Cabrera homers in return; Tigers top Indians 5-2
DETROIT (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera went from the disabled list to rounding the bases with the 450th home run of his career.
In the star slugger's first game since being sidelined, the Detroit Tigers weren't taking any chances with his health.
Cabrera was activated after missing the minimum of 10 days with a strained right groin. On a cold, damp night, he left Detroit's 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians for a defensive replacement after seven innings.
"His groin tightened up a little bit, so we played it cautious and got him out of there," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We expect that he'll be fine."
Justin Verlander (2-2) won for the first time since opening day, allowing two runs and four hits while walking four in seven innings. He struck out five, and has given up just two earned runs in 14 innings over his last two starts.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth, and allowed a pair of baserunners before retiring Francisco Lindor for his seventh save.
Corey Kluber (3-2) gave up five runs and seven hits with a walk in three innings. He struck out four before being removed with discomfort in his lower back.
"It has been bothering me off and on for a few starts now, but this was the first time I couldn't pitch through it," he said. "You have to balance trying to keep going against causing more damage."
Indians manager Terry Francona said the team would wait until Kluber comes to the park Wednesday to make any decisions about a roster move.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on two singles, a walk and a bases-loaded wild pitch by Verlander, but Victor Martinez tied it in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single.
Alex Avila singled off the left-field fence in the second, moved up on Jim Adduci's groundout and scored on Andrew Romine's double.
Cabrera made it 4-1 in the third, hitting a line drive off the bullpen shelter beyond the left-field fence for his sixth career homer against Kluber.
"I'm not normally on the disabled list -- this is only my second time," he said. "It felt good to help us win a game."
Avila's single later in the inning drove in Justin Upton and gave the Tigers a four-run lead.
Lonnie Chisenhall's sixth-inning triple pulled the Indians within three runs at 5-2, but Verlander retired Abraham Almonte to end the inning.
The Indians bullpen pitched five no-hit innings, striking out seven, but the offense couldn't take advantage.
"Those guys were tremendous," Francona said. "We barely did anything offensively, but they gave us a chance to take a run at tying the game in the ninth."
Indians: CF Austin Jackson was placed on the 10-day disabled list after hyperextending the big toe on his left foot in the ninth inning of Monday's loss. Cleveland replaced him by recalling RHP Shawn Armstrong from Triple-A Columbus.
Tigers: RF J.D. Martinez has plateaued in his recovery from a sprained right foot, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus didn't want to call it a setback. "No, I wouldn't characterize it as that," he said. "I don't know. He's been day-to-day for a few weeks now. He'll be back when he's back."
SIMPLY THE BEST
Kluber struggled with many of his pitches, but was pleased with the fastball that Cabrera drove into the bullpen. The pitch was inside, several inches off the plate.
"That's why he's the best hitter of our generation," he said.
BETTER LUCK AGAINST CLEVELAND
The Tigers are 4-1 against the Indians this season. Last season, they lost their first 11 games to Cleveland and finished the season series at 4-14 - the main reason they missed a wild-card berth on the season's final weekend.
"Their pitchers did a great job of holding down our offense last season," Cabrera said. "We need to win every game we can against them."
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 2.04) will go for his fifth straight quality start when he faces the Tigers on Wednesday night.
Tigers: LHP Matt Boyd (2-1, 3.86) will try to beat the Indians for the second time this season on Wednesday. He allowed one run on seven hits in six innings in an April 16 victory.