By Dave Hart
Indians 11, Indians 4 – The Cleveland Indians pounded the Tigers on Friday night in the opener of a key three-game weekend series.
Detroit scored three runs in the sixth inning on a home run by Justin Upton to cut its deficit to 6-4, but Cleveland closed out the scoring with a run in both the sixth and seventh innings and three in the eighth.
The Indians were paced by Mike Napoli with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored while Carlos Santana, Jose Ramirez and Roberto Perez each knocked in two runs.
Detroit’s starting pitcher Michael Fulmer took the loss, tossing five innings while allowing six runs on seven hits.
The Tigers are now 78-69 and are two and a half games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final playoff spot.
Detroit will look to snap its two-game slide with a win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon.
2nd Place in AL Central Division (7 games behind first-place Cleveland)
2.5 games behind Toronto for the last playoff spot
Magic # to clinch a playoff spot: 19
Magic # to clinch an AL Central Division title: 23
Next Game: 09/17/2016 @ Cleveland Cavaliers 4:10 p.m. @ Progressive Field
Hitting stats: Justin Upton 2 HR (24) 4 RBI (74), Andrew Romine 2B (5).
Pitching stats: Michael Fulmer L (10-7) 5 IP 7 H 6 R 6 ER 3 BB 3 K.