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Cleveland at Detroit

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Detroit (93-67) «01302008x14181

Fister goes eight strong as Tigers rout Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Jim Leyland has managed three franchises in the postseason and won a World Series in Florida.

He's never gone into October with a pitching combination like this.

Doug Fister pitched eight strong innings as the Detroit Tigers routed Cleveland 14-0 Monday night, allowing him to keep pace with Justin Verlander.

Verlander and Fister, who are scheduled to start the first two games of Detroit's first-round playoff series, finished the regular season with a combined 14-0 record and 1.61 ERA since August 16.

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"I've never had anything like that before," Leyland said. "14-0? Never."

Fister, who allowed three singles while striking out nine, has been even better than the Cy Young favorite in the stretch, going 7-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last eight outings. Fister, one of baseball's most cerebral pitchers, isn't about to explain the streak.

"Things haven't changed," he said. "It's still the same mindset, the same approach, the same attack and everything else. Things have just fallen our way."

Fister (11-13), who was picked up in a six-player deal with Seattle on July 30, has now gone 20 innings without walking a batter.

"His command is amazing," said catcher Alex Avila, who drove in three runs. "It's easy to catch him, because he throws so many strikes. He's putting everything where he wants it right now. It feels great going into the playoffs with two of the best pitchers in baseball right now."

Victor Martinez, who has been to the postseason with Cleveland and Boston, thinks this might be his best chance at winning a World Series.

"It's definitely a great feeling to be going into the playoffs like this," he said. "With those two guys pitching like this, the rest of our pitchers and our lineup, we've got a chance to do some great things."

Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4), another pitcher the Tigers looked at before acquiring Fister, gave up six runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings.

"I was getting into hitter's counts and they were taking advantage," he said. "That's a powerful lineup, and they've got guys who can hurt you on every pitch."

Jimenez finished the year with a 2-3 record and a 6.35 ERA against Detroit.

"Eventually, he's going to have to figure them out," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We see them 18 times a year."

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Raburn's RBI triple in the second, then scored three times in the third. With one out, Will Rhymes singled. Jimenez retired Don Kelly, but Delmon Young and Miguel Cabrera singled to make it 2-0. Martinez walked, loading the bases, and Alex Avila hit a two-run double.

Fister didn't allow a runner until Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out single in the fourth, and the Indians didn't get a runner into scoring position until Ezequiel Carrera reached second on a single and an error with one out in the eighth.

"He works quick, he's got a heavy sinker and a cutter," Lou Marson said. "We had nothing for him, to be honest."

By that point, Martinez had given the Tigers a 5-0 lead with an RBI double in the fifth, and then scored Detroit's sixth run on Avila's base hit.

The Tigers put the game away with eight runs on nine hits in the eighth, highlighted by a long 3-run homer by Young, another midseason acquistion. Detroit's first seven batters of the inning got hits before Omir Santos, hitting for Avila, struck out.

Notes

  • Third base umpire Manny Gonzalez was hit in the right shin by the barrel of Shelley Duncan's broken bat on a fifth-inning groundout. Gonzalez was checked briefly by Tigers trainer Kevin Rand, but stayed in the game.
  • Miguel Cabrera had three hits to raise his AL-leading batting average to .343.
  • Before the game, Leyland said he was "worried" about the postseason status of 3B Wilson Betemit, who has been out since Sept. 16 with a sore knee, and that he does not expect Carlos Guillen (calf) to be ready for the first round.
  • Indians reliever Corey Kluber, making his third career appearance, hit Kelly and Young with back-to-back pitches in the sixth inning, and nearly hit Kelly again in the eighth.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Doug Fister pitches eight shutout innings in a playoff tuneup for the Tigers.  He is 7-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last 8 starts. (Getty Images)
Doug Fister pitches eight shutout innings in a playoff tuneup for the Tigers. He is 7-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last 8 starts. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Detroit

D. Fister
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 9
Detroit

D. Young
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kosuke Fukudome, RF3000000 .264
   a- Jerad Head, PH1010000 .125
Jason Kipnis, 2B3000020 .278
   b- Cord Phelps, PH1000001 .143
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3010010 .274
   c- Luis Valbuena, PH1000001 .209
Travis Hafner, DH3000011 .277
   d- Jason Donald, PH-DH1000001 .318
Shelley Duncan, LF3000020 .265
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B3000000 .251
Matt LaPorta, 1B3020000 .249
Ezequiel Carrera, CF3000012 .242
Lou Marson, C3000021 .229
Totals3104009  
a-singled for Fukudome in the 9th
b-flied out for Kipnis in the 9th
c-hit into fielder's choice for A. Cabrera in the 9th
d-fouled out for Hafner in the 9th
Fielding
DP - LaPorta-A. Cabrera
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,10-13) 5966330 4.68
Corey Kluber 2444020 8.31
Josh Judy 1544021 7.07
HBP - Kelly (by Corey Kluber), Young (by Corey Kluber)
WP - Corey Kluber (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 94-56, Corey Kluber 35-24, Josh Judy 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 7-4, Corey Kluber 2-2
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 26, Corey Kluber 12, Josh Judy 8
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Will Rhymes, 2B6220001 .235
Don Kelly, 3B-1B4221001 .244
Delmon Young, LF4223011 .265
Miguel Cabrera, 1B5131003 .343
    Danny Worth, PR-3B0100000 .270
Victor Martinez, DH4121101 .324
    Brandon Inge, PR-DH0100000 .198
Alex Avila, C3123100 .298
   a- Omir Santos, PH-C1000012 .227
Ryan Raburn, RF4122122 .255
Ramon Santiago, SS5110025 .264
Andy Dirks, CF5123010 .252
Totals4114181437  
a-struck out for Avila in the 8th
Batting
2B - Don Kelly (8, Jimenez), Victor Martinez 2 (38, Jimenez, Judy), Alex Avila (33, Jimenez), Andy Dirks (13, Judy)
3B - Ryan Raburn (2, Jimenez)
HR - Delmon Young (11, Judy)
RBI - Don Kelly (28), Delmon Young 3 (61), Miguel Cabrera (104), Victor Martinez (102), Alex Avila 3 (81), Ryan Raburn 2 (48), Andy Dirks 3 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera (46), Victor Martinez (45), Alex Avila 3 (26), Ryan Raburn (21), Andy Dirks 2 (6)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Don Kelly (5, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (W,11-13) 8300090 2.83
Duane Below 1100000 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 109-81, Duane Below 22-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 8-7, Duane Below 1-2
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 27, Duane Below 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29886
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Brian Gorman, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez