The Indians were desperate for a good start from de facto ace Justin Masterson. They didn't get it. Masterson was rocked for seven runs in four innings, the Indians offense looked pathetic and lifeless again, and the Indians were blasted by the Tigers 10-2. It's getting hard to keep finding adjectives to describe how terrible the Tribe is playing, as they dropped their seventh straight game on the road trip and there appears to be no end in sight.
The game began somewhat promising as the first two Indians reached, but Shin-Soo Choo, batting third, hit into a double play to snuff out the threat. Carlos Santana walked to prolong the inning, but Michael Brantley grounded out. Masterson fought with his command in the top of the first and it was a foreshadowing of what was to come. He walked the leadoff hitter Austin Jackson and gave up a single to Miguel Cabrera but got out of the inning. It was the only inning that Masterson got through without giving up a run.
Recently-recalled Ezequiel Carrera gift-wrapped the Tigers first run. Brennan Boesch singled to lead off the inning and scored on a "double" from Alex Avila that was a line drive that Carrera lost in the sun. He had sunglasses on, he just chose not to flip them down, and the ball nearly hit him in the face before going all the way to the wall. Masterson limited the damage to one run even though Avila got to third on the play when the relay throw hit the runner near home plate. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off for Masterson in the third. After the Tribe tied it with a two-out RBI single from Choo, Masterson gave two runs right back. Again, he walked Jackson, then gave up a single to Quentin Berry. With one out, Prince Fielder hit a mammoth two-run double that would have been a three-run homer in every other ballpark in baseball. The Tigers led 3-1 after three.
Prince Fielder made up for the near-homer in the fourth. Quentin Berry doubled in Omar Infante who had walked leading off the inning, making it the third straight inning in which Masterson walked the leadoff hitter. Berry scored on a Cabrera single. Then, Fielder teed off with a monster home run that he watched pretty much until it landed to put the game well out of reach at 7-1. Masterson gave up two more singles but got out of the inning. Masterson's final line for the night was four innings, allowing seven runs on 10 hits, walking four and striking out four. His ERA ballooned back up to 4.78.
Before the Indians scored again, the Tigers added three more off Jeremy Accardo in the sixth on a couple RBI singles and a sac fly. Jason Kipnis picked up a RBI ground out in the seventh to bring the score to the eventual 10-2 final.
With the loss, the Indians fall to 50-56 and have lost seven straight. With the win, the Tigers move to two games behind the White Sox who are hosting the Angels. Justin Masterson takes the loss, dropping to 7-10. Anibal Sanchez picks up his first win as a Tiger, moving to 1-1.
Stat of the Night: Indians starters on this road trip have gone 0-6 with a 12.40 ERA.
Stat of the Night Pt. 2: The Indians have been outscored 57-19 on the road trip. With the eight-run loss, the Indians will probably be the worst team in the AL in run differential by the end of the night.
Player of the Game: Jason Kipnis had two hits and a RBI. It was just his 10th RBI since July 1.
Tomorrow's Game: Ubaldo Jimenez faces Doug Fister at 7:05 p.m.