The Indians are collapsing with just one month to go.
Scott Kazmir allowed four earned runs in five innings and the bullpen let in another six as Cleveland fell to Detroit 10-5 on Saturday night at Comerica Park. It was the Indians’ sixth consecutive loss and it’ll leave them with a 12-16 record for the month of August.
The Indians now trail the Tigers by a whopping 8 1/2 games for the top spot in the American League Central standings. They are 4 1/2 games back in the chase for the two American League Wild Card spots.
Danny Salazar will square off against Justin Verlander in Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Orioles 0, Yankees 2
Royals 2, Blue Jays 4
Phillies 3, Cubs 4
Mets 11, Nationals 3
Cardinals 1, Pirates 7
Indians 5, Tigers 10
White Sox 2, Red Sox 7
Angels 6, Brewers 5
Marlins 4, Braves 5 (11 innings)
Mariners 3, Astros 1
Twins 1, Rangers 2
Reds 8, Rockies 3
Giants 3, Diamondbacks 4
Padres 1, Dodgers 2
Rays 1, Athletics 2
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”