SB Nation Cleveland
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @SBNCleveland
Like us to subscribe
Right-hander Roberto Hernandez took a step closer to returning to the mound for the Cleveland Indians as Roberto Hernandez.
When he last pitched for the Tribe, Hernandez was known as Fausto Carmona but his real identity was revealed after Hernandez was arrested for fraud by Dominican Republic authorities in January. After recently getting cleared to return to the United States, Hernandez made his way to the mound for the Class A Lake County Captains with hopes of returning to the major leagues soon.
Hernandez is now serving a three-week suspension from Major League Baseball due to his arrest and it appears he may be ready to pitch at the Major League level when allowed. According to Cleveland assistant director of player personnel, Carter Hawkins, Hernandez has impressed since his return and looked good in Thursday night's game.
Hernandez threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes. For the most part his velocity ranged between 89 and 92 mph. He topped out at 93 and dropped to 85 in the fourth and fifth innings.
"That's what he's thrown the last couple of years," said Hawkins. "He can get major-league outs with that. It's just a matter of command."
Hernandez threw five innings, allowing six hits, three runs, just one earned, no walks, four strike outs, and one home run. But the specific numbers weren't as important to Hernandez as the process moving the pitcher a step closer to returning to the mound for the Indians.
The Cleveland Indians (50-49) rallied from an early two-run deficit to knock out Detroit Tigers' ace Justin Verlander with a four-run seventh inning en route to 5-3 win at Progressive Field. The Indians took two out of three games from the Central Division leading Tigers (53-46) and now trail by just three games in the standings.
Verlander (11-6) looked strong through six innings but the Indians broke through in the bottom of the seventh with six hits and four runs. Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner sparked the Cleveland rally with back-to-back home runs to start the seventh inning and tie the game. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera singled later in the inning to score Jose Lopez with the go-ahead run.
Cleveland right-hander Zach McAllister gave up three runs and struck out seven in six and a third innings before giving way to eventual winner Joe Smith (7-2). Smith earned his second win of the series while Chirs Perez struck out two batters and left two Tigers stranded on base to lock down the win and his 29th save of the season.
The Indians hit the road on Friday to begin a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.
For those wanting to see the Cleveland Indians face Justin Verlander, you will need to wait a little longer. The start of Thursday's game between Cleveland and the Detroit Tigers has been delayed due to rain.
WEATHER UPDATE:The start of tonight's game is on hold, but we're optimistic to play. No specific start time has been announced Stay Tuned— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 26, 2012
Rain is expected on and off all night in Cleveland, so it is unclear when or if the two teams will try to fit the game in.
In terms of rescheduling, the only other trip the Tigers make to Cleveland this season is Sept. 14-16. Both teams have an off say on Sept. 17 but scheduling a game then would mean the Tigers play everyday from Sept. 7 through the end of the season.
Here are the lineups:
The Cleveland Indians thoroughly dominated the Detroit Tigers through the first half of this season. They held first place in the AL Central division and repeatedly bested their rivals in what most saw as an unlikely turnaround. Well, they've turned around once again and are going the opposite direction, now sitting four games back of the division lead behind, you guessed it, the Tigers.
Cleveland made a small dent in that in game one when they took a 3-2 win, but lost the most recent outing on Wednesday to split the series at a game apiece. They'll try to get back to winning ways and take this series on Thursday in game three as they send Zach McAllister to the mound.
McAllister is 4-2 on the season with a 3.21 earned run average. His last outing as a loss to the Baltimore Orioles in which he gave up three runs in just over seven innings of work, including two homeruns. It was a solid outing, he was just left in there a bit too long, having given up just five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
His counter will be Justin Verlander, who many think is the best pitcher in baseball right now. He's sporting a 2.42 ERA on the season and an 11-5 record. His last outing was a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in which he allowed four hits and two runs over eight innings of work with six strikeouts.
The Indians have lost eight of their 13 games since the All-Star break and need to turn things around sooner rather than later. The Tigers have been playing excellent baseball and these are the crucial games to win. The game is set for 7:05 p.m. eastern.
After a 3-2 win in Game 1, the Cleveland Indians were unable to sustain the momentum against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. They lost 5-3 at home, falling back to four games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central.
Starting pitcher Derek Lowe pitched six innings, gave up eight hits, four earned runs, struck out one and walked three. Two costly errors by Asdrubal Cabrera did not help his cause.
The series will conclude with Game 3 Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET at Progressive Field.
The Cleveland Indians are looking to make up more ground against the Detroit Tigers. They are three games back of Detroit in the American League Central Division after winning Game 1 of the three game series on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, though, they trail the Tigers 5-2 after six innings.
Detroit led 3-0 after two innings, but Casey Kotchman cut the lead to 3-2 with his 10th home run of the season in the third.
Coming into the night, the Indians trail the Tigers by three games for first place and will look to build off of Tuesday night's 3-2 win.
Here are the projected starting lineups:
1. Shin-Soo Choo, Right Field
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, Short Stop
3. Jason Kipnis, Second Base
4. Michael Brantley, Center Field
5. Carlos Santana, Catcher
6. Travis Hafner, Designated Hitter
7. Johnny Damon, Left Field
8. Casey Kotchman, First Base
9. Jack Hannahan, Third Base
Starting Pitcher: Derek Lowe
1. Austin Jackson, Center Field
2. Quintin Berry, Left Field
3. Miguel Cabrera, Third Base
4. Prince Fielder, First Base
5. Delmon Young, Designated Hitter
6. Brennan Boesch, Right Field
7. Jhonny Peralta, Short Stop
8. Alex Avila, Catcher
9. Omar Infante, Second Base
Pitcher: Max Scherzer
The madcap race that's been going on in the AL Central may get a bit more interesting if the Cleveland Indians can put up another couple of wins on the Detroit Tigers in their series. Cleveland is currently third in the Central with Detroit in first, three games ahead of Cleveland and just edging the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland snuck out a win in game one of their series against Detroit thanks to a late run allowed on a bunt and will close the gap by a lot if they pull out another win or even two. It's a good time to seize the day for the Indians at home for the series.
Game two of the series will feature Derek Lowe (8-8, 5.04 ERA) of the Indians taking on Max Scherzer (9-5, 4.61 ERA), who is one of the reasons why Detroit has been so red hot in recent weeks -- the righty has gone 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA in his last three games.
The game will be at Progressive Field at 7:05 p.m. ET.
After Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera tied the game with a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, the Indians rallied to score the game-winning run in the bottom half of the inning when left fielder Aaron Cunningham laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score pinch runner Lou Marson.
Travis Hafner put the run in scoring position with a one-out triple which led manager Manny Acta to pinch run Marson and go for the lead while he had the chance. The key run salvaged a strong outing from starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez who scattered seven hits in six scoreless innings of work. Acta may have been too quick to pull Jiminez which was followed by Cabrera's home run off of reliever Joe Smith, but his gutsy call in the bottom of the seventh at least preserved the win.
Smith (6-2) ended up with the win on the mound while Chris Perez locked down his 28th save of the season by retiring the Tigers in order in the top of the ninth. Detroit pitcher Doug Fister took a tough-luck loss to move to 4-7 and break a personal three-game winning streak.
The win drew the Indians closer to the Central Division leading Tigers, now trailing by three games with two left to play in the current series.
Cleveland will call upon Ubaldo Jimenez to stop the surging Detroit Tigers, and to stop the Indians' free-fall in the AL Central standings.