The Tigers lost more than their manager, catcher and the game today against the Indians. They also lost crucial ground in the race for the AL Central.
After Lonnie Chisenhall singled in the winning run with one out in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a 7-6 win, the White Sox routed the Twins 9-2 to take a 2 game lead in the AL Central.
Detroit’s showdown with the White Sox tomorrow is now a must win as falling behind three games with very limited time left in the regular season would be devastating.
After the Tigers took an early 3-0 lead, the Indians fought their way back scoring two unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. It was here that Leyland was ejected after arguing a play that put the Indians ahead. During that play first base umpire Brian Knight ruled that shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s throw trying for an inning-ending double play was too late as Brantley scored from third base. Fielder initially argued the play before Leyland came out of the dugout to plead his case.
“They were unbelievable bang-bang plays,” Leyland said. “At this time of year with the importance, you get a little more excited. Obviously, I thought they were out. The umpire saw it differently.”
The Tigers then lost their catcher in the sixth when Alex Avila collided with first baseman Prince Fielder when both were trying to field a foul ball in front of the Tigers dugout.
“It looked like a knockout punch,” Leyland said. “The elbow got him in the jaw.”
Avila was diagnosed with a sprained jaw with no concussion. It’s possible that he could play Monday against the White Sox although Leyland admitted that he’d more than likely rest Avila with lefty Jose Quintana on the mound.
The Tigers eventually regained the lead and took a 6-5 lead into the ninth inning before Jose Valverde blew his fifth save opportunity in 36 chances on the season.
Tigers starter Rick Porcello went 4 and 2/3rds innings allowing 4 runs (2 earned) with 2 strikeouts and three walks.
h/t: Associated Press