Tribe rolling through Tigers so far in 2016

May 4, 2016

The last time Corey Kluber and Anibal Sanchez opposed each other, the Cleveland Indians clobbered the Detroit Tigers - partially because Kluber finally solved Miguel Cabrera.

The two-time AL MVP hopes to get back to his usual dominance of the league's former Cy Young Award winner Wednesday night to help the visiting Tigers finally figure out the Indians.

Cleveland (11-12) rolled to its fourth straight victory over its AL Central rival with Tuesday's 7-3 win. It was the Indians' ninth win in the last 11 matchups and fourth in the past five at Progressive Field.

Francisco Lindor fell a triple shy of the cycle, hitting a three-run homer and scoring three times. The shortstop also stole a hit away from Justin Upton in the second inning, making a diving stop in the hole.


''Whether you do it with the bat, the glove or your legs, that's part of the reason he has a chance to be so good because he can impact a game in so many different ways,'' manager Terry Francona said.

Nick Castellanos went 2 for 4 for the Tigers, extending his hitting streak to six games and raising his AL-leading batting average to .368.

While the Indians snapped a three-game skid, Detroit (14-11) saw its five-game run end. The Tigers had won six of seven since getting swept at home by the Indians April 22-24.

Kluber (1-3, 4.24 ERA) earned the victory opposite Sanchez (3-2, 6.08) in Cleveland's 10-1 win in the middle game of that series, allowing one run and two hits while striking out 10 in eight innings.

The right-hander is 3-6 with a 4.03 ERA in 13 starts against the Tigers, middling numbers due largely to poor ones against the heart of Detroit's order.

The 2014 Cy Young winner held Cabrera, the 2012 and 2013 MVP, to two groundouts and a lineout last month, a rarity in their matchups. The slugger is batting .526 (20 for 38) with five home runs and two doubles against him. Victor Martinez has gone deep three times off Kluber, batting .321 in 28 at-bats.

Kluber followed his latest outing against Detroit with another solid showing Friday, holding Philadelphia to three runs and five hits in seven innings of a 4-3, 11-inning loss.

Sanchez hasn't made it through six innings yet, but he regrouped from two ugly outings in Thursday's 7-3 win over Oakland. Despite walking seven, the second-most in his career, the right-hander limited the A's to two runs and three hits while striking out nine over 5 2/3 innings.

"At times he looked like the guy that struck out (17 against) Atlanta a few years ago, before I was here," manager Brad Ausmus told MLB's official website. "And at times, he had trouble with his command. But overall, he did a good job and gave us a chance to win."

One of the previous rough outings for the 11-year pro came against Kluber and the Indians, who pounded him for seven runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings.

The Indians have tagged Sanchez for 11 runs in their last two matchups, but he holds a 2.39 ERA at Progressive Field.

Yan Gomes is 6 for 11 with a pair of homers against Sanchez, and Michael Brantley is 7 for 22 with a triple.