Tigers power past Indians again
Detroit, MI – Delmon Young had three hits, including a homer 6, at Comerica Park.
Detroit had 18 hits in a 14-0 win on Monday. One night later, the Tigers pounded out 12 hits to support Max Scherzer in his 15th win of the season.
Magglio Ordonez knocked in three runs and Wilson Betemit and Miguel Cabrera went deep for Detroit, which remained a game behind Texas for the second- best mark in the American League and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Rangers beat the Angels Tuesday night.
The Tigers need a win and a Texas loss Wednesday to steal home-field advantage away from the Rangers. Detroit would win the tiebreaker thanks to beating Texas in the season series.
"We're in a good position right now," Cabrera said. "They way we're playing, I think we can say we're ready for the playoffs."
Scherzer (15-9) gave up seven hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings. Jose Valverde closer the door in the ninth, moving to 48-of-48 in save opportunities this season for the AL Central champions.
"I'm definitely ready," Scherzer said of the playoffs. "I like where I'm at physically. I made sure I wanted to be extended today because the past two times I've been cut short. I wanted to make sure I was extended into the 110- count pitch-type range."
He threw 109 pitches, 65 for strikes.
Jason Donald had a two-run single in the sixth inning for the Indians, who have lost three in a row overall and nine straight to the Tigers.
Jeanmar Gomez (5-3) was charged with 10 hits and eight runs over 4 2/3 frames.
The Tigers plated three runs in the opening inning, one on a Young ground single up the middle and a pair on an Ordonez grounder past a diving Donald at shortstop. That extended Ordonez's hitting streak to 18 games.
Betemit homered to right, a 423-foot shot with two outs in the second.
Shelley Duncan hit one to the wall in left field, but Young had the ball pop in and out of his glove, resulting in an RBI double in the top of the fourth.
Betemit walked with two outs in the bottom of the frame and Young then lined a first pitch over the wall in left field for his second homer in as many nights.
Lou Marson scored on a Scherzer wild pitch in the fifth, but Ordonez and Ryan Raburn each had RBI doubles in the bottom half for an 8-2 cushion.
"They're probably headed into the playoffs in better shape than most of the other clubs," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "They've been playing good for over a month now. They're playing hard and trying to get home-field advantage. It's not going to be easy."
Donald's bouncer up the middle in the sixth scored a pair, and the Indians loaded the bases with two outs, but Daniel Schlereth fanned Kosuke Fukudome to keep it an 8-4 contest.
Cabrera homered in the bottom of the sixth, but the Indians pulled within the final margin in the seventh on RBI hits from Jim Thome and Lonnie Chisenhall.
The game started 26 minutes late due to rain...Cabrera reached the 30-homer plateau for a fifth straight year and seventh overall...The Tigers have 51 saves as a team, tying a team record set in 1984...A Cleveland win Wednesday, would give the Indians a .500 finish...Detroit is 49-22 vs. the AL Central...Tigers pitchers have 1,108 strikeouts this season, seven shy of the club record set in 1968...Scherzer joined Justin Verlander to become the first pair of Tigers pitchers with 15-or-more wins in a season since Verlander and Kenny Rogers did so in 2006.