The scuffling Indians lead the AL Central despite a .500 record, and this easy win was certainly welcome for Cleveland after a pair of losses to the injury-plagued Tigers. Bauer (3-3) retired his first 12 hitters, and Michael Brantley hit his sixth home run of the season.
Ryan Carpenter (0-1) allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings for Detroit in his second big league start.
Tigers center fielder JaCoby Jones left in the third inning with a left hip injury.
Bauer allowed four hits without a walk in a sharp, 108-pitch outing. Carpenter, meanwhile, was in trouble from the start. With men on first and third and nobody out in the first, he threw wildly to first for an error on a comebacker by Jose Ramirez. A run came home on that play, and Francisco Lindor followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Indians added three runs in the fourth, all on two-out hits by their 7-8-9 batters. Erik Gonzalez — added to the lineup when Edwin Encarnacion was a late scratch — drove in a run with a single. Jason Kipnis followed with a double to make it 4-0, and he came home on a single by Roberto Perez.
Brantley hit a solo homer in the fifth.
Detroit recalled Carpenter and RHP Artie Lewicki from Triple-A Toledo before the game.
Cleveland signed RHP Matt Belisle to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.
Indians: Encarnacion was out because of back spasms. Ramirez was the designated hitter instead, and Gonzalez took Ramirez’s spot at third.
Tigers: Jones may have hurt himself while running out a grounder in the first inning. The team described his injury as a contusion. … Detroit was also without 1B Miguel Cabrera (right hamstring strain), 3B Jeimer Candelario (left wrist tendinitis) and OF Leonys Martin (left hamstring strain), all of whom are on the disabled list.
The Indians have Thursday off before starting a three-game series at Houston. Mike Clevinger (3-0) starts Friday night for Cleveland.
Detroit begins a four-game series Thursday night at Seattle. The Tigers send Matthew Boyd (2-3) to the mound against Marco Gonzales (3-3).