After cooling off the Detroit Tigers, the Cleveland Indians can focus on trying to end Justin Verlander’s recent run of success against them.
The Indians will try to win consecutive home games against the Tigers for the first time in two seasons and prevent Verlander from winning a fourth straight start in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
After Cody Allen allowed a tying home run to J.D. Martinez in the ninth inning Monday, Michael Brantley delivered a solo shot in the 10th that snapped Cleveland’s four-game slide with a 5-4 victory.
The Indians (20-25) also ended a five-game home skid to Detroit, which had won 11 straight on the road, including the first six of this nine-game trip.
"As long as we win, that’s the main thing," said Indians manager Terry Francona, whose team was outscored 34-8 in the previous four games.
The AL-leading Tigers (27-13) fought hard despite arriving three hours before the first pitch because of travel delays from Boston. The defeat was the third in 14 games at Cleveland for Detroit, which has not lost two in a row there since a four-game slide in 2012.
"We were hoping to go back and get some sleep with a win, but it wasn’t to be," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.
Verlander (5-2, 3.15 ERA) has a 2.70 ERA while winning three straight starts at Progressive Field. After going 1-7 with a 9.00 ERA in his first eight starts at Cleveland, he’s gone 8-3 with a 3.36 ERA over his next 12 outings there.
His last two overall against the Indians came at home, during which he’s not yielded an earned run in 12 innings while going 1-0. He gave up three unearned runs, six hits and four walks in a season-low five innings of a 7-5 victory over Cleveland on April 17.
After allowing two or three runs in each of his eight previous starts, the right-hander yielded all five in the fifth inning Wednesday, but still earned the victory during a 7-5 win at Baltimore.
"Winning as a team is all that matters," said Verlander, who is 3-0 despite a 4.33 ERA in four road starts this year.
Brantley is batting .390 (16 for 41) against Verlander, and .410 with six home runs and 17 RBIs during a 16-game home hitting streak.
Cleveland recalled Trevor Bauer (0-1, 1.50) from Triple-A Columbus to make this start and face Detroit for the first time while replacing the demoted Danny Salazar in the rotation. The right-hander allowed two runs and struck out eight in six innings of a 2-1 loss to San Diego on April 9, then was sent to the minors where he’s gone 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in seven starts for the Clippers.
"Hopefully what the really good part of this will be is it’s not just a one-start thing," Francona told the Indians’ official website. "This guy is a big part of what we want to do going forward. And to see him growing and understanding, it’s exciting."
The third overall selection by Arizona in the 2011 draft, Bauer is 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA in nine career starts.
He will try to cool off two-time reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, who recorded his third straight three-hit game Monday and is batting .417 while hitting safely in 14 consecutive road contests.
Cleveland activated Jason Giambi (calf) from the disabled list Tuesday. The 43-year-old is 0 for 10 in four games this season, and 4 for 20 with two homers and 10 strikeouts versus Verlander.