Cleveland — It was already a rough night for Tigers rookie Matt Manning. Somehow, though, if he could’ve gotten the last out in the fourth inning, he might’ve salvaged something positive.
Didn’t happen. The fourth inning devolved quickly, too quick for reliever Miguel Del Pozo to be ready for Indians slugger Jose Ramirez with two on and two out. So Manning had to soldier through one more batter.
His first pitch to Ramirez, a 93-mph wheelhouse fastball, ended up deep in the right-field seats and Manning’s night was irredeemably ruined.
Manning’s line, as the Indians took the first of a three-game series, 13-5, at Progressive Field Monday, is exaggerated, but it accurately reflects how hard he was hit. He gave up nine runs on nine hits (two home runs) with just two strike outs and three swings-and-misses.
Some of the predictive metrics indicated that Manning, based on his two previous starts, had this coming. The average exit velocity on balls put in play against him was 93 mph and a hard-hit rate of 43 percent.
Per Statcast, the expected wOBA (weighted on-base average) was .365 and expected slugging was .486. Yet, he’d only given up four runs in 10.2 innings.
Manning faced 21 hitters Monday and 16 of them put balls in play with 90-mph exit velocity or better. Average exit velocity: 93 mph.
Amed Rosario had three hits and scored twice off him. Cesar Hernandez doubled, singled, scored twice and knocked in a run. Manning missed the target that catcher Jake Rogers set for him by the width of the plate in the second inning on a 93-mph fastball to Austin Hedges: two-run home run.
It was 5-2 when Manning came back out for the fourth, having pitched a clean third, and he struck out Bradley Zimmer to start the inning. But he hit Ernie Clement, gave up an RBI double to Hernandez and a single to Amed Rosario as Del Pozo started getting loose.
Pitching coach Chris Fetter was barely back to the dugout from his stalling mound visit when Ramirez connected on Manning’s 75th and last pitch.
Ramirez ended up a triple short of a cycle with five RBIs.
Miguel Cabrera did some chart climbing on this night. He drove a breaking ball from Indians starter Eli Morgan into the left-centerfield seats, leading off the second inning. It was his sixth home run of the season and No. 493 in his career.
He’s now tied with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 21st on the all-time home run list.
Cabrera also doubled and scored on a single by Jeimer Candelario in the fourth.
Rogers lit into a hanging slider from Morgan in the fifth and belted a two-run homer to left. It was hit fourth of the season.
Robbie Grossman, who was in a 2 for 35 funk, lined his 10th home run of the season in the eighth.