Tigers Top Indians to Extend Lead in AL Central

The Detroit Tigers were able to hold their ground at home last night, taking the series opener from the Cleveland Indians and pushing their lead to 2.5 games in the AL Central.

Max Scherzer led the way for the Tigers, logging 7 innings while allowing only a single run on 5 hits.  Scherzer struck out 6 on his way victory number 13 on the year in what was his best start in nearly a month.

The timing couldn’t have been better for Detroit with Cleveland creeping up in the Central standings as the weekend series approached.  But Scherzer and the Tigers bats proved too much for the Indians Friday night.

With the game knotted at 0-0 through 5, Austin Jackson was finally able to get the scoring started with his 2 run shot in the bottom of the 6th.

Cleveland came back to post its lone run of the evening when Scherzer threw a wild pitch.  The right hander then induced a groundout off the bat of Luis Valbuena to end the threat and hold Detroit’s lead at 2-1.

A pair of Tigers were able to add some breathing a room in the next frame.

After two quick groundouts off the bats of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, Detroit seemed poised to go down quietly in the 7th.  But two pitches later the Tigers had proved themselves anything but quiet, as Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta went back-to-back off Indians’ starter Josh Tomlin, extending the lead to 4-1.

It was more than enough for the back of Detroit’s pen.  Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde sat down the Indians in order over the final two innings to preserve the victory.

The series continues this evening as Doug Fister takes the hill for the Tigers against David Huff.  Sunday’s matinee offers fans a rematch between Tigers young right hander Rick Porcello and new Cleveland ace Ubaldo Jimenez.

The two met up August 10th in what turned out to be a very lopsided affair.  Jimenez had his best outing with the Tribe, shutting the Tigers out over 8 innings, while Porcello couldn’t escape the 4th before surrendering 8 runs on 11 hits.

For more on the Indians and Tigers, be sure to check out Deep Left Field and Motor City Bengals.

Tags: Alex Avila Austin Jackson Cleveland Indians David Huff Detroit Tigers Doug Fister Jhonny Peralta Joaquin Benoit Jose Valverde Josh Tomlin Luis Valbuena Max Scherzer Miguel Cabrera Rick Porcello Ubaldo Jimenez Victor Martinez

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