Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Corey Kluber fell one out shy of a complete game while David Murphy and Jason Kipnis knocked in two runs apiece to carry the Cleveland Indians to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday at Comerica Park.
Kluber (10-6) allowed two runs on seven hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 frames as the Indians (49-47) notched their third straight win, moving two games above the .500 mark for the first time since June 9.
Dating back to May 1, Kluber has gone 8-3 with a 2.53 ERA across 15 starts, during which he has piled up 117 strikeouts against 23 walks in 103 1/3 innings.
With the win, the Indians are just 5.5 games behind the Tigers in the American League Central.
Rookie Drew VerHagen (0-1) absorbed the loss in his Major League debut after giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeout as the Tigers dropped to 53-40 after losing their third straight game.
Kluber and VerHagen engaged in a scoreless battle that extended into the fifth inning before Cleveland’s offense struck first with three runs against the rookie hurler.
Lonnie Chisenhall led off the fifth with a walk and Nick Swisher followed by drilling a pitch over center fielder Austin Jackson’s head for an RBI double.
Murphy and Kipnis both later added RBI singles, helping the Indians grab a 3-0 advantage in VerHagen’s final inning of work. Murphy and Kipnis each added another RBI single later in the game, providing Cleveland with some offensive insurance.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom part of the fifth when Eugenio Suarez scored on a grounder by Austin Jackson. Slugger Miguel Cabrera also doubled and scored in the ninth inning.