By Jordan Bastian and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- J.D. Martinez drove in three runs, helping the Tigers take advantage of a rough outing for Indians starter Trevor Bauer in a 9-2 rout of Cleveland in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday at Progressive Field.
The Indians (70-71) won the opener of Sunday's twin bill, 7-2, and sit 4 1/2 games behind the Rangers in the race for the American League's second Wild Card spot.
Martinez (3-for-5), Rajai Davis (2-for-5 with two RBIs) and Dixon Machado (2-for-3 with two RBIs) powered a Detroit attack that snapped the Indians' seven-game home winning streak. The bulk of the damage came against Bauer, who was charged with six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings.
"We win the first game, come out and get an early lead in the second game," Bauer said. "To not be able to at least protect that lead, or keep it close going into the later innings, is frustrating. You know, it [stinks] from a team perspective, obviously, because wins are at a premium for us right now. I felt like I need to perform better to help the team win."
Left-hander Randy Wolf also lasted just three innings for the Tigers. Wolf allowed only two runs on four hits, but a long first inning saw his pitch count climb to 93. Cleveland struck for a pair of runs in the opening inning against Wolf, but the Tribe's lineup was held in check the rest of the way.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED First impression: The Indians did what they could to get to Wolf in the first inning, forcing the veteran lefty to toil through 50 pitches in the opening frame. Jerry Sands drew a 12-pitch walk to load the bases and Giovanny Urshela worked a free pass on 10 pitches. Ryan Raburn had an RBI single in the first as well, but Wolf limited the damage to two runs.
"Really what hurt him was the foul balls more than anything else," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "They just kept fouling balls off and got that pitch count up."
Bases unloaded: The Tigers loaded the bases in each of the third and fourth innings against Bauer. In the third, Martinez came through with a two-run single to pull the game into a 2-2 deadlock. When Bauer loaded the bags again in the fourth, Davis ended the pitcher's night with a two-run hit to center field that pushed Detroit's lead to 5-2.
Lonnie's leap: In the sixth inning, Davis sent a line drive over right-center field for what looked like a sure extra-base hit. Lonnie Chisenhall (a defensive replacement in right field) had other ideas. He chased down the liner on a dead sprint and made an all-out diving catch to rob the would-be hit. Entering the day, Chisenhall led all American League right fielders with 11 Defensive Runs Saved this year.
"That was one of the nicer plays you're going to see all year," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's a double. He left his feet going away from the play, which is not easy. That was a heck of a play." More >
Big relief: The Tigers bullpen entered the nightcap with a season ERA of 5.40 against the Indians, and had just been roughed up in the first game. But, despite Wolf's early exit, the Tigers were able to maintain their lead thanks to six quality relief innings. Drew VerHagen, Neftali Feliz and Jose Valdez worked two scoreless innings apiece, allowing a combined one hit with three walks, while striking out four.
"We were fortunate that the game got a little out of hand," Ausmus said, "so some of the guys who have been used quite a bit in closer games -- [Alex] Wilson and [Blaine] Hardy -- were able to get the complete day off, which is very good." More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Martinez lofted a pitch high over right field, where it tailed into foul territory. Raburn made a leaping grab, but first-base umpire Mike Estabrook ruled that the ball was trapped against the side wall, rendering the play dead. After a challenge by Francona, the call was overturned, resulting in a highlight-reel catch to end the Tigers' four-run inning.
"You'd love for guys to go nine every time. Not everybody is hot at once -- same thing goes with pitchers. I do think this was a tough setting. The [first] inning, we must've hit for a half-hour. I saw him go down there and throw, go down there and stay loose. It wasn't a real pretty night, but we know he can do it." -- Francona, on Bauer's recent struggles
"[That was] the longest day so far in my career that I can remember. I've been up since 8 o'clock [in the morning]. So, it was a long day and then we put in almost a four-hour game to finish it. Fortunately, we took two out of three." -- Chisenhall
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: Detroit heads to Minnesota to begin a three-game series on Monday at 8:10 p.m. ET that wraps up their road trip. Left-hander Kyle Lobstein (3-7, 5.31 ERA) will take the mound, making his 11th start. He faced the Twins back in May and lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and a walk.
Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (12-10, 3.70 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe in Monday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Royals at Progressive Field. Following a two-week stint on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation, Carrasco returned to the rotation on Tuesday, allowing four runs in 2 2/3 innings on the road against the White Sox.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.