CLEVELAND -- Sometimes, it is the play that is not made that hurts more than the ones that are.
The Cleveland Indians committed two of their three errors in the fifth inning of Sunday's 10-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field, and the American League Central Division leaders took full advantage by scoring seven runs in the frame, which helped them complete the three-game sweep of the Tribe.
"Against that line-up, against any team, if you give them extra opportunities, there's a decent chance you pay for it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Then, you saw what happens when you're coming through the middle of the line-up and you give them extra chances.
"They put up a seven spot that basically took the game out of our hands. We're hanging in there at that point, and if we can score a couple, we're back in it, but they just blew it open and we helped them. They don't need any help."
After Detroit second baseman and center fielder Austin Jackson singled to start the fifth inning, pitcher Josh Tomlin induced a ground ball to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis. Kipnis relayed a throw to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, but he dropped the ball and a replay challenge overturned the out call at second.
Former Indian, and Tigers designated hitter, Victor Martinez followed with a liner to center fielder Michael Bourn. However, the veteran center fielder committed an error, which loaded the bases with no outs for right fielder J.D. Martinez.
"I think he probably looked up and thought he had a chance to double up the runner, and then, I think it did sail and he kind of fell," Francona said. "It was a tough one."
Martinez, who smashed a game-winning home run against the Indians on Friday night, belted a double over the head of Bourn and drove in both Jackson and first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos followed with his 17th double of the season, as he took a ball to left field that scored both Victor and J.D. Martinez. Detroit tallied its final run of the inning when shortstop Andrew Romine singled on a line drive to left field which plated Castellanos.
"I felt good going into that inning, and I didn't do enough to limit the damage in that inning," Tomlin said. "I think it's tougher not making the pitches to limit the damage than anything else, and that's on me. I'd rather make better pitches in that situation to not give up seven runs in that inning."
Before Detroit turned those back-to-back errors into seven runs, Cabrera put the Tigers in front with a solo home run in the first inning. Despite being down in the count at 1-2, Cabrera worked it to 3-2, fouled off two more pitches, and then, blasted an 86-mile-per-hour cut fastball over the wall in right-center field.
"I basically threw the kitchen sink in that at-bat, and the one pitch I didn't throw was a well-executed cutter down and away, and when I did, he deposited it in right-center field," Tomlin said. "He's a good hitter. He hit a good pitch, and you've got to keep pitching after that."
Francona added, "I thought the first couple hitters, he was real good. Then, it took a lot of pitches to finish the first inning. The home run by Miggy, and then, it's tough. Going through the middle of that order is tough. They made him work every inning, and finally, when things broke through, our defense kind of collapsed at the same time."
With the loss, the Indians find themselves at 37-39 and five games behind the division-leading Tigers heading into a 10-day, three-city road trip that will take them to Arizona for a two-game set with the Diamondbacks, and twin three-game series with the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Dodgers.