DETROIT (AP) - With a weekend sweep in Detroit, the Cleveland Indians would have been back in first place on Sunday afternoon.
That's now impossible after Detroit's 4-1 win Friday night, but the Indians aren't discouraged even though they now trail the Tigers by 2 1/2 games.
``With the way they are playing, the way we are playing, and even the way the White Sox are playing, this wasn't going to be decided in the next couple days,' Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin said.
Tomlin (12-6) didn't allow a runner into scoring position in the first five innings, then gave up three homers in the next 1 2-3 innings.
``I was happy with the way I threw in the first five innings, but after that I have to make better pitches,' he said. ``They were all just mistakes.'
The Indians couldn't do anything against Detroit's pitching, scoring their only run on a wild pitch. Max Scherzer (13-7) allowed one run, five hits and a walk while throwing a career-high 127 pitches.
``Tomlin gave us an opportunity to win the game, but we couldn't do anything against Scherzer,' Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ``We just couldn't score any runs.'
Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde finished, with the latter pitching the ninth for his 36th save in as many opportunities. Valverde was coming off Wednesday's loss to the Twins, where he allowed two ninth-inning runs in a tie game.
The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Raburn hit a one-out single and Austin Jackson followed with his sixth homer.
``For the rest of our season, Austin has to be the catalyst for our offense,' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ``It's great if he runs into one like he did tonight, but we need him to get on base.'
Cleveland got a run back in the seventh. Carlos Santana led off the inning with a single, and after Scherzer struck out the next two hitters, Lonnie Chisenhall beat out an infield grounder when first baseman Miguel Cabrera's throw pulled Scherzer off the bag. Santana took third on the play and scored on a wild pitch.
The Indians, though, never got another baserunner.
``It was a well-pitched game for both sides,' Acta said. ``Just especially for them.'
Detroit made it 4-1 in their half of the inning. Alex Avila, catching for the 13th straight game because of Victor Martinez's sore knee, hit a two-out, 400-foot homer, and Jhonny Peralta hit the next pitch for his 18th homer.
NOTES: The Indians juggled their roster before the game, placing INF Jason Kipnis (hamstring) on the DL and sending OF Ezequiel Carrera to Triple-A Columbus. To replace them, the Indians recalled OF Shelley Duncan and INF Luis Valbuena from Columbus. ... The game drew a sellout crowd of 44,222, the biggest since 44,799 attended the home opener against Kansas City. ... The teams continue the series Saturday night with Detroit's Doug Fister (4-13) making his third start as a Tiger while David Huff (1-1) pitches for Cleveland. ... The Tigers announced before the game that RHP Al Alburquerque (concussion) will be out for at least another 10 days. Alburquerque was eligible to come off the 7-day concussion DL on Friday. ... After the game, the Tigers called up INF Brandon Inge from Toledo and sent down OF Andy Dirks. Inge is expected to platoon with Wilson Betemit at third base.
The Associated Press News Service
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