|3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, June 15, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 25,523
Indians' Bieber hopes to rebound vs. Tigers
Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers
- The Indians won two of three in Detroit in early April this season, holding the Tigers to six combined runs in the series. The Indians have held the Tigers to 2.41 runs per game since last season, lowest by any team against a divisional opponent.
- The Indians sit in second place in the AL Central with a 34-33 record despite having a -10 run differential. They are currently the only team with a winning record and a negative run differential.
- The Tigers have scored three runs or fewer in eight of their last nine games. They have scored under four runs in 40 of their 65 games this season, second most in MLB behind the Marlins (42).
- Carlos Santana has exactly one hit in each of his last eight games and has exactly one run in each of his last five. Since May 18, he is slashing .310/.448/.726 -- his on-base percentage and slugging percentage both rank third in MLB in that span (minimum 75 plate appearances).
- Through May 23, JaCoby Jones was hitting just .183 with four home runs and seven RBI. Since then, he is hitting .410 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 35 fewer games. His .410 batting average since May 24 is the best in MLB (minimum 60 plate appearances).
- Jose Ramirez went 0-for-7 in the series against the Reds. His slugging percentage has dropped 260 points from last season (.552 to .292), the largest decrease among batting title qualifiers. He finished 2018 with the eighth-highest slugging percentage among qualifiers; this season he ranks last.
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Jake Bauers hit for the cycle on Friday, the first Cleveland Indians player to achieve the feat since 2016. He'll try to keep the good vibes going when the Indians face the Detroit Tigers once again in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday.
Bauers completed the cycle with a two-run homer off reliever Blaine Hardy in the eighth inning. Bauers said that one of his teammates, pitcher Shane Bieber, especially egged him on before the at-bat.
"I had a conversation with Biebs right before I go up there. It's like, 'Should I do this?' and he's like, 'Yeah, go for it man,'" Bauers said in a postgame TV interview. "So I went for it a little bit, and obviously it worked out. Shout-out to Biebs for talking me into it."
The entire offense was cooking in the opener of the series, as the Indians pounded out 17 hits in the 13-4 victory. Bauers' cycle was the first by a Cleveland player since Rajai Davis did it in July 2016.
"It's just another example of how good our offense can be. When we're putting together good at-bats, we tend to have good nights, so we'll just keep that going," Bauers said.
Bieber, who had an abbreviated outing in his last appearance on Sunday, will start Saturday's game. Bieber retired the first five batters he faced against the New York Yankees but couldn't get out of the second inning. He allowed five runs on five hits and two walks before he was pulled by manager Terry Francona.
"I've never seen it go that quick with him like that before," Francona said afterward.
In his previous start, Bieber held the Minnesota Twins to two runs on five hits while lasting seven innings.
Prior to the debacle against the Yankees, Bieber (5-2, 4.07 ERA) struck out six or more batters in eight consecutive starts.
"I felt like I obviously got two quick outs in that second inning and then things just kind of started to unravel," Bieber told MLB.com. "Thought I had plenty of opportunities to get myself out of that inning, and just couldn't capitalize on them."
Bieber has been stingy in three career starts against the Tigers, posting a 2-1 record and 2.25 ERA. He delivered one of the best performances of his career at Comerica Park on Detroit on April 11, holding the Tigers scoreless on just three hits over seven innings while collecting six strikeouts.
The Tigers plan to bring up Gregory Soto from the minors to make the start on Saturday. The rookie left-hander was ineffective in four May starts, going 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA. He allowed 22 hits, including four homers, in 13 2/3 innings.
To open a roster spot, Friday's starter, Ryan Carpenter, was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. He gave up eight runs (six earned) on eight hits and four walks in three-plus innings.
"We kind of need a pitcher," manager Ron Gardenhire said after Friday's game. "We got four innings out of our starter (Thursday) and three today, so we've got to have pitching. Those (relievers) are going to die out there. We need Soto to come up here and give us a good start."
The Tigers also will place catcher Grayson Greiner on the 10-day injured list due to a back strain, and they will call up catcher Bobby Wilson.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 15, 2019
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Published: 2015-05-28 13:51:00
Updated: 2016-07-13 10:41:59
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