DETROIT – All manager Manny Acta can do at this point is wait — and hope Cleveland's starting pitching eventually snaps out of this awful rut.
"I've never seen a streak of non-quality starts like this," Acta said. "Even in 2007, when we were rebuilding things in DC and we practically had to have a tryout camp to find four starters, I never remember a streak like this. We need someone to go out there and break this."
That 2007 team that Acta managed in Washington won only 73 games, and the Indians may not reach that number if they don't start pitching better. Ubaldo Jimenez allowed six runs Saturday night in a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland hasn't had a quality start since July 26.
Jimenez (8-11) gave up seven hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Indians, who have lost eight consecutive games. It's their longest skid since dropping 11 straight in September 2009.
"You definitely have it on your mind that you want to go out and end this," Jimenez said. "You don't want to focus on that, but it is there when things are going wrong."
Doug Fister retired his first 17 batters and then settled for a four-hitter for Detroit. Fister's bid for a perfect game was broken up with two outs in the sixth inning when Ezequiel Carrera tripled over Austin Jackson's head in center field.
Fister (6-7) finished with six strikeouts but lost his chance at his first career shutout when Carrera tripled again in the ninth and scored on a groundout.
Brennan Boesch and Jhonny Peralta each hit a double and a triple for the Tigers.
Fister went 8-1 down the stretch for the Tigers in 2011 after being acquired in a trade. He went down in his first start this year with a strain on his left side, and he's only recently looked sharp on a consistent basis. This was his fifth straight quality start.
It was also the right-hander's first complete game since July 2 last season, when he was with Seattle.
"It's not coming — it's there," catcher Alex Avila said. "You can't get any better than the way he's pitched his last few outings."
Boesch hit an RBI triple in the second and scored on Delmon Young's sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Peralta hit a two-run triple in the fourth and scored on Omar Infante's single.
Infante added a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
The Indians have lost the first two games of the series by a combined 16-3.
The game was delayed for 37 minutes in the second inning when rain began coming down in sheets. For a little while, it was pretty much impossible to see the Detroit skyline beyond right field.
There was more rain on the way, but Fister worked quickly and the game finished with no further delays. He threw 107 pitches and the game took 2 hours, 19 minutes — not counting the stoppage.
Carrera's first triple sailed over the head of Jackson, who has run down his share of deep fly balls at Comerica Park but couldn't reach this one.
That ended the bid for a perfect game, but Fister didn't seem concerned.
"It really didn't cross my mind, to tell you the truth," he said. "I go out there and just really focus on each pitch. Typically, I don't know what inning it is or how many outs there are but it's just a matter of going out there and throwing."
NOTES: Former Detroit INF Carlos Guillen was honored before the game by the Tigers and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Guillen announced his retirement in March. ... Cleveland DH Travis Hafner was activated from the paternity list before the game, but he sat out because of back trouble. ... Detroit will try for a sweep Sunday when RHP Max Scherzer (10-6) takes the mound against LHP Chris Seddon. It will be Seddon's first big league appearance since October 2010.