Indians beat Tigers 8-6, July 15, 2019

The Cleveland Indians (custom Cleveland Indians championship rings) wanted to bounce back from a disappointing series against the Minnesota Twins. Oscar Mercado made certain they did. Cleveland's rookie outfielder hit his second home run of the game -- a leadoff blast in the seventh inning -- and the Indians continued to dominate Detroit with an 8-6 win over the Tigers on Monday night. Mercado, who came into the game in a 1-for-25 skid, homered into the bleachers in left field off Victor Alcantara (3-2) to break a 5-all tie. Mercado also hit a solo home run off Detroit starter Daniel Norris in the fifth. The Indians have won nine of 10 against the Tigers this season, including eight in a row.

Cleveland (championship sports rings) dropped two of three to AL Central-leading Minnesota coming out of the All-Star break. The Indians lost the first two games of the weekend series before salvaging Sunday's finale and are six games behind the Twins. "After losing the first two games, obviously that put a lot of pressure on us," Mercado said. "Winning that game yesterday was absolutely huge. Going into this series, you take the first game and you definitely get back on track." The game was delayed for 54 minutes in the top of the seventh by heavy rain and strong winds. The grounds crew needed nearly a half-hour to clear the outfield warning track of standing water from the downpour.

Nick Wittgren (4-0) retired Jeimer Candelario with two on to end the inning before the Indians scored three times. Jose Ramirez had a two-run double following Mercado's homer. Mercado was dealing with his first extended slump since being called up on May 14. "I've got to thank my teammates for that one," he said. "They know what it's like. I've had a lot of conversations with them. They told me that's how it's going to go sometimes." Alcantara retired Francisco Lindor to end the sixth, but all four hitters he faced in the seventh had hits.

"He was fine physically, but he never hit a location one time," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It had nothing to do with the rain delay. He only threw two pitches (in the sixth) and he had to warmup, but he hadn't pitched since July 3 and obviously the results weren't good." Alcantara was making his first appearance since having a wisdom tooth removed.

Jordy Mercer homered twice for Detroit (cheap Detroit Tigers championship rings), including a leadoff shot in the ninth off Brad Hand. Victor Reyes singled, but Hand retired the next three hitters, including Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos on strikeouts, for his 25th save in 26 chances. Mercer, Candelario and Christin Stewart homered off Cleveland starter Adam Plutko. Norris left in the sixth with a 5-3 lead. Tyler Naquin's two-run double off Daniel Stumpf tied the game and ended Norris' bid for his first win since May 12.

Trevor Rosenthal, released by Washington last month, pitched the eighth for Detroit, striking out two, allowing a hit and throwing a wild pitch. He was pitching at Triple-A Toledo after signing with the Tigers (world series rings for sale). "He threw 99 (mph), had a good curveball, obviously missed a couple of pitches, but for the first time out, I liked what I saw," Gardenhire said.

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Indians beat Tigers 8-6, July 15, 2019
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