Indians 12, Tigers 7
CLEVELAND (AP)—Although he was probably charge-a-cameraman angry, Kenny Rogers stayed calm, cool and collected. On a warm, muggy night there was nothing he could do but take this beating.
Rogers didn’t make it out of the first inning Tuesday as Cleveland scored seven runs off Detroit’s ace and then held off baseball’s best team long enough for a 12-7 victory over the Tigers.
Rogers (11-4) walked three and didn’t retire any of the first seven hitters while being roughed up for a season-high seven runs and five hits in his shortest outing in more than 13 years.
“I’m sure that’s about as ugly as I can get,” he said.
The left-hander, who was 8-1 with six no-decisions in his previous 15 starts, lost for the first time since he was beaten by Cleveland on May 28.
“That’s the way the game is,” Rogers said. “I’ve been around long enough to know about the highs and lows. You can’t get caught up in either one. For me to put it into perspective, it’s one game, but I put us in too big of a hole.
“I know I’ll be better the next time, because this is about as bad as I can get. Hopefully.”
Brandon Inge hit a three-run homer and an RBI double and Curtis Granderson went 4-for-5 as the Tigers clawed back within 8-7 in the fourth but were shut down on three hits by Jason Davis (3-1), Brian Sikorski and Fausto Carmona over the final five innings.
“Our bullpen was fantastic,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “It takes a lot of guts to hang onto that game right there. I wonder how many people thought we were going to win when they got back within a run.”
Leading 9-7, the Indians added three runs in the seventh off Jason Grilli. Martinez hit an RBI double and Blake followed with a shot to straightaway center that Granderson couldn’t run down before slamming into the wall as the ball ricocheted away.
Blake hustled all the way around, giving Cleveland its biggest lead since its early 7-0 advantage.
“Haf (Travis Hafner) told me that any self-respecting power hitter would have stopped at third base,” Blake said with a smile. “I’ll take them any way I can get them. When I came around third, I saw 20 arms waving from the dugout.”
Down 7-0 after one and 8-3 after three, the Tigers scored four runs in the fourth to chase starter Paul Byrd, who couldn’t protect the seven-run lead.
The Indians scored five runs off Rogers before the left-hander recorded an out.
The AL’s starter in the All-Star game helped Cleveland load the bases with two walks before Martinez nearly took his head off with a line drive RBI single to center.
Rogers then walked Blake to force in a run, and Peralta followed with a double to right-center. Two runs scored on the gapper and Blake also came home to make it 5-0 when Granderson overthrew the cutoff man for his first error in 151 major league games.
Sizemore’s RBI single made it 6-0, and Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out to get Rogers from his shortest outing since lasting just one-third of an inning on May 21, 1993, against California.
“Kenny’s control was either too good or too bad,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That pretty much sums it up. He was either throwing balls or throwing it right down the middle.”
After handing the ball to Leyland, Rogers slowly walked back to the dugout, and briefly grabbed a seat on a ledge directly under a TV camera. Last year, the lefty was suspended for 20 games and fined $50,000 for shoving a cameraman.
Roman Colon replaced Rogers, but the Indians weren’t done as Michaels’ RBI single capped the seven-run outburst.
“We knew we had to keep scoring,” Michaels said. “It just felt like one of those night where no lead was going to be big enough.”
The Tigers, blanked in the first inning for the first time in four games, got back in it in the second as Inge connected for his 20th homer, a three-run shot on to the home run porch in left.
Cleveland went up 8-3 in the third on Michaels’ RBI double.
Granderson’s errorless streak was the longest ever for a Tigers outfielder to start his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Granderson’s streak was the longest by a position player to start his career since Dave Roberts went 205 games from 1999-2003 before his first miscue. … In his last 12 games, Inge is batting .439 (18-for-41) with three homers and 13 RBIs. … Hall of Famer Bob Feller, a frequent visitor to Indians games, had his remarkable 1946 season and military service in World War II recognized by Congress in a 417-0 vote on Tuesday. Sixty years ago, after serving four years in the U.S. Navy, Feller led the AL in wins, shutouts, strikeouts and pitched 36 complete games in 42 starts. On Wednesday, Feller will be honored in Washington. … Indians RHP Matt Miller, who underwent elbow surgery in April, is making progress and could be pitching again in September.