Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – After sweeping their season-opening series
behind outstanding pitching, the Detroit Tigers flexed their offensive muscle
to move to 4-0.
Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead an 18-hit attack
that powered the Tigers to an 8-4 win over Cleveland that spoiled the Indians’
Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jose Iglesias all had three hits and an
RBI, Nick Castellanos finished 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, while Anthony
Gose and Ian Kinsler also knocked in runs while collecting two hits during
Alfredo Simon (1-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive surge, earning the
victory in his Detroit debut despite permitting the first earned runs by a
Tigers’ hurler this season.
Simon was reached for three runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings of work,
while counterpart Zach McAllister (0-1) was rocked for 13 hits in surrendering
five runs across four-plus innings.
Carlos Santana paced Cleveland at the plate by going 2-for-3 with two RBI,
with Michael Bourn recording a pair of hits and scoring twice in defeat.
One day after the Indians carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning in a win
at Houston, McAllister was tagged for six over the first two as Detroit took
an early 1-0 lead.
Gose was caught stealing to help thwart a scoring chance in the opening
inning, but the Tigers’ leadoff man redeemed himself with a two-out single to
right in the second that brought in Castellanos for the game’s initial run.
Cabrera came up with another big two-out hit in the fourth to extend the
margin to 2-0. Martinez followed with a single through the left side to plate
Kinsler with an additional run.
Cespedes recorded the Tigers’ first extra-base hit, a leadoff double that
preceded Castellanos’ opposite-field blast in fifth that pushed the lead to
5-0 and chased McAllister.
Simon, meanwhile, permitted just two hits while spinning five shutout innings,
though Cleveland strung together five straight off the righty in the sixth to
get back in it.
After Bourn and Jason Kipnis singled in front of Michael Brantley’s slicing
liner down the left-field line that put the Indians on the board in the sixth,
Santana and Brandon Moss delivered consecutive run-scoring hits to right to
cut the deficit to 5-3.
Brantley’s double ended a streak of 32 innings by Detroit pitchers without
yielding an earned run, tying the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals for the longest
stretch to begin a season in the modern era.
The Tigers answered with three more runs in the seventh, however. Cespedes
singled and later came home on an infield hit by Iglesias, who scored all the
way from first when Cleveland reliever Marc Rzepczynski threw wildly after
fielding a grounder from Gose. Kinsler then made it 8-3 by greeting Bryan Shaw
with a triple to right.
Santana just missed his second homer of the season in the eighth, settling for
a long double off the center-field wall against Blaine Hardy that knocked in
Bourn for the Indians’ fourth run.
Cleveland put two runners aboard off Joba Chamberlain in the ninth, forcing
closer Joakim Soria to enter and strike out Bourn to earn a save.
Brantley returned to action after missing the final two games of the Houston
series with a stiff lower back … The Indians have now lost six of their last
seven home openers … McAllister’s 13 hits allowed was the most by a
Cleveland starter since Justin Masterson gave up 13 in 5 1/3 innings at
Toronto on July 30, 2010 … Iglesias, who missed all of 2014 with stress
fractures in his legs, is hitting .600 (9-for-15) over Detroit’s first four