Civale dazzles in debut, Indians beat Tigers 2-0

The Indians are six games above .500 for the first time this season

James Rapien
June 22, 2019 - 6:59 pm
Jun 22, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians pitcher Aaron Civale (66) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, Ohio – Aaron Civale was impressive in his Major League debut and the Indians beat the Tigers 2-0 on Saturday.

Civale threw six-shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He finished with three walks and six strikeouts. The 24-year-old got off to a dream start by striking out the side to begin the game.

Jose Ramirez got the Tribe on the board in the second inning with an RBI triple. It was his second of the season and it gave the Indians a 1-0 lead. They added to their lead in the third when Oscar Mercado hit a bloop single to center field. Mike Freeman scored to make it 2-0. 

The Indians had chances to extend their lead, but they never got the hit they needed. They loaded the bases in the third inning after Freeman scored, but Ramirez flied out to end the inning. 

They threatened again in the fifth inning, putting runners on first and second with one out. Carlos Santana struck out and Jason Kipnis popped out to end the threat. 

The Indians improve to 41-35 on the season. They've won seven of their last nine games. The Indians are six games above .500 for the first time this season. 

Dominating Pen – The Indians' bullpen has allowed just one run in eight innings in their two games against the Tigers. Nick Wittgren, Oliver Perez, Adam Cimber and Brad Hand all appeared in Saturday's game. Hand allowed two hits in the ninth, but recovered with back-to-back strikeouts to pick up his 22nd save, which leads the American League. He's a perfect 22-for-22 in save opportunities this season.

Roster Shakeup – Outfielder Leonys Martin was designated for assignment on Saturday. It clears the way for Mercado to get regular playing time in center field. The Indians used the roster spot on Civale, but there is speculation that Bobby Bradley could be promoted to the big leagues. He wasn’t in the lineup for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday night.

Sloppy Tribe – The Indians had their issues on the basepaths. Mercado hit a double in the first, but got caught leaning the wrong way on a fly ball by Carlos Santana and was thrown out. The double play ended the inning. Ramirez was tagged out at third after a ground ball was hit his way in the second inning. The two mistakes ended the threat in both instances.

Up Next – Zach Plesac looks to continue his impressive start in the big leagues with a Sunday matinee against the Tigers. The 24-year-old is 2-2 on the season with a 2.56 ERA. Daniel Norris will be on the mound for Detroit. He’s 2-5 on the season with a 4.40 ERA.