Tigers spoil Indians’ opener with 8-4 win
CLEVELAND (AP) — Alfredo Simon took a shutout into the sixth in his debut for Detroit and Nick Castellanos hit a two-run homer as the Tigers won their fourth straight, 8-4 over Cleveland on Friday to spoil the Indians’ home opener in their remodeled ballpark.
Simon (1-0) allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. The right-hander came over in an offseason trade from Cincinnati and got his first taste of what it’s like to pitch for one of baseball’s best lineups.
Castellanos homered in the fifth off Zach McAllister (0-1), tagged for a career-high 13 hits.
Carlos Santana had two RBIs for Cleveland, which put the tying run on deck in the ninth before Joakim Soria struck out Michael Bourn with two on for his first save.
Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each had three hits and an RBI for the Tigers, who have outscored their opponents 30-5 to open the season. Ian Kinsler’s triple in the seventh was Detroit’s fourth in their first four games — a franchise first.
The Indians were excited to show off renovated Progressive Field, which underwent a massive makeover this winter with reconfigured bullpens, a two-story bar and other enhancements.
The Tigers, though, were the ones who looked at home.
Castellanos’ homer — helped by a stiff wind — gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead and chased McAllister. The Tigers were hitting mostly bloops and finding holes before Yoenis Cespedes opened the fifth with a double.
Although they have a lineup loaded with power, the Tigers, who typically mash teams into submission, led 3-0 after four on 11 singles.
Down 5-0 and with a sellout crowd more than antsy, the Indians strung together five straight hits to close within 5-3 and chase Simon.
The Tigers had gone 32 innings without giving up an earned run when Michael Brantley doubled to score Michael Bourn. Santana followed with an RBI single and Brandon Moss snapped an 0-for-12 start with a run-scoring single.
Al Alburquerque came on and got Yan Gomes to hit into an inning-ending double play to preserve Detroit’s 5-3 lead.
The Indians were back in it briefly before their suspect defense did them in again. Cleveland led the majors in errors last season.
Cespedes singled, tagged on a fly and took third on a wild pitch by Marc Rzepczynski. Jose Iglesias hit an infield RBI single before Anthony Gose hit a tapper toward Rzepczynski, who fielded but threw wildly past first. The ball sailed down the line, allowing Iglesias to score and make it 7-3.
Kinsler followed with his RBI triple.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander, on the disabled list with a strained right triceps, threw a side session Friday. The former Cy Young winner is on the DL for the first time in his career. He first experienced the strain on March 27 during a spring start.
Indians: 1B/DH Nick Swisher continues his recovery from double knee surgery. He’s at the team’s training complex in Goodyear, Arizona, where the 34-year-old’s at-bats are being videotaped so the Indians can gauge his progress. "When he comes back, he’s going to be in better shape and stronger than he was last year just because of the work he has put in," manager Terry Francona said.
Tigers: LHP David Price was brilliant in his season debut, coming within one out of a rare opening-day shutout in a 4-0 win over Minnesota. Price’s outing set the tone for Detroit’s pitchers, who shut out Minnesota for 24 consecutive innings.
Indians: AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber makes his home debut, one day after turning 29. The right-hander took a tough loss on opening day in Houston. He didn’t allow a hit until the sixth, gave up just three hits in 7 1-3 innings and retired 17 of the first 18. Kluber went 10-3 in 17 starts at home last season.