By: Brian Endicott
Jerry Sands went 2-for-4 with a homer and a triple to back starting pitcher Josh Tomlin’s (W, 4-1) spectacular start as the Cleveland Indians clobbered the Detroit Tigers 8-1 in Comerica Park.
Sands opened the scoring for the Tribe with a 2-run home run in the top of the third inning. In his next at bat to lead off the 5th inning, Sands launched a fastball off of Tigers starter Kyle Lobstein (L, 3-6) to deep right center for a triple. It was the first time since 2003 that an Indians hitter homered and tripled in his first two at-bats of a game.
The triple ignited a 4-run 5th inning and lead to Lobstein’s exit. Giovanny Urhsela’s single to center scored Sands, giving the Indians a 3-0 lead. Back-to-back doubles by Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley scored Urshela. The Tigers then chose to intentionally walk Carlos Santana to load the bases and Lobststein’s game was over.
The Tigers went to reliever Drew VerHagen to try to get them out of the bases-loaded 1-out jam. Instead, VerHagen hit Yan Gomes with a pitch, scoring Lindor. Two batters later, Abraham Almonte walked to score Brantley, giving the Indians a 6-0 lead.
The Indians would add to their lead in the 7th via a 2-run double by Lonnie Chisenhall.
Meanwhile, Tomlin was once again superb tossing a complete game scattering just 4 hits and striking out 6. The Tigers sole run came off of an RBI single by slugger Miguel Cabrera, who holds a commanding lead for the AL batting title. It’s the 9th time this season an Indians pitcher has thrown a complete game, the most in baseball. Tomlin is the 4th different pitcher to accomplish the feat.
Tomlin, who had preseason shoulder surgery and didn’t make his 2015 season debut until August 15th, was making a spot start after Corey Kluber was scratched due to a mild hamstring pull. Kluber was placed on the 15-day DL and is expected to pitch again this season.
Since returning, Tomlin has been spectacular. He’s logged 35.1 innings over his 5 starts and has posted a 2.55ERA. The opposition has been held to a dismal .173 batting average and Tomlin has only issued 3 walks.
The Indians picked up a game in the AL Wild Card race as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers. The Indians now trail by 5 games with 29 left to play.
Flame thrower Danny Salazar (12-7, 3.27 ERA) gets the ball for the Indians tonight against Tigers RHP Alfredo Simon (11-9, 5.09 ERA).