The Indians had aspirations of sweeping the Tigers and hurting their chances in the AL Central race, but they'll have to settle for simply winning the series as their arch-nemesis Doug Fister shut them down. Fister threw seven excellent innings and got some late insurance from his offense as the Tigers managed to take the finale 7-1 and send the Indians into an off day with a loss.
It was a rocky first inning for Ubaldo Jimenez, forcing Indians fans to hide the women and children from the TV, expecting Jimenez to get bombed like he has been so many times this season. The Tigers scored first when Austin Jackson singled to lead off the ballgame and came home on Miguel Cabrera's 35th home run of the year, an opposite field shot to right. Jimenez, to his credit, regained his composure and gave the Indians yet another quality start in this series against the Tigers. Unfortunately for Jimenez, his offense was invisible on the night.
Doug Fister entered the game with a 2.33 ERA over 73.1 career innings against the Tribe. His record in those 11 starts, however, was just 4-3. Through the first three innings, the Tribe managed just one hit off of Fister, a Jason Kipnis first inning single. In the fourth, they scratched out their only run of the game. Kipnis started the rally with a leadoff single back up the middle. After Asdrubal Cabrera popped out, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley recorded back-to-back singles, with Brantley's knock scoring Kipnis and cutting the lead in half at 2-1. For Michael Brantley, it was his 57th RBI of the season, passing his father's career high of 56. With runners on first and second, Cord Phelps struck out, Matt LaPorta grounded out, and that was it for the Indians' offense against Fister.
Jimenez and Fister traded zeroes through the middle innings, with the Tigers managing just a couple of singles in the fifth and sixth, and the Indians getting no hits off Fister. Fister exited following seven innings and Manny Acta wished he had done the same with Jimenez. Jimenez came back out for the eighth inning and gave up a walk and a triple with one out to drive in an insurance run and send Jimenez to the showers. For Ubaldo, it really was a solid outing, going 7.1 innings for the first time since July 2 against Anaheim, allowing four runs on six hits with just one walk and three strikeouts.
Cody Allen's young career hit its first major bump in the road. After Jimenez exited with a runner on third, Allen gave up a sacrifice fly to Miguel Cabrera to close the book on Jimenez. Prince Fielder followed with a home run and then three straight hits followed, capped off by Jhonny Peralta's two-run double. Allen gave up three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning, raising his ERA to 2.95.
The Indians went quietly in the ninth with the game well out of hand at 7-1. Ubaldo Jimenez took the loss, his 15th defeat of the season. Doug Fister was the winning pitcher, bringing his season record to 8-8. With the loss, the Indians fell to 58-79 and the Tigers improved to 73-63.
Stat of the Night: Ubaldo Jimenez has now been the losing pitcher in eight of his last 11 starts. In that span, his ERA has gone from 5.09 to 5.58.
Player of the Game: Michael Brantley. Congratulations to him for passing his father in terms of career-high season RBIs. He also had a real nice series, going 3-for-9 with a double, a couple RBIs and two walks.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians will enjoy an off day in Minneapolis before taking on the Twins on Friday night.