Perez, Clevinger help streaking Indians complete sweep
DETROIT -- The Cleveland Indians won two ways Friday -- a close one and a blowout.
The second game of the split doubleheader went to Cleveland 10-0 over the Detroit Tigers as the Indians equaled their season-best nine-game winning streak.
Cleveland squeaked out the opener 3-2 on Francisco Lindor’s one-out, tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning.
”We scored early and we spread it out,“ Indians manager Terry Francona said after the evening’s work. ”It’s a good way to play.
“When you’re trying to give some guys part of the day off and you don’t have to go to them, and stay away from the bullpen, it just makes for a good day.”
It didn’t hurt Cleveland that Detroit has a shredded lineup, with no player on roster with more than the 19 home runs hit by Nicholas Castellanos with the Aug. 31 trade of Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels.
“I would get used to getting young guys in the game for the next month, that’s basically what it’s going to be,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “We’re going to have a lot of young guys out there. Experience is a huge asset at the major league level, so there’s going to be some bumps.”
Roberto Perez homered and knocked in three runs to back the six strong innings of Mike Clevinger in the second game.
Clevinger (8-5) allowed three hits, giving up two doubles to Andrew Romine plus a single to Ian Kinsler in his six-inning stint. He struck out six and walked just one.
“I thought ‘Berto (catcher Perez) did a good job too of keeping him on there (around the plate),” Francona said.
“He’s really funky and he’s got a lot of movement going on,” Ausmus said. “He’s not overpowering, but he throws good and he’s got a couple different breaking balls. He can be tough.”
Dan Otero pitched the seventh, Kyle Crockett the eighth and Nick Goody the ninth for the Indians.
In the opening game, Lindor poked a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield to score Jay Bruce from third base with one out in the ninth inning for the win. Bruce’s pinch-hit triple to right center with one out off Detroit closer Shane Greene (3-3) made a winner of Cody Allen (2-6).
Perez opened the five-run sixth in the nightcap with his fourth home run of the season, which came off reliever Blaine Hardy. His two-run single in the fourth gave the Indians a 4-0 lead. Erik Gonzalez also had an RBI single in the fourth.
Gonzalez singled one out after Perez’s home run and Bradley Zimmer doubled him to third. Yandy Diaz singled in Gonzalez and Bruce hit a sacrifice fly to make it 8-0. Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI double and Carlos Santana an RBI single to finish the five-run inning.
Gonzalez had three hits in the game.
Giovanny Urshela got Cleveland off to 2-0 lead with a two-run double in the second against Buck Farmer (3-2), who pitched three-plus innings.
Farmer faced four batters in the fourth, three of whom scored. He allowed three hits but walked three and hit one and they all scored.
“The bottom of our order really did a good job. So did the top, but those guys really came through for us,” Francona said. “Gio really did a good job for us swinging the bat.”
After the game, Ausmus said Detroit will call up third baseman Jeimer Candelario and right-handed pitcher Myles Jaye for Saturday’s game with Cleveland.
NOTES: Only three starters for Detroit in the second game played as many as 100 games for the Tigers this season -- DH Ian Kinsler, 1B Miguel Cabrera and 3B Nicholas Castellanos. ... Indians manager Terry Francona started four players in both games of the doubleheader (1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, RF/1B Carlos Santana, DH/3B Yandy Diaz and 3B/SS Giovanny Urshela), but none at the same position. ... Heralded Indians rookie C Francisco Mejia is trying to add third base to his resume, but Francona says he won’t do so this month for Cleveland. ... LHP Chad Bell will start Sunday for Detroit in place of injured RHP Michael Fulmer, awaiting examination by Dr. James Andrews for the source of numbness in his pitching fingers. Fulmer will miss at least two turns and ulnar nerve surgery is possible.