Tribe hits 4 triples in 1 game for first time since '01
By Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- The Indians picked up their seventh straight win Friday night, beating the Tigers, 7-4, in a game that was sealed by a circus catch in right-center field by Rajai Davis. His game-ending play was nearly enough to overshadow Cleveland's offensive onslaught at the plate.
The Indians smacked four triples on the night, two of them off the bat of Jason Kipnis, and three of them in the fourth inning alone. All of them came off Detroit starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, whose seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings were both his poorest showings of the season.
Kipnis acknowledged that the large gaps in Comerica Park's outfield had a role in his team's extra-base slugfest, but thought he and the rest of the team did a good job of being aggressive against Zimmermann.
"He's a good pitcher, I think he was just leaving some balls up tonight, you could tell," Kipnis said. "It was just one of those nights where we were ready for it, and he was just catching too much of the plate with it up in the zone. It doesn't always happen, but we'll take advantage of it when it does."
It was the first time the Indians had collected three triples in one inning since Opening Day, 1968. It was also the first time the Indians had four triples in a single game since Aug. 12, 2001.
The last three times the Indians have hit three or more triples in a game have all come at Comerica Park (April 7, 2002; June 5, 2012).
Kipnis' first triple came in the third inning down the right-field line and drove in two runs. With one out in the fourth, Jose Ramirez drove his triple to center field. Two batters later, Lonnie Chisenhall belted his past center fielder Cameron Maybin to score two more.
When Kipnis came up again in the fourth inning, he also put the final three-bagger of the night past Maybin. In total, the four triples drove in five of the Indians' seven runs.
"In this ballpark, you're going to see that," manager Terry Francona said. "Shoot, the ball that Ramirez hit, that's 415 feet. You're going to see that here. That area of the ballpark is huge. But [Kipnis], the first one, he was really hustling, and that ball kind of stayed over by the wall. Good things happen when you're hustling."
Danny Salazar picked up his eighth win of the season. He struggled with his command and said he never got comfortable, but it was nice to see a little extra run support from his offense.
"Once again, the guys were unbelievable with their bats," Salazar said.
Friday night's win marked Francona's 300th as Indians manager (300-257). He ranks 10th all-time in Cleveland history.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.