Justin Verlander snaps 331-game strikeout streak as Tigers lose to Indians

MLB Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves

The Indians' hit parade started in the top of the second inning when Ramirez smacked a one-out single to center field off of Tigers starter Justin Verlander. Verlander had not gone without a strikeout since April 28, 2007, when he lasted only three innings against Minnesota. "You just don't go two years without throwing a baseball and come back and pitch as well as he's pitched without having some type of wear and tear flare up", Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He's one of the most competitive pitchers you're ever going to see".

During what should have been Verlander's tie-breaking 332nd game, however, the righty was tagged for nine hits and seven runs, failing to fan even one of 22 batters before getting pulled in the fourth inning. Verlander did beat Cleveland in early May. The streak lasted 331 games and had been the majors' longest active streak. "I thought that had been better lately, but not today". He failed to pitch beyond five innings in each of his previous three starts - all on the road - while giving up eight runs and eight walks in 13 innings. He walked five and struck out seven.

Since returning to the Tigers, you have only given up six earned runs in 17.1 innings of work. Ramirez slugged a solo home run off Verlander in the third and then took Bell deep for a three-run shot an inning later.

Chisenhall's 11th home run of the season gave the Indians a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers improved to 5-2 against the Tribe this season with the Game 1 win of a split doubleheader.

"So far we've just scored more runs", said Ausmus, when asked what the difference has been in the series this season compared to 2016.

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Quite clearly Avila is outperforming his career averages, which makes him a prime candidate to be sold off. Teams love a solid backup catcher and they aren't always the easiest to come across, especially when they're coming with a hot bat. Carlos Santana drove in three runs on two doubles and Encarnacion added two RBI via a single and a rare triple. He gets so unsafe when he's in one of these [runs].

Ramirez hit.367 in June and is already off to a fine start in July.

Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 5.53) is scheduled to pitch the second game of the doubleheader.

After a rainout on Friday, the Indians took two of three over the weekend from the Detroit Tigers to increase the division lead to three games.

NOTES: Detroit LF Justin Upton missed both games of the doubleheader because of right side soreness.

Indians: Cleveland has Monday off before hosting San Diego on Tuesday night. Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin (4-9, 6.09 ERA) will oppose Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.75 ERA), who will be making his third start since a four-game stint with Triple-A Toledo. He's reached double-digit strikeouts in four straight starts, matching Bob Feller's franchise record.

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