DETROIT (AP) ― Ubaldo Jimenez had walked more hitters than anybody in baseball this year, and it’s fair to say he’d been a bit of a bust since coming over to Cleveland in a big trade last season.
“He’s better than that,” manager Manny Acta said Tuesday night. “Today was a step in the right direction.”
Jimenez walked only one hitter, pitching impressively into the seventh inning, and the Indians hit three run-scoring triples off rookie Drew Smyly in a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Jimenez (6-4) allowed a run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out four. The right-hander entered the game with 42 walks in 56 innings this year, but he didn’t issue a base on balls until his final hitter in the seventh.
“That’s a surprise,” he said. “With an outing like this, I just want to keep it going.”
Cleveland Indians’ Choo Shin-soo hits a single against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Three relievers finished for Cleveland. Chris Perez allowed a run in the ninth but held on for his 18th save in 19 chances.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Lou Marson and Michael Brantley each hit RBI triples for Cleveland, which became the third team this season to hit three triples in a game.
Smyly (2-2) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.
Jimenez threw only 55 strikes in 102 pitches, but Detroit didn’t make him pay when he did miss the mark.
“I thought Jimenez was effectively wild,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “We had some really golden counts for hitters. Just didn’t do much with them.”
The Indians made two sparkling defensive plays with Detroit trying to rally in the ninth. After a leadoff single by Delmon Young, Cabrera, the shortstop, barehanded Gerald Laird’s chopper and threw to second for a forceout.
Jhonny Peralta followed with a double and Brennan Boesch hit a sacrifice fly, but Choo Shin-soo made a sliding catch in right field on Ramon Santiago’s shallow fly to end it.
The Indians won for only the fourth time in their last 27 games at Comerica Park.
Jimenez allowed seven runs in four innings May 27 against the White Sox in Chicago. Jimenez was bothered by cramping in his left side, so the Indians gave him a bit more rest and didn’t start him again until Tuesday.
“I just think that it gave him time to rest his left side,” Acta said. “You don’t want to push him and make it worse.”
Cleveland’s Carlos Santana returned to the lineup after being on the 7-day disabled list because of a concussion. He went 0 for 4 as the designated hitter.
The Indians had lost seven of nine since sweeping three straight from the Tigers in Cleveland last month.
Jimenez hit the first batter he faced and allowed an RBI double to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning.
Detroit did little offensively after that. Matt Young, a 29-year-old outfielder just up from the minors, struck out four times. The home crowd gave him a sarcastic cheer when he fouled off a two-strike pitch in the eighth, but he struck out swinging at the next one.
Smyly struck out the first four hitters he faced, but Cabrera’s triple in the third tied the game and Marson’s triple in the fifth gave the Indians the lead. Choo drove Marson home with a single to make it 3-1.
Rangers 6, Athletics 3
Angels 6, Mariners 1
D-backs 10, Rockies 1
Padres 6, Giants 5
Nationals 7, Mets 6
Yankees 7, Rays 0
Dodgers 2, Phillies 1
Orioles 8, Red Sox 6
Pirates 8, Reds 4
Blue Jays 9, White Sox 5
Braves 11 Marlins 0
Royals 1, Twins 0
Astros 9, Cardinals 8
Cubs 10, Brewers 0