Cleveland Indians open pivotal series with Detroit Tigers with big win
The Indians beat the Tigers, 11-4, in the teams’ pivotal series opener on Friday night in front of 29,137 at Progressive Field. With the win, the Indians increased their AL Central lead to seven and lowered their magic number (combination of Tribe wins and Tigers losses) to nine.
Mike Napoli got the scoring started with a bizarre ground-rule double in the first – on which the ball bounced over the 19-foot wall in left field. Carlos Santana added a two-run single in the second, and Napoli added a two-run homer in the fifth.
After the Tigers cut the lead to 6-4 on Justin Upton’s second homer, a three-run shot in the sixth, the Tribe pushed the lead back to 7-4 on Roberto Perez’s sacrifice fly in the bottom half. Jose Ramirez added an RBI single in the seventh, and Perez, Jason Kipnis and Ramirez drove in runs in a three-run eighth.
Corey Kluber, thought by many to be the AL Cy Young front-runner, pitched seven innings, striking out seven. He improved to 17-9, and his ERA stands at 3.12.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and Maureen MacGregor