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Cleveland at Detroit

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Cleveland (58-79)000100000140
Detroit (73-63) «20000005x7100

Cabrera, Fielder homers lead Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- When Detroit lost two straight to the struggling Cleveland Indians, Tigers manager Jim Leyland vowed to keep an even keel.

After a big win to wrap up the series, Leyland conceded one thing: This upcoming 10-game road trip is big.

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"When everybody else knows the importance of it, obviously the players, the manager and the coaches know the importance of it," Leyland said. "The fans know. I'm sure they'll be watching, and there will be some late nights for them, maybe when we're in Anaheim. Then off to Chicago.

"Yeah, I don't think you can downplay it."

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Prince Fielder added a solo shot in the eighth to help the Tigers avoid a three-game sweep with a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.

Detroit remained one game behind the first-place White Sox in the AL Central. On Friday night, the Tigers start a stretch of 10 straight away from home -- three against the Los Angeles Angels, four against the White Sox and three against Cleveland.

"Our fate's in our own hands," Detroit right-hander Doug Fister said. "We control our own destiny, we just have to take care of what we do."

Fister (8-8) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Ubaldo Jimenez (9-15) gave up four runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He was generally sharp after allowing Cabrera's 35th homer of the year, but Detroit tacked on five runs in the eighth to break it open.

The Tigers lost consecutive 3-2 games to start this series.

Fister has been on the disabled list twice this season and also missed a start on Aug. 25 because of an injury. He has had Cleveland's number lately, though. In his last seven starts against the Indians, he's 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA.

Detroit is hoping for another big September from Fister. He went 5-0 with a 0.53 ERA in the month last year.

If Fister can stay healthy and provide quality outings, the Tigers could have a formidable trio of starters for their playoff chase -- with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer also looking impressive.

Austin Jackson led off the Detroit first with a single. One out later, Cabrera homered to right.

Cleveland cut the margin in half in the fourth on an RBI single by Michael Brantley, who has hit safely in 16 straight games against Detroit.

Jimenez became the first major leaguer in 2012 to reach 15 losses. It looked like he might pitch his first complete game since coming to Cleveland in a midseason trade last year, but he was pulled in the eighth after Andy Dirks hit an RBI triple.

"We played a good series, and not just because we won it," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "I'm happy because of the way we pitched. We only had one bad inning in three games, and that was the last one. That's encouraging going forward."

Dirks scored on a sacrifice fly by Cabrera. Fielder followed with his 24th homer of the season, and Jhonny Peralta made it 7-1 with a two-run double.

"To put up six or five or whatever we did in that inning, it was good," Dirks said. "We know we're capable of doing it, but when it comes together and it happens, it kind of gives you a little bit of relief."

While the game was still close, Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit walked Ezequiel Carrera to start the top of the eighth and fell behind 2-0 to pinch-hitter Casey Kotchman. After a visit from pitching coach Jeff Jones, Benoit got Kotchman to hit a routine fly to center.

Shin-soo Choo then grounded into a double play.

Notes

  • Cleveland 3B Jason Donald was called out by umpire Jim Joyce on a very close play at first in the fifth. Joyce infamously called Donald safe at first in a game at Detroit in 2010, costing Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.
  • Donald made a terrific catch in foul ground on Brennan Boesch's popup in the fourth, holding on while tumbling over the railing and into the crowd. A young woman appeared shaken up but was able to walk away.
 
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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Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer and Prince Fielder's solo shot help the Tigers get past the Indians and avoid a sweep. (US Presswire)
Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer and Prince Fielder's solo shot help the Tigers get past the Indians and avoid a sweep. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Detroit

D. Fister
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 6
 
Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4000011 .279
Jason Kipnis, 2B4120000 .258
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS3000112 .272
Carlos Santana, C4010002 .250
Michael Brantley, CF3011000 .285
Cord Phelps, DH3000012 .000
Matt LaPorta, 1B3000012 .138
    Jack Hannahan, 3B0000000 .226
Ezequiel Carrera, LF2000110 .271
Jason Donald, 3B2000010 .187
   a- Casey Kotchman, PH-1B1000001 .228
Totals2914126  
a-flied out for Donald in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Michael Brantley (57)
Team LOB - 3
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ubaldo Jimenez (L,9-15) 7.1644131 5.58
Cody Allen 0.2433001 2.95
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 96-58, Cody Allen 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 9-10
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 29, Cody Allen 6
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF3210101 .304
Andy Dirks, LF4111010 .320
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3113010 .330
Prince Fielder, 1B4121010 .314
Delmon Young, DH4010001 .277
    Quintin Berry, PR-DH0100000 .266
Brennan Boesch, RF3000000 .243
    Avisail Garcia, RF1110000 .500
Jhonny Peralta, SS4022000 .255
Alex Avila, C4010001 .243
Omar Infante, 2B3000002 .275
Totals33710713  
Batting
2B - Jhonny Peralta (31, Allen)
3B - Andy Dirks (4, Jimenez)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (35, Jimenez), Prince Fielder (24, Allen)
SF - Miguel Cabrera (5)
RBI - Andy Dirks (28), Miguel Cabrera 3 (116), Prince Fielder (94), Jhonny Peralta 2 (57)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder (36), Jhonny Peralta 2 (31)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Fielder-Peralta, Infante-Peralta-Fielder
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Doug Fister (W,8-8) 7411160 3.54
Joaquin Benoit (H,28) 1000100 3.00
Jose Valverde 1000000 3.59
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 109-70, Joaquin Benoit 11-5, Jose Valverde 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 9-5, Joaquin Benoit 1-1, Jose Valverde 1-2
Batters Faced - Doug Fister 25, Joaquin Benoit 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28881
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Lance Barrett, Third Base - Jim Reynolds