CLEVELAND (AP) — Detroit Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann bruised the right side of his jaw when hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis on Wednesday night and left after two batters in the Indians’ 5-1 win.
Making his third start of the season, Zimmermann retired Francisco Lindor on a fly ball starting the game. The 31-year-old right-hander had little time to react to Kipnis’ line on a 2-2 pitch. Zimmermann was face down on the pitcher’s mound for several moments after being struck and was attended to by head athletic trainer Doug Teter.
Zimmermann sat up and spoke to Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, then walked off the field while holding a towel to his face. The Tigers said Zimmermann passed concussion protocol tests and was taken for X-rays.
Carlos Carrasco (3-0) pitched a three-hitter, struck out six and walked one in his first complete game this season. He allowed Leonyis Martin’s home run in the sixth.
Carrasco was hit on the face by a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera of the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field in 2015,
Cleveland scored four runs in the fourth off Daniel Norris (0-1), who replaced Zimmermann. Yonder Alonso had a two-run single, and Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor had RBI singles.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera fielded the ball after Zimmermann was stuck and stepped on the base for the out. An obviously distraught Kipnis crossed the bag and knelt on the first base line as Zimmermann was examined. Several Tigers’ position players also knelt and the crowd of 10,872 went silent.
Norris blanked the Indians until the fourth. Jose Ramirez and Michael Brantley singled and pulled off a double steal. Alonso’s single to right scored both runners. Naquin and Lindor also had run-scoring hits.
Brantley added an RBI single in the seventh. Kipnis broke an 0-for-23 slump with a seventh-inning double. The Indians, who entered batting a big league-low .158, had a season-high 10 hits.
Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio missed his second straight game because of an undisclosed health issue. Gardenhire said Bosio remained in Cleveland but offered no other details. Bosio was in the Tigers’ dugout Monday night and underwent tests Tuesday after he didn’t feel well.
Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer (1-1, 0.68 ERA) faces Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (0-1, 2.08 ERA) in the finale of the four-game series Thursday. Bauer has not beaten Detroit since May 5, 2016.