Final in 11
7:05 PM ET, September 4, 2014
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
CLEVELAND -- The Detroit Tigers started out strong Thursday night. Nine innings later, they finished even stronger.
After scoring four times in the first innings, the Tigers' offense went into a slumber until the 11th when it broke through for seven runs in an 11-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.
"It was a little bit of a dogfight," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We jumped out to the early lead and felt pretty good about it and they fought their way all the way back. It became a battle to the end."
"I was just trying to survive," Martinez said. "I went up there like I always go, just trying to be a tough out and put a good swing on it."
The Tigers sent 10 men to the plate in the first and 11 batted in the final inning.
Cleveland chipped away against defending Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and tied the score against the Tigers' bullpen in the seventh.
Phil Coke (4-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings.
Josh Tomlin (6-9) gave up five runs and three hits in one-third of an inning.
Detroit, which holds the American League's second wild-card spot, won three of four in the crucial series to pull one game behind Kansas City in the AL Central. Cleveland is six games out in the division and five games back for a wild card.
"Two very good wins that we've had in the last three days," Ausmus said. "Two of the better ones I think we've had all year."
Tomlin, who returned to the team Tuesday after being on the paternity list as his wife gave birth to their first child, issued a one-out walk to Rajai Davis in the 11th. Ian Kinsler's blooper then fell between right fielder Tyler Holt and second baseman Jason Kipnis, and Holt's throw to third was late, allowing Kinsler to take second.
Martinez followed with his 29th homer, a line drive to right. Andrew Romine, who grounded out to start the inning, added a two-run single.
Scherzer staggered through six innings, allowing three runs and throwing 124 pitches before being pulled.
"Absolute physical grind for me," he said. "Didn't pitch efficiently, fell behind in counts. Battled as hard as I could. Pitched as deep as I could even when my pitch count ran up as high as it did."
Michael Brantley's seventh-inning double tied the score.
OF Torii Hunter didn't start after fouling a ball off his left foot in the first inning Wednesday. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, but didn't stay in the game defensively.
1B/DH Victor Martinez was named the AL Player of the Month for August after batting .350 with six homers and a league-leading 30 RBIs.
"Victor goes through periods when it looks like he's playing softball," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He goes up there and swings as hard as he can and he rarely misses. That's not a good feeling."
Tigers: C Alex Avila missed his second straight game after being hit in the mask by a foul ball Tuesday. "It was a little bit of a lingering side effect from the head shot, so we're going to give him another day," manager Brad Ausmus said.
Tigers: Detroit returns home Friday to begin a three-game interleague series against San Francisco, the first time the teams have met since the Giants swept the 2012 World Series. RHP Rick Porcello (15-9) starts for Detroit against RHP Jake Peavy (4-13).
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 4: Rajai Davis #20 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single during the first inning...(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Detroit leads 11-8 (as of Thu 9/4)|
|Wed 4/16||CLE 3, @DET 2||Recap|
|Thu 4/17||@DET 7, CLE 5||Recap|
|Mon 5/19||@CLE 5, DET 4||Recap|
|Tue 5/20||@CLE 6, DET 2||Recap|
|Wed 5/21||@CLE 11, DET 10||Recap|
|Fri 6/20||DET 6, @CLE 4||Recap|
|Sat 6/21||DET 5, @CLE 4||Recap|
|Sun 6/22||DET 10, @CLE 4||Recap|
|Fri 7/18||CLE 9, @DET 3||Recap|
|Sat 7/19||CLE 6, @DET 2||Recap|
|Sat 7/19||CLE 5, @DET 2||Recap|
|Sun 7/20||@DET 5, CLE 1||Recap|
|Mon 9/1||DET 12, @CLE 1||Recap|
|Tue 9/2||DET 4, @CLE 2||Recap|
|Wed 9/3||@CLE 7, DET 0||Recap|
|» Thu 9/4||DET 11, @CLE 4||Box Score|
|Fri 9/12||@DET 7, CLE 2||Recap|
|Sat 9/13||@DET 5, CLE 4||Recap|
|Sun 9/14||@DET 6, CLE 4||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Tigers | Indians|
|1st||I Kinsler scored, T Collins to third, V Martinez to second on wild pitch by T Bauer.||1||0|
|1st||B Holaday singled to center, T Collins and V Martinez scored, J Martinez to third, B Holaday to second advancing on throw.||3||0|
|1st||R Davis singled to left, J Martinez scored, B Holaday to third, H Perez to second.||4||0|
|4th||Y Gomes hit sacrifice fly to right, M Brantley scored.||4||1|
|6th||Y Gomes grounded out to third, C Santana scored.||4||2|
|6th||L Chisenhall singled to shallow left, J Kipnis scored, L Chisenhall to second advancing on throw.||4||3|
|7th||M Brantley doubled to deep center, M Bourn scored.||4||4|
|11th||E Suarez singled to left, R Davis and I Kinsler scored, E Carrera to second.||6||4|
|11th||V Martinez homered to right (347 feet), E Carrera and E Suarez scored.||9||4|
|11th||A Romine singled to left, J Martinez and N Castellanos scored.||11||4|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH|
|Attendance||11,935 (28.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||85 degrees, clear|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Tom Woodring|
If any player can get to Max Scherzer tonight, it might be Michael Brantley. The Tribe outfielder leads all players with 9 career extra-base hits against Scherzer including 3 doubles in 2014.[+]
Max Scherzer enters the night riding a 5-decision winning streak against the Indians... Scherzer is 1 win shy of tying Justin Verlander and Mike Maroth for the 2nd-longest winning streak by a Tigers starter against Cleveland in the last 30 years.[+]
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