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GAME 85: Cleveland (46-39) 11, Detroit (38-47) 2
Jose Ramirez is worth the price of admission. Watching him sprint down the first-base line in the third inning to beat out an infield hit for an RBI was a joy. It was beautiful from the start, as the third baseman slapped a low pitch to the shortstop's backhand. It was fundamental hitting at its finest, the best kind of two-out hit, and Ramirez chugged his legs in a furious frenzy to beat the throw. His foot awkwardly tapped the bag right before the throw came in — and then he went sprawling into the dirt in a sort of Bobby Orr-like Superman dive.
That was among the impressive hitting in an inning that also included a 2-RBI double by Michael Brantley and an arcing moonshot of a homer by Lonnie Chisenhall. The right fielder Chisenhall's golf-like blast came on a hanging, albeit low, curve, while Brantley's came on a hanger as well.
What can't Bradley Zimmer do? We saw Gold Glove potential in Thursday's win and devastating offense Friday. He hit a screamer over the pitcher in the fourth, a bash into the trees over the center-field fence in the sixth and out-raced the first baseman for an infield hit in the seventh.
For all of Yan Gomes' offensive struggles, the Cleveland catcher continues to be a valuable weapon behind the dish, where he made another beauty of a throw to nail a would-be base-stealer Friday evening.
Carlos Carrasco got away with murder when Miguel Cabrera came up to the plate with runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the fourth. After getting ahead with a nasty 0-1 slider that dropped out of the zone and under the bat of the feared Tigers slugger, Carrasco threw several two-strike pitches right down Broadway, including a fat fastball and a hanging curve. Nevertheless, Cabrera rolled into a double play, effectively ending the threat.
Carrasco flashed maturity throughout the evening contest. On a night where he did throw some meatballs, he consistently demonstrated the ability to bounce back. With runners on first and third and no outs in the sixth, Carrasco got Justin Upton on a devastating slider that dropped out of the zone. After surrendering an RBI knock to Cabrera, he threw another slider that fell out of the zone to get J.D. Martinez behind 0-2, then got Martinez on a slider that faded off the outer black. His 10th strikeout, this time of Victor Martinez, was much the same, with another pitch that fell off the table and out of the zone. An inning that could've spelled the end for Carrasco and put the Tigers right back in the game instead resulted in a single run and a 5-2 Indians lead.