detroit recalled Boyd from Triple-A Toledo. Boyd had been starting for Toledo, but finished the game with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.


Indians: OF Michael Brantley (shoulder) will meet the Indians on Monday in Minnesota for a medical examination. Francona said Brantley could return to the active roster even if he's not ready to play every day.

Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (wrist) was recalled from his injury-rehab assignment after one game, and will remain on the disabled list. Maybin, who was restarting rehab after being hit by a pitch on his injured wrist, hurt his shoulder diving for a fly ball with Toledo.


Indians: Cleveland starts a three-game series in Minnesota on Monday, with Danny Salazar (2-1, 1.47 ERA) facing Tommy Milone (0-1, 5.87 ERA). The Indians are 5-2 in Salazar's seven career starts against the Twins.

Tigers: Detroit hosts Oakland on Monday in the opener of a four-game series. Jordan Zimmermann (3-0, 0.00 ERA) will try to become the third starter in Tigers history to win four straight starts without allowing a run. The Athletics will counter with Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04 ERA).


The game was halted in the eighth inning when Ausmus asked the umpires to check a ring on Shaw's left hand. After a consultation with Francona, the umpires talked to Shaw, who took off the ring. Ausmus, though, came out after the next pitch to be sure, which resulted in Shaw angrily waving his bare hand at him.

"He was wearing his wedding ring, which is great - I'm glad he's happily married - but that was the hand he was using to rub up the ball," Ausmus said. "I don't think he was trying to doctor the ball, but I wanted it off to be sure. It was mostly to protect my players."