MLB Baseball

9
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Cleveland1 0 0 0 0 1 4 2 1 9100
Detroit2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 321
3
  W: A. Civale (1-0)   L: D. Norris (0-1)
10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE11:10 AM CT, April 4, 2021
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 8,000

Tigers look for sweep over Indians

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers

  1. The Indians won seven of the 10 meetings with the Tigers last season, including six of their seven games in Detroit. The Indians have won 14 of the 16 meetings in Detroit since the start of 2019, outscoring the Tigers by 57 runs in those 16 games (95-38).
  2. Cleveland has made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons but has not won a playoff game since 2017 -- it was swept by the Yankees in the Wild Card round last postseason. The Indians' eight consecutive winning seasons are the fourth-longest active streak in MLB and tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history behind a 10-year run from 1947 to 1956, a span which included their most recent World Series title (1948).
  3. Eddie Rosario was signed by the Indians this past offseason after spending the first six years of his career with Minnesota. Rosario has a career .282/.309/.495 slash line in 77 career games against the Tigers, including a .311/.340/.522 line with five home runs in 23 games since the start of 2019.
  4. Shane Bieber will start his second consecutive Opening Day after pitching six scoreless innings against the Royals last season, allowing just four hits and one walk. His 14 strikeouts in that game were the most in franchise history on Opening Day and the most by any pitcher on Opening Day since Randy Johnson struck out 14 for the Mariners in 1996.
  5. Since winning four straight division titles from 2011-14, the Tigers have missed the playoffs in six straight seasons, finishing last in the AL Central in four of those seasons. The Tigers' .414 win percentage since the start of 2015 is the worst in MLB.
  6. Miguel Cabrera enters the 2021 season with 2866 career hits, second most among active players behind Albert Pujols (3236). Cabrera ranks third on the Tigers' all-time home run list with 349 -- only Al Kaline (399) and Norm Cash (373) have more.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/4/2021

Aaron Civale has started 22 games for the Cleveland Indians over the last two seasons. Civale will make his first start this season on Sunday and, in some ways, he's a new addition to the rotation.

Civale spent the offseason completely revamping his mechanics. He'll put that new delivery on display in Detroit in the finale of a three-game series.

Last season, Civale started 12 games and finished 4-6 with a 4.74 ERA. Assistant pitching coach Ruben Niebla suggested some improvements, and Civale was convinced that changes were necessary in order to become a more efficient starter.

"I'm just going to continue with the path I'm on and trust those around me and those that have done it before to keep an eye on things," Civale said. "I think I'm in a good spot and I'll continue to work and develop."

Manager Terry Francona credits Civale for being open minded, rather than sticking to what he's done to reach the majors.

"The more you're around Aaron," Francona said, "the more you trust him."

Civale didn't have any trouble posting strong numbers against the Tigers during his first two seasons. He's 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA in four career starts, with two of those victories coming at Detroit's Comerica Park.

He'll be opposed by left-hander Tarik Skubal, one of several highly-regarded pitching prospects in the Tigers organization.

Skubal got a taste of the majors last season, making seven starts in eight appearances and finishing with a 1-4 record and 5.63 ERA. He notched 37 strikeouts in 32 innings.

He wasn't a lock to make the rotation this spring. He earned a spot and new manager A.J. Hinch's trust with his five-pitch repertoire, though he mainly relies on a four-seam fastball and slider.

"I think he's going to be something," Hinch said. "He's not a perfect pitcher right now. But he's got plus stuff, and when he pitches ahead (in the count), it's a completely different at-bat for the hitter. They have to deal with a lot."

He faced Cleveland once last year, striking out five over 2 1/3 innings.

The Tigers won the first two games of the series and will look for the sweep on Sunday. They have shown some defensive versatility in those games. Miguel Cabrera, who had some cramping issues on Saturday, started at first base on Thursday with Jonathan Schoop at second.

In Saturday's 5-2 victory, the Tigers had Schoop at first base and Niko Goodrum at second.

Schoop has mainly played second base during his career.

"Schoop is very versatile," Hinch said. "He's done a nice job at second base predominantly his whole career and he's played a little bit on the left side. Niko's a pretty good athlete up the middle. He can do a lot of things. I felt that was the best arrangement. Having middle infielders able to play on the corners is very advantageous."

The bright spot for the Indians on Saturday was Eddie Rosario, who drove in both runs with a homer and sacrifice fly. Rosario also walked twice, but Cleveland has only scored four runs in the first two games.

Rosario signed a one-year, $8 million contract during the offseason with the Indians after spending his first six seasons with Minnesota.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 4, 2021

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