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All-Stars carry Tigers to another blowout of Indians

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND -- On the day six of them were named to the American League All-Star team, the Detroit Tigers celebrated with another big win over Central Division rival Cleveland.

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, two of the Tigers' six All-Stars, hit back-to-back home runs in a four-run third inning and the Tigers rolled to 9-4 victory over the Indians on Saturday.

In winning the first two games of the four-game series between the top two teams in the division, Detroit has outscored Cleveland 16-4.

"We put some numbers on the board. We all looked good today," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland.

Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter missed the cycle by a single. Hunter had a double, a triple, a home run and three RBIs as the Tigers won their fifth game in a row and extended their division lead over Cleveland to 3 1/2 games.

The Indians have lost four in a row as their starting pitching continues to struggle. In the first two games of the series, Cleveland starters Justin Masterson and Carlos Carrasco have combined to give up 13 runs on 17 hits in eight innings.

Detroit is 8-2 vs. Cleveland this season, including seven straight wins.

"They've had their way with us. We have to play better," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team could do nothing with Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez was making his first start since suffering a right shoulder strain on June 15. He was activated off the disabled list before the game and held Cleveland to one run and three hits in five innings in improving his record to 7-5.

"I was pleasantly surprised by the way Sanchez threw the ball," Leyland said.

Detroit blew the game open with that four-run third inning when Carrasco gave up two doubles and two home runs in the span of five batters.

With one out, Austin Jackson doubled. Hunter flied out, but Cabrera hit a breaking ball into the left field bleachers for his 27th home run, raising his league-leading RBI total to 88.

"(Carrasco) made a real bad pitch to Cabrera," Francona said. "It was a breaking ball down the middle, and he (Cabrera) did what he does to mistakes."

Carrasco agreed with his manager's assessment.

"I missed on that pitch," he said. "It was supposed to be a slider down and away. It was flat and right down the middle."

Fielder followed Cabrera's homer with one of his own, a towering drive into the seats in center field -- his 15th homer of the season. Victor Martinez followed with a double and scored on a single by Jhonny Peralta, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead, and the rout was on.

"They are all very good hitters, and they will hit," Leyland said of the middle of the Tigers' lineup.

"We've got a good team," Cabrera said, "and when everybody does their job like that, we'll be OK."

Carrasco gave up three runs in the fourth inning, one of them unearned because of his own error. In 3 1/3 innings, Carrasco (0-4) was charged with seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits as his ERA climbed to 9.10.

Three of Cleveland's runs came on home runs: a solo shot by Nick Swisher in the sixth and a two-run blast by Ryan Raburn in the ninth.

The Indians' other run came in the third inning on an infield RBI single by Michael Bourn. Swisher, Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs had two hits each for Cleveland, accounting for six of the Indians' eight hits.

NOTES: Slumping Mark Reynolds was not in the Indians' starting lineup but struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. Reynolds is hitless in his last 20 at-bats, with 11 strikeouts. ... The Indians optioned pitcher Joe Martinez to Triple-A Columbus in order to clear a roster spot for Carlos Carrasco. ... The Tigers optioned LHP Jose Alvarez to Triple-A Toledo before the game to make room on the roster for Anibal Sanchez. ... Cabrera's 86 RBIs in the first 85 games were the most by a Tigers player through 85 games since Hank Greenberg had 100 in 1937.
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