Indians shut out Tigers for 9th straight victory

Indians shut out Tigers for 9th straight victory

DETROIT -- The Indians tied their season high with their ninth straight win thanks to their second road doubleheader sweep in three days. Roberto Perez hit a solo homer as part of a three-RBI game, supporting six sparkling innings from Mike Clevinger as Cleveland rolled, 10-0, over the Tigers in the nightcap of a day-night twin bill Friday at Comerica Park.

The Indians have outscored opponents by a 63-15 margin during their winning streak, and are 31-16 since the All-Star break. They moved within two games of the Astros for the best record in the American League and opened an eight-game cushion over the second-place Twins in the AL Central.

Current standings

Indians' five-run 6th inning

Edwin Encarnacion, who homered in Cleveland's 3-2 Game 1 win, walked and scored three times in Game 2, and he had an RBI double during a five-run sixth inning to help put the game well out of reach. Indians second baseman Erik Gonzalez added three hits.

"It was all Indians in Game 2," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Clevinger pitched well. Obviously we didn't pitch great, and that's really the story."

Ausmus on going winless

Clevinger (8-5) beat the Tigers for the third time in as many meetings this season, holding Detroit to three hits -- two of them Andrew Romine doubles -- while striking out six. The 26-year-old right-hander has held the Tigers to one run over 18 innings this season, allowing eight hits while striking out 17.

Clevinger's dominant start

Cleveland manager Terry Francona was impressed with how Clevinger was able to keep the ball around the plate, and he gave catcher Perez praise in helping him do so on a night Clevinger was able to get a lot of run support.

"When we score early and spread it out, it's a good way to play," Francona said. "I know I'm stating the obvious, but when you're trying to give some guys part of the day off and you don't have to go to them, stay away from the bullpen, it just makes for a good day."

Francona on 10-0 win over Tigers

Buck Farmer (3-2) took the loss for Detroit, allowing five runs on three hits over three-plus innings with three walks and three strikeouts.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Early and often: Giovanny Urshela got the ball rolling for Cleveland with a two-run double off Farmer in the second inning. His knock was the first for the Indians in what would be a 15-hit night, and he added another double in the ninth off reliever Daniel Stumpf.

Urshela's two-run double

Perez tees off: Perez's home run jump-started the Indians' five-run sixth inning, during which they recorded seven hits and sent 10 men to the plate. His two-run single in the fourth inning extended his hitting streak to seven games, and he is now batting .435 with three homers and 12 RBIs during that stretch.

Perez's solo home run

Francona acknowledged Perez and Urshela for their recent contributions in the lower part of the lineup.

"The bottom of the order did a really good job," Francona said. "So did the top, but those guys really came through for us. Gio [Urshela] had a good day swinging the bat." More >

Perez's two-run single

QUOTABLE
"We've played a lot of baseball, but we were going to play a lot either way, so you might as well show up and play the game the right way and feel good about yourself. But I also think it shows we have some depth. We're playing a lot of people, and they're coming through and they're doing a good job." -- Francona, on the Indians playing two doubleheaders in three days

DEBUTS IN DETROIT
With September callups expanding active rosters across the Major Leagues on Friday, three players made their MLB debuts in this game. Indians catcher and top prospect Francisco Mejia pinch-hit for Encarnacion to take his first career at-bat in the eighth inning against Jairo Labourt, the Tigers' No. 20 prospect who was also making his first career appearance. Labourt got the best of him, inducing a flyout to right field.

Tribe calls up Mejia; trio comes off DL

"I would get used to getting young guys in the game for the next month, because that's basically what it's going to be," Ausmus said. "We're going to have a lot of young guys who are out there. There's going to be young guys, and young guys are obviously short on experience. Experience is a huge asset at the Major League level, so there's going to be some bumps."

Labourt's first career out

Indians No. 8 prospect Greg Allen also made his debut when he pinch-ran for Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth inning. Allen went on to ground out to third in the eighth against Labourt.

Allen said he wasn't aware at the time that Labourt was making his debut, he was just happy to be in the moment and tried to slow it down as best he could.

"It was an awesome experience, one I'm very grateful for," Allen said. "I give all the glory and praise to God just to be able to be here and be in this moment. I tried to do the best to take it all in and still stay in the moment. Happy with the day and happy to be here."

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Corey Kluber (13-4, 2.63) takes his American League-leading ERA into Detroit on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET looking to build off a solid month of August. He went 5-1 and posted a 1.96 ERA in the month and has not lost a road start since May 2, at Detroit.

Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (8-11, 6.08) will try for his first winning streak since April when he takes the mound Saturday. He beat the Rockies on Monday with five innings of three-run ball at Coors Field, but lost back-to-back starts against the Indians in July.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Kyle Beery is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Indians on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.