Tigers get only 4 hits in 5-0 loss to Indians
CLEVELAND (AP)—Paul Byrd got an inside tip while warming up, then went out and used it.
Byrd (5-10) gave up four hits over 7 2-3 innings and didn’t allow a runner past second base. The right-hander struck out four, walked three and earned his second straight win after going 1-7 over a stretch of 10 starts.
Byrd said he found the confidence he needed to pitch inside while preparing for the game with bullpen catcher Dennis Malave, who stands in the batter’s box while Indians pitchers warm up to get them accustomed to throwing to hitters.
“He jumped away from two pitches at his ankles, then I hit him in the knee and drilled him square in the back with a pitch,” Byrd said. “I said, ‘I’m scared. I can’t pitch inside, I better try throwing everything away tonight.’
“Dennis came up, hit me in the chest hard—maybe to get back at me—and said, ‘You’ve got to bury the ball inside to win. Do it.”’
Byrd did, sending the Tigers to their AL-worst 11th shutout in the opener of their season-high 10-game trip. Detroit, which remained 6 1/2 games out in the Central, is hoping to make a move while playing four games in Cleveland and three apiece at Tampa Bay and Chicago against the division-leading White Sox.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said his team isn’t too far out to challenge.
“One team can go on a five-game losing streak and another can go on a five-game winning streak,” Leyland said. “I think this team knows what’s at stake.”
Leyland said he will give his players a break from batting practice Tuesday after being baffled by Byrd, who improved to 10-2 in his career against Detroit.
“Give a lot of credit to Paul Byrd,” Leyland said. “He’s been fantastic against us. He changes speeds, stays out of the middle of the plate, cuts the ball, sinks the ball. He’s a pitcher.
“We did look a little flat. I don’t mean not hustling or not trying. We had a long trip coming out of the break. We went home for a big emotional series and lost two of three (to Chicago). This didn’t surprise me.”
Byrd allowed singles to Magglio Ordonez in the fourth, Matt Joyce in the seventh and Curtis Granderson in the eighth. Granderson doubled into the right-field corner to open the sixth, but Byrd got three quick outs on only 11 pitches.
Mujica struck out two in 1 1-3 innings for Cleveland, which tied the Boston Red Sox for the most shutouts in the majors with 11.
“You’re going to give up home runs, but those three runs were killer blows,” Rogers said. “If it’s still 2-0, maybe things turn out differently.”
Rogers gave up five runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings on the 14th anniversary of his perfect game, for the Texas Rangers against the Angels.
The left-hander fell behind early and admitted he, too, needed to throw more pitches inside.
“I knew they were diving out over the plate,” Rogers said. “I needed to pitch in more, but I didn’t.”
Shoppach started the sixth with his ninth homer. Andy Marte hit the next pitch nearly 400 feet to straightaway center, where Granderson caught it with his back against the wall. Ryan Garko then lined a double down the left-field line and one out later scored on Cabrera’s second homer for a 5-0 lead.
Indians DH Travis Hafner, out since May 30 with a weak right shoulder, is attending to a family matter at home in North Dakota, according to manager Eric Wedge. Hafner had been scheduled for a strength test on the shoulder Monday. … Indians C Victor Martinez, who had right elbow surgery June 13, is beginning baseball activities. He played catch and took a few dry swings with a bat. … Tigers 3B Carlos Guillen came in batting .410 (16-for-39) in his career against Byrd, but went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk. … Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera came in hitting .441 (15-for-34) with four homers and 14 RBIs in eight games against the Indians this year, but went 0-for-4. … Leyland said RHP Joel Zumaya, who left Sunday’s game with tightness in his triceps, played catch and should be available Tuesday. … Leyland also said Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge will split the catching duties in this four-game series and that Ordonez will get a day off Thursday. … Mujica has not allowed a run in 12 innings, the longest scoreless streak by an Indians reliever this year.