The Tigers, who are threatening to break the 1962 New York Mets’ modern-day record of 120 losses, snapped a season-high 11-game skid Sunday when Brandon Inge hit a two-out, two-run homer off Anaheim’s Troy Percival for a stirring 10-9 win over the Angels.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “This is the best one this year—it didn’t look good, going up against one of the premiere closers in baseball, but that’s how this game works.”
The dramatic win brought some rare excitement to the struggling Tigers as they rushed Inge from the dugout.
“I was screaming like a little kid,” said Detroit’s Carlos Pena. “We understand what our record is, but right now we don’t care. We are just going to enjoy this.”
Right-hander Nate Cornejo will try to give Detroit its first winning streak since a three-game run from July 8-10. The Tigers actually won their last game prior to the break and one immediately afterward before losing six in a row.
The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in two starts at Jacobs Field, and the Tigers have posted three wins in his four starts against Cleveland this year—their only victories in the season series thus far.
Cornejo has lost five straight starts since beating the Indians at the Jake on July 24, allowing three runs and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings in Detroit’s 7-4 win.
Cleveland is coming off a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay. Rookie Ryan Ludwick drove in two runs in Sunday’s 7-5 win over the Devil Rays. The Tribe has won 13 of 19 since August 6, and will kick off a six-game homestand against the Tigers.
STANDINGS: Tigers - 5th place, 36 GB, AL Central. Indians - 4th place, 11 GB, AL Central.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Cornejo (5-13, 4.76 ERA). Cornejo allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings in Wednesday’s 6-0 loss to Texas. He is 1-2 with a 4.38 ERA in six career starts against Cleveland.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Billy Traber (6-6, 4.33 ERA). Traber allowed two runs and six hits over 5 1-3 innings in Cleveland’s 7-4 loss to Tampa Bay on August 18. The rookie left-hander is 1-0 with a 5.16 ERA in three career relief appearances against Detroit. This will be his first start against the Tigers.
SEASON SERIES: Indians, 9-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Tigers - Detroit has 43 runs in its last six games. … C Inge went 2-for-4 with two doubles in LHP Traber’s last appearance against Detroit on May 27. … OF-1B Dmitri Young is batting .442 (19-for-43) during an 11-game hitting streak. Indians - Cleveland traded LHP Brian Anderson to the Kansas City Royals on Monday for cash considerations, and prospects OF Trey Dyson and RHP Kieran Mattison. … OF Ludwick has hit seven homers in 30 games since the Indians acquired him from Texas in July. … 3B Blake is 4-for-11 against RHP Cornejo this season with two doubles, a homer and two RBIs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Tigers - 17-49 on the road; Indians - 32-33 at home.
INJURIES: Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; 3B Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; 3B Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL. Indians - C Victor Martinez (ankle), 15-day DL; SS Omar Vizquel (knee), 15-day DL; OF Bradley (back), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Boyd (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Ricky Gutierrez (back), 60-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 60-day DL.