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Civale shines again as Tribe pulls away from Tigers

By PAUL HOYNES • Updated Aug 28, 2019 at 11:07 PM

DETROIT — Some people collect butterflies.

Others prefer stamps, coins or expensive cars.

Hits are the object of Francisco Lindor’s affection. He doesn’t just collect them, he hoards them.

Lindor had three hits and rookie right-hander Adam Civale pitched seven solid innings as the Indians beat the Tigers, 4-2, for the 13th straight time this season.

The win kept the Indians (78-55) at 3.5 games of the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins (81-51).

The victory maintained the Tribe’s lead for the first of two AL Wild Card Game spots. Cleveland leads the Oakland A’s (77-55) by 1.5 games and the Tampa Bay Rays (76-58) by 2.5 games.

Civale (2-3, 1.96) allowed two runs in a career high seven innings to beat the Tigers for the second time this season. He struck out five and allowed six hits.

“I thought he was terrific,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He gave up the solo home run, and with some traffic gave up a sac fly — but then limited that damage. Seven innings and two runs … he just kind of pitches like a veteran.”

Lindor had three hits, including a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning off Buck Farmer to break a 2-2 tie, Wednesday at Comerica Park. He’s hit in 10 straight games and has 36 hits in his last 38 games. He has 26 extra base hits, including nine homers, and 22 RBIs in that stretch.

The Indians, for the second night in a row, hit three homers. Jason Kipnis hit leadoff homers in the second and ninth inning to give him 16 for the season. It was his third multi-homer game of the season.

The Indians have hit 188 homers in 133 games this year. They are on pace to set a franchise record with 229 homers. The 2000 Indians hold the record with 221.

Kipnis gave the Indians a 1-0 lead with a leadoff homer in the second. He’s hit three homers in his last two games.

Tiger starter Jordan Zimmerman, however, would not be victimized by the Tribe. He came into the game with a career record of 0-6 with a 10.68 ERA against the Indians.

Tyler Naquin added a two-out single in the second, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Zimmerman, hounded by the Tribe since he arrived in Detroit 2016, allowed just one more run in his six-inning start.

The Tigers made it a 1-1 game in the fifth on Dawel Lugo’s leadoff homer. Lugo hit a 2-2 curveball over the fence in left. It was the first homer allowed by Civale as a big-leaguer. He’d gone 33 2/3 innings without allowing a long ball.

Carlos Santana put the Indians ahead, 2-1, with a single in the sixth. Lindor opened the inning with a double. He was initially called out by second base umpire Jim Reynolds. The Indians challenged and the call on the field was overturned after a review of 1:04.

Greg Allen advanced Lindor with a sacrifice bunt and Santana singled for the lead. It was Santana’s 80th RBI of the season. He had 86 in 161 games last year for the Phillies.

The Tigers came right back against Civale in the sixth to make it a 2-2 game. John Hicks opened the inning with a single. Victor Reyes sent him to third with a double into the right field corner. Civale struck out Gordon Beckham, but former Tribe farmhand Willi Castro followed with a sacrifice fly for his first big-league RBI.

The Indians sent Castro to the Tigers last year for center fielder Leonys Martin.

Civale, who 30 strikeouts and six walks in six big-league starts, threw five different pitches. He relieved heavily on his two-seam fastball and cutter. His velocity, according to baseball savant.com, ranted from 94.5 mph to 71.1 mph.

“He mixes in the fastball, he’ll elevate it and has a cutter,” Francona said of Civale. “You can kind of tell his heartbeat isn’t going any faster. The game isn’t going too fast. We want to stay out of his way and let him do his job.

“He’s real knowledgeable and listens to (pitching coach) Carl (Willis) and Berto (Perez),” he added. “You just have to stay out of the way sometimes.”

Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 32nd save. The Indians are 14-1 against the Tigers this season.

 

Up next

The Indians and Tigers conclude this three-game series at 1:10 p.m. on Thursday with right-hander Mike Clevinger (9-2, 3.00) facing Detroit and left-hander Daniel Norris (3-10, 4.70). SportsTime Ohio and WLKR 95.3 FM will carry the game.

Clevinger is 8-0 in his last 10 starts, including a win over the Tigers. Norris has thrown six scoreless innings in his last two starts. He’s 0-1 against the Tribe in two starts this season.

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