Detroit 7, Cleveland 6
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, April 14, 2017
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
Clint Fagan, 1B -
Chris Guccione, 2B -
Dana DeMuth, 3B -
CLEVELAND -- Detroit Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus could hardly believe his eyes.
"You can't have a six-run lead in the ninth inning, and then have to use your closer. That can't happen," said Ausmus, after it happened.
Ausmus' Tigers' took a 7-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, then nearly gave all of it away before getting the final out in a 7-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians Friday night at Progressive Field.
"It was ugly, but we got out of it with a win," Ausmus said.
"On a really frustrating night, I was glad that we fought back like that," said Cleveland manager Terry Francona.
Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run home run and Daniel Norris pitched six shutout innings while allowing just two hits as the Tigers took leads of 6-0 and 7-1, then had to hang on in the ninth.
Alex Avila also homered for the Tigers, and Cleveland's Lonnie Chisenhall belted a pinch-hit grand slam in the ninth inning. But the defending American League champion Indians have lost six of their last seven games and were outscored 41-20 in that span.
Norris (1-0) dominated Indians hitters. He threw 101 pitches, striking out five and walking four.
Leading 4-0, the Tigers made it 6-0 in the sixth inning on a two-run home run by Avila that sent Trevor Bauer (0-2) to the showers. In five innings Bauer gave up six runs on eight hits.
With Detroit leading 7-1, reliever William Cuevas started the bottom of the ninth for the Tigers. Cuevas faced five batters and gave up three hits and hit a batter. With the score 7-2, one out, and the bases loaded, Ausmus brought in closer Francisco Rodriguez, who struck out Abraham Almonte for the second out.
But Chisenhall, pinch-hitting for Roberto Perez, hit an 0-1 pitch into the right-field seats for a grand slam. All of a sudden, the Tigers' lead was down to 7-6.
"There's no reason Frankie (Rodriguez) should have to pitch in that game," Ausmus said. "We've got to do a better job than that. Guys need to throw strikes. We've got to be able to pitch with a six-run lead."
Following Chisenhall's grand slam, Rodriguez, who picked up his fourth save, struck out Austin Jackson to finally end the four-hour game.
There was also drama in the first inning. Bauer's first pitch to Cabrera sailed up and in. Cabrera immediately shouted at someone in the Cleveland dugout.
"I thought it was up, but not that far in," said Francona. "He was yelling at me. I'm not sure what he wanted me to do."
Ausmus referenced Bauer's last start vs. the Tigers, on Sept. 18 of last year, when he hit three Tigers in five innings, including Ian Kinsler, who was hit in the head.
"I don't think Bauer was trying to (hit Cabrera), but at some point you get sick of it," Ausmus said.
Cabrera eventually drew a walk. After the third out of the inning, Cabrera again engaged in some animated yelling toward the Indians' dugout. Home plate umpire Clint Fagan issued warnings to both benches.
Cabrera took out his frustration on the baseball three innings later, when he belted a three-run home run off Bauer.
Norris only gave up two hits in his six scoreless innings, but neither he nor Ausmus was thrilled with his four walks.
"His numbers look good but he only threw about 50 percent of his pitches for strikes," Ausmus said.
"It's great to get the win, but I'm frustrated by the walks. I've got to do better than that," Norris said.
NOTES: The Indians recalled RHP Nick Goody from Triple-A Columbus and optioned RHP Shawn Armstrong to Columbus. . . Indians 2B Jason Kipnis will resume his rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Columbus. Kipnis (right shoulder inflammation) missed a couple days after getting hit on the hand with a pitch. . . The Tigers purchased the contract of RHP William Cuevas from Triple-A Toledo and optioned RHP Joe Jimenez to Toledo. . . On Saturday Tigers RHP Justin Verlander will make his 49th career start vs. Cleveland, his most starts against any team in the majors. Verlander's career record against the Indians is 19-21, the most losses he has against any team.
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