DETROIT: The Indians were snake-bitten by Miguel Cabrera yet again and fell to the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game that lasted only five innings.
The Indians and Tigers sat through two rain delays before the game was finally called.
Cabrera again proved why he’s been one of the most lethal hitters in baseball over the last decade. The teams entered the bottom of the fifth inning tied 3-3. There had already been a 45-minute rain delay and additional rain, lightning and thunder were on the way.
Had there been another delay with the game tied, the teams would have had to finish it on Thursday or come back on Monday. But, facing Joe Colon, Cabrera made that all moot by blasting a three-run home run to the opposite field to give the Tigers a 6-3 lead.
Less than 10 minutes later, the inning was over, the game was official and the tarp came onto the field for a second time. The home run — Cabrera’s 36th — came just in time for the Tigers.
Prior to Cabrera’s game-winner, the Indians took an early lead, lost it and then fought back to again deadlock the score.
Carlos Santana doubled home a run in the first inning against Tigers starter and American League Rookie of the Year contender Michael Fulmer, making it 1-0. The Indians had a chance to add on in the third, loading the bases with nobody out. But Fulmer retired Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall on pop-outs and Coco Crisp grounded out to end the inning.
Zach McAllister held the Tigers scoreless through two innings but was finished after the first delay. Cody Anderson entered and quickly ran into a buzz saw. Brian McCann and Jose Iglesias each doubled, and Ian Kinsler followed with a two-run home run. Seven pitches into Anderson’s appearance, and he had given up three hits and three runs.
The Indians rallied in the fourth to tie it 3-3. Tyler Naquin — another AL Rookie of the Year contender — singled and scored on Rajai Davis’ single to left-center field. Santana then tied it with an RBI single to center field.
Wednesday’s result was both positive and negative for the Indians. Although they absorbed a loss as they battle for the No. 1 seed in the American League, they also saved four innings of work for the bullpen with a pitching staff barely being held together.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.