Strong bullpen leads Indians to sweep of Miggy-less Tigers
CLEVELAND — Logan Allen knows that if he or any of the Indians other starters get into any trouble, help is just a phone call away.
Cleveland’s bullpen has been stellar.
“Unbelievable,” he said.
Allen recovered from a bumpy first inning to get his first win with Cleveland and the Indians leaned on their strong bullpen to complete a three-game sweep Sunday with a 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers, who could be without slugger Miguel Cabrera for a while.
Allen (1-1) found his rhythm after hitting a batter on his second pitch and walking two in the first. He hung around and allowed just one run and two hits in five innings. The left-hander, who came to Cleveland in a deal around the 2019 trading deadline, won a rotation job after a strong camp in Arizona.
After Allen left, four Cleveland relievers — Bryan Shaw, Nick Wittgren, James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase — worked an inning each to finish off the Tigers.
Karinchak struck out the side in the eighth and Clase, throwing over 100 mph on seven pitches, worked the ninth for his second save.
“Uncle Bryan came in there and the rest of the boys and took care of business, man,” Allen said, referring to the 33-year-old Shaw and the team’s young relievers. “They’re awesome. Our ‘pen has it. We have the dudes. We have the ability and it’s going to be exciting how this turns out over the next five or six months.”
Jake Bauers and Cesar Hernandez drove in early runs against Jose Urena (0-2), who had more control issues. The right-hander has given up nine walks in 7 2/3 innings this season.
Leading 3-2, the Indians scored two insurance runs in the eighth helped by two throwing errors charged to Tigers right fielder Nomar Mazara.
Wilson Ramos homered for Detroit, which scored just six runs in the series and lost both Cabrera and starter Julio Teheran to injuries.
For the first time this season, Cabrera wasn’t in the middle of Detroit’s lineup. The 11-time All-Star was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game with a left biceps strain that was affecting his sweet swing.
The four-time AL batting champion has been dealing with soreness in the muscle for a while. But after he felt it “grab” while making a swing in Saturday’s game, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told Cabrera to take some time off and get it examined.
Without Cabrera, the Tigers didn’t have a dependable bat in their order, but Hinch refused to use his absence as an excuse.
“For us, the lesson coming away from today was the big, critical at-bats for them ended in contact and runs and we had a lot of at-bats that ended up in swing and miss,” he said. “They won those at-bats by putting the ball in play and giving themselves a chance. That to me was a big separator.”
The 37-year-old Cabrera has 2,869 hits and 488 homers in his career.
Making his second start for the Indians, Allen needed 33 pitches to get through the first. He left it trailing only 1-0 despite hitting Robbie Grossman, walking two and giving up a bloop RBI single to Jeimer Candelario.
“Just unnecessary,” Allen said in evaluating his shaky first. “To be honest I’ve been doing that a few times lately, just trying to do more than the stuff I already have. Just trying to do way too much. I was locked in, but maybe a little too locked in I guess is the best way I can describe it.”
Hinch returns Monday to Houston as a visitor for the first time since being suspended — and fired — for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
Hinch managed Houston for five seasons, leading the club to a World Series title in 2017. But following an MLB investigation, it was revealed the team used cameras and other means to gain an advantage during games that season.
Hinch was banned for a year for his involvement. He’s expecting the trip to be “emotional.”
“It’s home for me,” he said. “That city matters to me.”
Last week, the Astros were booed and jeered during road games in Oakland and Anaheim. Hinch said that’s unfortunate.
“It’s tough to see around the sport,” he said. “I wish the sport didn’t have a cloud over it regarding the sign stealing and the Astros and that’s part of my history too. It continues to be a regretful and disappointing situation.”
Tigers: Teheran will be sidelined longer than initially expected with a shoulder strain. Hinch said the team got more information since the right-hander was scratched moments before making his scheduled start in the series opener Friday.
Tigers: RHP Casey Mize starts the opener in Houston against Astros RHP Zack Greinke (1-0).
Indians: RHP Triston McKenzie (0-0) makes his first start of 2021 in the opener of a three-game series in Chicago. The White Sox are scheduled to start Carlos Rodon (1-0).