July 30, 2014

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Detroit 2, Indians 1: Tigers one-hit Tribe; Carmona suffers another tough loss

 

DETROIT — Jair Jurrjens threw the first pitch in the opener of a pivotal three-game Central Division showdown between the Indians and Tigers at 7:06 p.m. on Tuesday night.
It took exactly one hour and plenty of fruitless trips to the plate for the first hit to arrive.
In a game that was dominated by pitching, the Tigers, ironically enough, used a pair of home runs to draw first blood from their division rival, turning back the Indians 2-1 in front of a sold-out Comerica Park (42,868).
Back-to-back home runs from Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen to lead off the fifth inning — the first two hits Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona allowed — tipped the scales in Detroit’s favor, allowing the Tigers to pull within a half-game of the Indians’ lead in the Central.
Cleveland’s offense, which has been struggling for the majority of the second half, managed just one hit on the night — a solo homer from Jhonny Peralta in the sixth inning.
It was the first time in the 107-year history of the franchise that the Indians’ only hit of the game was a homer and the second time this season they have been one-hit.
“I truly believe that it’s contagious,” said Cleveland third baseman Casey Blake of his team’s collective hitting slump. “You don’t want it to be, but it’s just kind of lingering around. It’s not a positive aura.”
 Both starting pitchers, Jurrjens and Carmona, were at their best on the big stage, with neither allowing a hit through the first four innings. Carmona was perfect through four, while Jurrjens, who lost to the Indians in his big league debut last Wednesday, took a no-hitter one out into the sixth inning.
Jurrjens got his first victory in the majors by allowing just a run through 62/3 innings, while Carmona was the recipient of another tough-luck defeat, surrendering the two runs on three hits and striking out five through eight innings.
“Both kids pitched their hearts out out there,” said Indians manager Eric Wedge. “Our guy went the whole way. He had a couple of long balls against him but he was fantastic.
“I’m always going to put it back on us as a team. (Jurrjens) pitched well, but I still felt we could have done a better job.”
The same could not be said of Carmona, who once again gave his team a chance to win without reciprocation. The right-hander is 1-4 with a 2.19 ERA over his last five starts, allowing nine earned runs in 37 innings. Cleveland has scored a combined three runs in his four losses over the span.
“I threw the ball real well. It’s tough,” Carmona said through an interpreter. “But it’s OK. Knowing I’m giving us a chance to win the game, that’s all I can do about it.”
Carmona’s perfection was harpooned on his first five pitches of the fifth inning. Ordonez hit a drive to right-center on a 1-0 offering to score the first run of the game, with Guillen following to right on a 1-1 pitch. Replays showed that a fan reached over the wall to catch Ordonez’s long ball, but it did not appear that anyone from the Indians argued the point.
Carmona admitted to making a mistake on Guillen’s homer, but gave the credit to Ordonez for his 23rd homer of the year.
“The ball Ordonez hit, I thought, was a good pitch,” Carmona said. “He’s just a good hitter. The pitch to Guillen was up.”
Carmona finished strong, retiring 11 of the last 12 batters he faced after allowing the back-back-to-back homers.
“He could have thrown a no-hitter,” Blake said of his pitcher. “They hit maybe four balls hard. A couple of homers, that was the difference.”
Detroit’s pitchers were just as tough, starting with Jurrjens, who along with allowing just a hit, permitted just one Cleveland runner to advance into scoring position.
It was far from the perfect tonic for an Indians team struggling to score runs.
“It’s tough to get going when he’s throwing well like that,” Blake said. “You’ve got to give him credit. He threw a heck of a ballgame. For a young kid, he’s got a good arm.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us as a ballclub, but we’re still in first place. That’s definitely a positive.”
Contact Chris Assenheimer
at 329-7137 or
cassenheimer@chroniclet.com.

Tigers 2, Indians 1

Cleveland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Lofton lf 2 0 0 0 2 1 .293
Blake 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .263
Sizemore cf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .274
VMartinez c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .301
Hafner dh 1 0 0 0 2 0 .252
Garko 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .307
Nixon rf 3 0 0 0 0 0 .259
JhPeralta ss 3 1 1 1 0 0 .273
ACabrera 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .269
Totals 26 1 1 1 4 2
Detroit AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Granderson cf 3 0 1 0 0 0 .288
Polanco 2b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .342
Sheffield dh 3 0 0 0 0 2 .279
MOrdonez rf 3 1 1 1 0 0 .351
CGuillen ss 3 1 1 1 0 0 .304
IRodriguez c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .280
Casey 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .283
Thames lf 3 0 0 0 0 2 .247
Raburn 3b 2 0 0 0 0 1 .341
Inge 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .242
Totals 26 2 3 2 0 5
Cleveland 000 001 000 — 1 1 0
Detroit 000 020 00x — 2 3 0
LOB
—Cleveland 2. 2B—Granderson (31). HR—JhPeralta (18), off Jurrjens; CGuillen (16), off Carmona; MOrdonez (23), off Carmona. RBIs—JhPeralta (61), MOrdonez (111), CGuillen (79). SB—Lofton (22). GIDP—Garko.
Runners left in scoring position—Cleveland 1 (Blake).
DP—Cleveland 1 (Lofton and ACabrera); Detroit 2 (Granderson, CGuillen and Casey), (Polanco, CGuillen and Casey).

Cleveland IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Carmona L, 14-8 8 3 2 2 0 5 77 3.11
Detroit IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Jrrjens W, 1-1 6 2-3 1 1 1 4 1 78 3.29
Zumaya H, 4 1-3 0 0 0 0 0 5 3.57
Rodney H, 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 4.33
TJones S, 32 1 0 0 0 0 1 15 4.56
Inherited runners-scored—Zumaya 1-0.
Umpires—Home, Lance Barksdale; First, Jim Reynolds; Second, Tim Welke; Third, Gary Cederstrom.
T—1:59. A—42,868 (41,070).