7:05 PM ET, August 8, 2013
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland doesn't think the race in the American League Central is over.
After his team finished off a four-game sweep of Cleveland with Thursday's 10-3 win -- the Tigers' 12th straight victory -- Leyland would have a tough convincing anyone else of his case.
"I know better than that," Leyland said when asked if the Tigers have taken control of the division. "I'm no fool. This is one of those series you can't explain. Sometimes freaky things happen."
Max Scherzer joined an elite group with his 17th win of the season through 18 starts. Only Rube Marquard had a better start than the Tiger and three others.
|-- Elias Sports Bureau|
• Stats & Info: Fastball Maxes Out
Max Scherzer became baseball's first 17-game winner and Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs as the AL Central leaders and opened a seven-game lead over the Indians. The series was billed as a battle between the division's two top teams, but the Tigers made it clear they're in charge.
"We came out here and played as good a four-game series that we played all year," Scherzer said as the music blared loudly in Detroit's clubhouse. "Everybody played their best. All the starters, all the hitters, the relievers. Everybody did their jobs."
Indians manager Terry Francona understandably had a different point of view.
"Tonight was a tough night, and this was a terrible, a tough series," he said. "It's a hard way to play, but we'll come back (Friday) and see if we can do better."
Scherzer (17-1) allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings. He helped the Tigers beat Cleveland for the 12th time in their last 13 meetings.
The Tigers have won 12 in a row for the first time since Sept. 2-14, 2011.
Coupled with a 13-game winning streak by idle Atlanta, this marks the first time in major league history that two teams have had winning streaks of at least 12 games at the same time during a season since May 16, 1884, STATS said. That was the only other time it occurred -- the St. Louis Maroons had won 15 straight, the New York Gothams had taken 12 in a row.
"When we're able to execute as a team, we can do great things," Scherzer said. "That's why we think we're one of the best teams in the American League."
Cleveland's futility for the series was summed up when Francona let utilityman Ryan Raburn pitch the ninth inning. Raburn retired three straight hitters, striking out Matt Tuiasosopo, in his professional pitching debut and drew a standing ovation.
Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk during a six-run third and hit a two-run single in the fifth, giving him 105 RBIs this season.
That gave Scherzer a huge cushion. He retired the first nine hitters, struck out five and one. He also recorded the 1,000th strikeout of his career when he fanned Jason Kipnis to end the first.
Scherzer threw 100 pitches, and left with a 2.84 ERA this year. The right-hander is 4-0, allowing four earned runs in 28 1/3 innings, since starting for the AL in the All-Star Game.
"He's always good," Leyland said. "He was pretty much vintage Max."
Zach McAllister (4-7) allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings, his shortest start of the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in Cleveland's only runs off Scherzer with RBI doubles in the fourth and sixth.
McAllister's short outing forced Francona to empty his bullpen, which was already taxed by Wednesday's 14-inning game. Preston Guilmet, Matt Albers and Marc Rzepczynski got the Indians through the eighth but Francona needed one more arm for the ninth.
The 25,131 fans cheered wildly when Raburn fanned Tuiasosopo and retired Hernan Perez and Brayan Pena on groundouts. Raburn became the first position player to pitch for the Indians since Andy Marte threw one inning against the Yankees on July 29, 2010.
Detroit began sending its message in the series opener. Detroit rallied off Indians closer Chris Perez in the ninth inning for a 4-2 win on Monday. Justin Verlander allowed one run in eight dominant innings in Tuesday's 5-1 victory. Cabrera's home run off rookie Danny Salazar was the key blow Wednesday and the Tigers went on to win 6-5 in 14 innings.
With the momentum clearly on their side, the Tigers struck early in the finale, sending 11 batters to the plate in the third. Cabrera walked for Detroit's first run before Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez added two-run doubles.
Tigers CF Austin Jackson took an extra-base hit away from Nick Swisher in the first when he ran down a drive in front of the wall in left-center. 1B Fielder made a leaping backhand grab of Asdrubal Cabrera's line drive in the second. ... Detroit SS Jose Iglesias was scratched from the lineup because of a bruised left toe. He was spiked while taking a throw at second Wednesday. ... Tiger OF Torii Hunter was given the day off. "Torii is 38 years old and played 14 innings yesterday, so that's a no-brainer to me," manager Jim Leyland said. ... Leyland said Fielder had the option of being the DH, but chose to play the field. ... The Tigers continue their 10-game road trip with a three-game series against the Yankees. Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (8-6) faces New York RHP Ivan Nova (5-4) on Friday night. ... The Indians wrap up their seven-game homestand with a three-game series against the Angels. Cleveland LHP Scott Kazmir (7-4) takes on Los Angeles RHP Jered Weaver (6-5) in the opener Friday.
CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 8: Starting pitcher Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first...(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Detroit leads 15-4 (as of Thu 8/8)|
|Fri 5/10||@DET 10, CLE 4||Recap|
|Sat 5/11||CLE 7, @DET 6||Recap|
|Sun 5/12||CLE 4, @DET 3||Recap|
|Tue 5/21||DET 5, @CLE 1||Recap|
|Wed 5/22||DET 11, @CLE 7||Recap|
|Fri 6/7||@DET 7, CLE 5||Recap|
|Sat 6/8||@DET 6, CLE 4||Recap|
|Sun 6/9||@DET 4, CLE 1||Recap|
|Fri 7/5||DET 7, @CLE 0||Recap|
|Sat 7/6||DET 9, @CLE 4||Recap|
|Sun 7/7||@CLE 9, DET 6||Recap|
|Mon 7/8||DET 4, @CLE 2||Recap|
|Mon 8/5||DET 4, @CLE 2||Recap|
|Tue 8/6||DET 5, @CLE 1||Recap|
|Wed 8/7||DET 6, @CLE 5||Recap|
|» Thu 8/8||DET 10, @CLE 3||Box Score|
|Fri 8/30||@DET 7, CLE 2||Recap|
|Sat 8/31||@DET 10, CLE 5||Recap|
|Sun 9/1||CLE 4, @DET 0||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Tigers | Indians|
|3rd||M Cabrera walked, R Santiago scored, H Perez to third, A Jackson to second.||1||0|
|3rd||P Fielder doubled to deep center, H Perez and A Jackson scored, M Cabrera to third.||3||0|
|3rd||V Martinez doubled to deep right, M Cabrera and P Fielder scored.||5||0|
|3rd||R Santiago safe at first on error by second baseman M Aviles, V Martinez scored on M Aviles error, D Kelly advanced to second on M Aviles error, D Kelly to third, R Santiago to second on throwing error by right fielder D Stubbs||6||0|
|4th||A Dirks doubled to deep right, A Jackson scored.||7||0|
|4th||V Martinez singled to right, A Dirks scored, M Cabrera to second.||8||0|
|4th||A Cabrera doubled to deep right center, M Bourn scored.||8||1|
|5th||M Cabrera singled to deep left, R Santiago and H Perez scored.||10||1|
|6th||A Cabrera doubled to deep right, J Kipnis scored.||10||2|
|9th||M Brantley reached on infield single to pitcher, J Kipnis scored, M Brantley to second on throwing error by pitcher P Coke.||10||3|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH|
|Attendance||25,131 (59.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||73 degrees, overcast|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Chris Guccione|
This is the 13th time this season that the Tigers have scored at least five runs in an inning, tied for the third-most in the majors.
Cleveland Rocked Tigers vs Indians This Season * 1st 4-game series sweep at Cleveland since 1988 * 9 wins at Cleveland in single season for 1st time since 1946 * Won 12 of 13 games vs Indians for 1st time since 1935
The Tigers finish the season with a 9-1 record in Cleveland. That's the most wins for the Tigers *AT* the Indians since they went 10-1 in 1946. The only other time that the Tigers won nine games in an opponent's park in the divisional era (since 1969) was in 2006, when they were 9-0 at the Royals.
* Please note - the 1927 win streak had a tie in the middle so it will not show up on Baseball Refernece - Elias has confirmed that it counts as a 13-game win streak.[+]
Tigers Longest Win Streaks - Franchise History
* Entering Thursday, Scherzer ranked 5th in MLB with 78 strikeouts using his fastball. On Thursday hitters were 1-for-14 against that pitch, BUT he didn't record a single strikeout with his fastball and his Miss Percentage of 3.7 was his lowest since May 16, 2011. So how did he have so much success with his go-to pitch? Scherzer used his defense ... his In-Play Percentage of 51.9 was his highest since August 2, 2011. His defense responded by not making an error while he was on the mound and the only hit he gave up via the fastball was a bases-empty, 2-out single in the 6th to Jason Kipnis on a tough pitch down and away. * Scherzer was tough on pitches in the lower half as hitters were just 2-for-17 and accounted for 4 of his 5 strikeouts. On the season, his Opp BA on pitches in that zone is .195, which is 2nd in the AL behind Yu Darvish. * Threw 21 1st-pitch strikes on Thursday, tied for his most this season (done 3 other times). This season he's gotten ahead of hitters more often as his average of 1st-pitch strikes per start is his highest over the last 5 seasons.[+]
1st-Pitch Strikes Per Start - Scherzer Last 5 Seasons
Won 9 Road Games at Opponent in Single Season - Last 20 Seasons
Multiple win streaks of 10+ games at same time
Max Scherzer has induced a miss on 28 percent of the swings taken against him, second best in the AL among qualified pitchers. The Indians have missed on 23 percent of the swings they have taken this year, third worst in the AL.
Designated for assignment today, Mark Reynolds absolutely fell off a cliff after starting the season red hot. He had 11 HR thru May 9th and an OPS over 1.000, but since then, he's been the worst player in the AL by Wins Above Replacement.[+]
Mark Reynolds This Season
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