There is little doubt that the Detroit Tigers have earned the American League Central Division title. Much of the reason Detroit, 93-67, will be playing in October is the Tigers’ work against the Indians, who dropped their eighth straight to the Tigers with a 14-0 trouncing.
The lopsided Tiger win before 29,886 at Comerica Park included an 8-run eighth that saw the first seven Detroit hitters collect base hits including a 3-run homer from Delmon Young and two hits and three RBI from Andy Dirks, one of three Tigers to bat twice in the inning but only one with two hits.
While the Indians have now been shutout 13 times and fell just short of the season high 15 runs allowed in a 15-10 loss to Chicago in the season opener, the 14-run deficit was the largest in any of the 80 losses the Tribe has suffered this season.
And that is without mentioning Doug Fister, 11-13 overall but 8-1 since being traded to Detroit by Seattle, who allowed just three singles in eight innings of work without a walk while striking out nine Indian hitters.
Cleveland is still in search of its 81st win to assure a .500 season for the first time since 2008 and has two chances remaining with games on Tuesday and Wednesday at Comerica Park against Detroit.
The Tigers, who already had a 6-0 lead entering the eighth, had four straight singles off Corey Kluber before Josh Judy entered and gave up the 2-run homer to Young, one of eight Tiger hitters with at least two hits. Kluber and Judy were each charged with four runs in the 8-run Detroit eighth inning.
Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 1-3 against Detroit since coming over to the Indians in a July trade with Colorado, allowed the first six Tiger runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings with three walks and three strike outs.
Detroit scored once in the second on a RBI triple from Ryan Raburn then added three in the third when Cabrera singled home a run and Avila added two more with a double. Jimenez then gave up two more in the fifth on a run scoring double by Victor Martinez followed by a RBI single by Avila.
Jimenez, 4-4 with Cleveland and 10-13 including his time this season with Colorado, lost 8-7 and 4-2 decisions to the Tigers while taking a 10-3 victory over Detroit in four starts.
Fister, who came over to Detroit from Seattle in a trade deadline deal, has now gotten the best of Jimenez twice, winning a 4-2 decision over the Tribe earlier in the season.
While the Tigers had three batters score twice and Young, Dirks and Alex Avila each drove in three runs, the Indians were limited to four singles. Low man on the Detroit hit parade was Ramon Santiago, the only Tiger with just one hit, getting a single to lead off the eighth.
Fister retired the first 11 Tribe hitters before Asdrubal Cabrera singled with two out in the Cleveland fourth. The other two hits off Fister belonged to Matt LaPorta, who had an infield single with two out in the fifth and added a second infield hit with one out in the eight before pinch hitter Jerad Head singled in the ninth off Tiger relief pitcher Duane Below.
The loss dropped the Indians to 6-10 against Detroit and back to .500 for the 15th time this season with a 80-80 record. In the previous 14 times the Indians played with a .500 record, they have gone 10-4 in the following game. a 10-4 record.