Roster Update: The Indians activated Zach McAllister prior to tonight’s game as their 26th man allowed during a double header. This will not restart the clock on his return eligibility and he will still be able to come back in time to make his next start.
Player of the Game
Chris Dickerson has been an incredible pick-up for the Indians already this year with hits in each of his first five games before breaking that streak yesterday. One thing Dickerson hadn’t shown to date, however, was power with seven of his eight hits going for singles. Tonight, that all changed as Dickerson took Max Scherzer deep twice for the only two Indians runs. He also worked a walk in between as he posted better at bats than just about any other Indians hitter against the Tigers ace. This was Dickerson’s second career multi home run game and the first against Scherzer since 2011.
Outside of one poor inning (detailed below) Zach McAllister was very efficient tonight and had no problems dealing with the Tigers sluggers. McAllister allowed just three hits in 5.1 innings, only one for extra bases, and struck out six in five innings. He did walk three and throw a wild pitch, but every base runner but two came in the same inning, afterward, he threw almost nothing but strikes.
Neither team had a hit with runners in scoring position all game, but something had to give and it did for the Indians in the top of the ninth. Roberto Perez doubled to lead off the inning, then Dickerson struck out while trying to bunt him to third. Jason Kipnis walked, the Michael Brantley was walked intentionally after a passed ball put runners on second and third. With two outs and the bases loaded, Carlos Santana came through with his second bases loaded hit of the season, a bases clearing double that hit off the top of the wall in Comerica Park’s cavernous center field.
The Indians have had their share of losing streaks this season with three of at least four games, but they are officially on a hot streak right now. Cleveland has won four in a row, all against Central Division teams, six of their last seven and 11 of 15. In that stretch they have went from three games under .500 in third place to three games over in second. While they didn’t make up any games against Detroit during the first 11 games of that stretch, they have taken three in the current series and are now just 4.5 games out of the Central Division lead.
Zach McAllister has been a sort of sixth starter for the Indians ever since coming off the DL on June 19th, but despite being scheduled to make four starts since then, he has only been used twice. With only three other starters currently on the Major League roster, tonight was a big chance for McAllister to earn a regular position, but he didn’t inspire much confidence in the second inning. In that inning, McAllister got two quick outs with just a runner on second. He then walked three batters in a row, including a four pitch walk to Austin Jackson to allow the first run of the game. He got out of the inning thanks to a lucky pop out by Ian Kinsler, but it certainly didn’t make him look very good in the eyes of Indians management.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Detroit Tigers 2
On Deck: Josh Tomlin will take on Drew Smyly as the Indians look to sweep the series, Sunday afternoon at 1:08 PM in Detroit.