Published November 20, 2014
More importantly, they have to find a way to win games at Comerica Park.
The Indians were routed 10-1 in Detroit on Saturday, falling 3½ games behind the Tigers in the division race. Cleveland has lost 19 of 23 games at Comerica Park since the beginning of the 2009 season.
"I like this ballpark — it is a very nice ballpark," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "We just don't win here."
Cleveland never gave itself a chance in front of a sold-out crowd of 44,629, The Indians trailed 4-0 after two innings and starter David Huff couldn't get out of the third.
Huff (1-2) allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in 2 1-3 innings.
"I don't know what it was — I was just trying to get the ball down and find the strike zone," Huff said. "I couldn't throw anything for a strike, and when I did, it was up and over the middle."
Acta was equally disappointed by his starter's performance.
"We were never in this game from the beginning," Acta said. "David didn't give himself a chance by not throwing the ball over the plate."
Inge, who was designated for assignment in July, homered in his first at-bat since being called back up on Friday and hit a 400-foot RBI double in his second. He hadn't had two extra-base hits in a game since August 20, 2010 — exactly a year earlier.
"I was just laughing," Inge said of his second-inning homer. "I couldn't have drawn it up any better. What a year."
Alex Avila, catching his 14th straight game, went 2-for-2 with three walks. He's hitting .442 with a .567 on-base percentage in August.
Doug Fister, who had the league's worst run support while pitching for Seattle, took advantage of Detroit's offensive outburst to improve to 5-13.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first on Miguel Cabrera's RBI single and Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly, but it was the second inning that brought the fans to their feet.
Inge, who had been booed loudly before his demotion, was cheered when he came to the plate, and the fans got louder when he homered to left. Later in the inning, Ordonez, who had lost his job when the Tigers traded for Delmon Young, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
"It was great to see both of them contribute to our win," Leyland said. "They have both earned a lot of respect in this city."
The Indians got a run back in the third on Shin-Soo Choo's homer, but Inge hit a ground-rule double over the centerfield fence to make it 5-1 in the bottom of the inning.
Detroit got a pair of unearned runs in the fifth when Michael Brantley dropped Inge's flyball, then put the game out of reach in the seventh.
"He dropped the ball — I think everybody saw what happened," Acta said. "He made two great plays yesterday."
Frank Herrmann faced seven batters in the inning and only retired one, striking out Inge with the bases loaded. Five singles and a walk made it 10-1 by the time Rafael Perez came in to get Young to hit into a inning-ending double play.
"It's exciting to be in a pennant race," Fister said. "This was a great night to pitch."
NOTES: Ordonez hit second in the batting order for just the second time in 13 years. He hit second for the White Sox on Sept. 26, 2003, after not having done it since 1998. ... Fister's team had only scored double-digit runs for him once this season. Ironically, it came against the Tigers in a 13-3 Seattle victory on April 19. ... The teams finish the three-game series Sunday afternoon with Detroit's Rick Porcello (11-8) going against Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 1-0 in his three starts as an Indian. ... Cleveland placed OF Shelley Duncan on the Family Medical Emergency disabled list before the game and called up OF Ezequiel Carrera from Triple-A Columbus. Duncan will have to sit out at least three and no more than seven days.