DETROIT: The lineup for a club one day after clinching its division is often more-so built toward getting the starters a day of rest, either due to attrition for a long season or the celebration that took place the night before. The Indians’ lineup on Tuesday certainly followed suit in that pseudo-tradition, and Mike Clevinger was roughed up early in a 12-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Carlos Santana was the only regular in the lineup, acting as the designed hitter, and he played only because the Indians ran out of players. Catcher Chris Gimenez ended up playing third base — he had logged five innings there in his career. Indians manager Terry Francona joked before the game that he “wasn’t thrilled about that,” but wanted to find a day of rest for Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Jason Kipnis, Mike Napoli and others.
“I think today they’ve earned the right to — last night, they blew it out pretty good,” Francona said. “There is a balance there. But I think after 155 games, what they accomplished, they needed a night that where they can sit around and watch and enjoy, is good for them.”
The day of rest for so many might have worked out considering the Tigers quickly jumped on Clevinger and kept adding on later.
The first inning began with a walk to Ian Kinsler and a double by Cameron Maybin. Miguel Cabrera followed with a two-run double to the gap in right-center field. An inning later, Cabrera crushed a three-run home run to the bushes in center field, making it 5-0, giving him all five RBI.
In the fourth, Kinsler singled home a run against Perci Garner, who relieved Clevinger, to make it 6-0. Justin Upton belted a three-run home run down the left-field line off Adam Plutko in the seventh, erasing any doubt. Facing Austin Adams, the Tigers added three more on an RBI-triple by Tyler Collins and a two-run home run by Andrew Romine.
Clevinger threw only two innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and striking out two. It was a step back for Clevinger, who has been pushed into, possibly, an extended role in the Indians’ rotation following the injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.
The Indians couldn’t do much against Justin Verlander Tuesday night, making the early 5-0 deficit feel more like 10-0. Verlander threw 7? scoreless innings, allowed only four hits and struck out 12.
Erik Gonzalez was the only Indians hitter to figure out Verlander, going 3-for-3. Gonzalez entered the game hitting .091.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ