Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs while Austin Jackson had two RBIs to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 7-5 win over the Cleveland Indians Thursday at Comerica Park.
With the win, the Tigers salvaged a split of the series that was reduced to two games after Tuesday’s rainout.
Justin Verlander’s (2-1) string of quality starts that stretched back to Sept. 7, 2013 ended as he didn’t last the requisite six innings. He allowed three unearned runs on six hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings, his shortest start since Aug. 27.
Joe Nathan tossed a scoreless ninth for his second save while Rajai Davis finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Tigers (7-5).
Danny Salazar (0-2) lasted only 4 2/3 frames after giving up five runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts as the Indians slipped to 7-8 after losing two of their last three games.
Michael Brantley hit a two-run shot and added a two-run single, Lonnie Chisenhall went 4-for-4 while David Murphy knocked in the other run for the Indians.
Verlander’s throwing error on a fourth-inning bunt single by Asdrubal Cabrera set up the Indians’ first run. The following batter, David Murphy, blooped a single to left that a diving Rajai Davis barely missed securing, giving Cleveland an early one-run lead.
The heart of the Detroit order quickly responded off Indians starter Danny Salazar in the bottom of the frame. Consecutive singles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez put runners on the corners, and Austin Jackson delivered a sacrifice fly to center that tied the game.
With two men out in the fifth, Mike Aviles’ grounder right at Tigers’ third baseman Nick Castellanos passed right under the rookie’s glove, extending the frame. Two batters later, Brantley singled home a pair of runs for a 3-1 lead.
However, Salazar issued two walks before Kinsler belted a three-run homer to left-center, giving the Tigers a 4-3 advantage. Jackson added a run-scoring sacrifice to make it a two-run game.
Kinsler ripped a run-scoring single in the sixth to extend the Tigers’ lead to three, doubling his season RBI total to eight.
In the seventh, the Indians cut the deficit to one after a two-run shot by Brantley against Ian Krol.
Joba Chamberlain replaced Krol with two outs in the seventh and promptly struck out Yan Gomes to end the inning. Chamberlain also pitched a scoreless eighth before Davis drove in a run with an infield single.