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Kipnis homer in ninth lifts Indians past Tigers

By PAUL HOYNES • Jun 8, 2018 at 11:48 PM

DETROIT — Two batters into Friday night's game Trevor Bauer had already allowed two doubles and a run. It looked like a load of trouble was headed his way, but that was not the case.

It was the only run Bauer allowed in eight sparkling innings as the Indians beat the Tigers, 4-1, on a three-run homer in the ninth by Jason Kipnis. The Indians have won three straight and nine of their last 12.

Kipnis, with two out and two on, drove a long homer to right center off Shane Greene. Jose Ramirez started the rally with a one-out walk. Yonder Alonso singled him to third and Kipnis, hitting just .218 with runners in scoring position, put the Tribe in front to stay with his fourth homer of the season.

Bauer (5-4, 2.62) and Michael Fulmer matched each other almost pitch for pitch through seven innings. When Fulmer left after seven, Bauer stuck around for one more as he retired the middle of Detroit's lineup in order.

In two starts at Comerica Park this year, Bauer is 2-0, allowing one run in 16 innings. In three starts against Detroit this year, he's 3-0 and has allowed three earned runs in 23 innings with 29 strikeouts.

"Trevor started the game off double, double, but from there he dug in and pitched his rear end off," said manager Terry Francona. "He got out of the first and just gave up one and then he had to pitch seven innings and really pitched well.

"He used all his pitches and on a night when our offense wasn't doing much, he gave us a chance. Then Kip comes through with the big hit with a lot of good stuff before that. Yonder with a real good piece of hitting and we get out of here with a win."

Bauer ended the night with 12 strikeouts and one walk. It was the fifth time Bauer has struck out 10 or more batters this season and the 14th time he's done it in his career. In his last two starts, he's struck out 23 batters in 13 2/3 innings.

The Tigers started the game with consecutive doubles by Leonys Martin and Nicholas Castellanos to take a 1-0 lead.

"The two doubles were right in the middle of the plate," said Bauer. "You've got to be ready from pitch one. I was happy to limit the damage in the first there. And then I cruised from there."

The Indians couldn't do anything against Fulmer until the fourth. He retired 11 of 12 batters before Edwin Encarnacion singled with two out and scored on Alonso's long double to the wall in center field.

Encarnacion had already crossed the plate when Alonso made the turn at second and was caught in a rundown to end the inning.

It was the only scoring chance the Indians had against Fulmer. He allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and didn't walk a batter.

Fulmer has not pitched well in his career against the Tribe. On April 12 he allowed nine runs, six earned, in three innings in a 9-3 loss against the Indians. He came into Friday's game with a career ERA of 7.31 against them.

He was a different pitcher on Friday. Bauer was not and that meant good things for the Tribe.

Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his 12th save.

What it means

Bauer has thrown 100 or more pitches in 13 straight starts. It is the longest streak by an Indians' pitcher since Bartolo Colon had 14 straight games of 100 or more pitches from April 11 through June 22, 2002.

The pitches

Bauer threw 113 pitches, 86 (76 percent) for strikes. Fulmer threw 108 pitches, 71 (66 percent) for strikes.

Thanks for coming

The Indians and Tigers drew 21,766 fans to Comerica Park on Friday night. First pitch was at 7:10 p.m. with a temperature of 79 degrees.

Up next

Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.36) will faces the Tigers and right-hander Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.33) at 4:10 p.m. Saturday. SportsTime Ohio, WLKR 95.3 FM will carry the game.

Clevinger, after going 4-0 against the Tigers last year, will be facing them for the first time this year. He is coming off a no-decision against the Twins on June 3.

Fiers is coming off a win against the Yankees on Monday. Fiers is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his career against the Indians. He beat them on May 14, allowing one run in six innings.

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