Tiger By The Tail News: As expected, Jhonny Peralta was suspended by Major League baseball 50 games today for a first time PED offense. Detroit knew this was coming and have already acquired his replacement, Jose Iglasius. With just 53 games left in the year for the Tigers (including this one), Peralta will only be eligible to play in the final three regular season games (and possibly the playoffs). With his contract running out at the end of the season, it is unlikely for Peralta to play another game as a Tiger, similar to the Melky Cabrera situation last season.
Player of the Game
Corey Kluber was electric tonight, giving the Indians just the start they needed to this huge series against Detroit. Kluber pitched into the 8th, allowing no runs and striking out six. All of his six hits allowed were singles and three of those runners were eliminated on the base paths (two outfield assists and a double play). Kluber also helped himself defensively, fielding a couple tough balls as he kept the ball on the ground most of the night.
Both teams showed they knew how important this game was by playing exemplary defense. Michael Bourn and Michael Brantley each made great plays in the outfield, while Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber made nice plays closer to home. The play made by Austin Jackson was the best of all, however, as he took a home run away from Lonnie Chisenhall. The upgraded defense is a nice thing to see as the two teams vie for first place in the AL Central.
Brantley was right in the middle of things again tonight. After hitting a single in the second, he stole a base and scored the Indians first run on a Jason Giambi single. Similarly, with two outs in the fourth inning, he hit another single and this time scored on a Carlos Santana double. Brantley has been integral to the Indians lineup all year and now ranks second on the team in runs (53) and RBI (53), behind just Kipnis in each stat.
Corey Kluber had his good stuff tonight, but the patience of the Tigers hurt him, forcing him to throw a lot of pitches early in the game and keeping him from completing what he started. A ten pitch at bat in the sixth inning against Prince Fielder was a perfect microcosm of the night as Fielder was able to foul off pitch after pitch, but ended up striking out.
Chris Perez made Kluber pay for leaving the game early as he had the worst outing by any Indians reliever all season. Perez pitched in three games in a row and looked winded as he allowed all four batters he faced to reach base and score, giving up the Indians two run lead. Prince Fielder started things off with double and Alex Avila finished them with a three run home run.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Detroit Tigers 4