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Cleveland at Detroit

Kinsler's heroics help Tigers win sloppy game vs. Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Ian Kinsler's first few weeks with Detroit have been just what the Tigers were hoping for.

Kinsler homered and drove in four runs, and the Tigers held on for a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

Kinsler has settled into Detroit's leadoff spot nicely after the Tigers traded Prince Fielder for him in the offseason. He hit his second homer of the season -- a three-run shot in the fifth inning -- and raised his average to .327.

''I'm playing ball, man -- I love to play baseball,'' Kinsler said. ''I'm enjoying myself. I would like to win some more games, but right now we're playing OK, and just waiting to erupt a little bit and run off a bunch of wins in a row.''

Justin Verlander (2-1) allowed three unearned runs in five innings, and the Tigers trailed 3-1 before Kinsler's homer off Danny Salazar (0-2).

Detroit never gave up the lead after scoring four runs in the fifth, although Cleveland's Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 6-5.

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in four chances. The Tigers used five relievers, trying to make it through the late innings with a bullpen that's been shaky so far.

''I think as we go along here, we'll start to learn when guys are going to go in the game and when their role is going to be called upon,'' Nathan said. ''That'll help with preparation and getting yourself mentally ready to go in.''

There were four unearned runs in a sloppy game that included five errors, three by the Tigers.

Lonnie Chisenhall had four hits for the Indians, raising his average to .522.

Cleveland's Jason Kipnis was ejected after striking out in the third inning. Kipnis struck out swinging with the bases loaded for the third out, then appeared to say something to plate umpire Lance Barrett, who immediately threw him out of the game.

''He was upset about the first pitch, and I agreed with him,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Cleveland opened the scoring in the fourth when Asdrubal Cabrera reached on a bunt single and went to second on a throwing error by Verlander. David Murphy drove him in with a single.

Austin Jackson's sacrifice fly in the bottom half tied it, but Verlander allowed two more runs in the fifth. An error by third baseman Nick Castellanos kept the inning going, and Brantley's bases-loaded single brought home two runs to make it 3-1.

Verlander allowed six hits and four walks. He struck out seven.

Salazar didn't fare any better. His outing ended in the fifth when the Tigers took the lead. Kinsler hit a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left-center field, and Detroit added another run that inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jackson.

''I walked the first guy and then I started thinking about everything. I was trying to figure out if my arm was in the right slot, or if I had changed my delivery somehow, and then I was just lost,'' Salazar said. ''I was overthinking everything, and trying to make a perfect pitch. As soon as I started doing that, the ball was all over the place.''

Reliever Chen-Chang Lee added to Cleveland's problems in the sixth when his errant pickoff throw allowed Detroit's Rajai Davis to go from first to third. Davis scored on a single by Kinsler.

Brantley's homer in the seventh brought the Indians within one, and Cabrera nearly tied it when his drive down the line in left sailed just foul.

But the Tigers added a run in the eighth. Castellanos singled, and pinch-runner Andrew Romine stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by catcher Yan Gomes. He scored when Davis beat out a two-out chopper for an infield single.

Salazar allowed five runs, six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.


Detroit's Joba Chamberlain pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings in relief, striking out two. ... Detroit hosts the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, with LHP Drew Smyly (1-0) starting for the Tigers against RHP Jered Weaver (0-2). Cleveland hosts Toronto. The Indians start RHP Justin Masterson (0-0) against RHP Drew Hutchinson (1-1).

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Tigers newcomer Ian Kinsler homers and drives in four in a game that has five errors -- three by Detroit. (USATSI)
Tigers newcomer Ian Kinsler homers and drives in four in a game that has five errors -- three by Detroit. (USATSI)

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Nick Swisher, 1B4000125 .164
Jason Kipnis, 2B2000014 .212
   Mike Aviles, 2B2200100 .257
Carlos Santana, 3B4000131 .157
Michael Brantley, LF5124010 .286
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4120022 .218
David Murphy, RF3011101 .279
Yan Gomes, C4000023 .267
Lonnie Chisenhall, DH4040000 .522
Danny Salazar, P0000000 .000
   Chen-Chang Lee, P0000000 .000
   Blake Wood, P0000000 .000
   Bryan Shaw, P0000000 .000
   Scott Atchison, P0000000 .000
HR - Michael Brantley (2, Krol)
RBI - Michael Brantley 4 (14), David Murphy (12)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Brantley 2 (6), David Murphy (4)
SB - Michael Bourn (1, 2nd base off Alburquerque/Avila), Mike Aviles 2 (3, 2nd base off Alburquerque/Avila, 2nd base off Verlander/Avila)
CS - Michael Bourn (1, 2nd base by Chamberlain/Avila)
Team LOB - 9
E - Yan Gomes (4, Throwing), Chen-Chang Lee (1, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
Danny Salazar (L,0-2) 4.2655331 7.71
Chen-Chang Lee 0.2110100 3.00
Blake Wood 0.2000000 8.44
Bryan Shaw 1000000 2.45
Scott Atchison 1211010 1.23
IBB - Martinez by Danny Salazar
HBP - Davis (by Chen-Chang Lee)
Pitches-Strikes - Danny Salazar 82-49, Chen-Chang Lee 25-13, Blake Wood 4-2, Bryan Shaw 12-7, Scott Atchison 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Danny Salazar 3-8, Bryan Shaw 2-1, Scott Atchison 2-0
Batters Faced - Danny Salazar 23, Chen-Chang Lee 5, Blake Wood 1, Bryan Shaw 3, Scott Atchison 5
Detroit Tigers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5124002 .327
Torii Hunter, RF4110000 .237
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4120000 .250
Victor Martinez, DH3010100 .317
Austin Jackson, CF2002010 .295
Nick Castellanos, 3B3010101 .242
   Andrew Romine, PR-SS0100000 .083
Alex Avila, C3100123 .172
Alex Gonzalez, SS-3B3100111 .167
Rajai Davis, LF3121002 .333
Justin Verlander, P0000000 .667
   Phil Coke, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Ian Krol, P0000000 .000
   Joba Chamberlain, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
2B - Miguel Cabrera (4, Salazar)
HR - Ian Kinsler (2, Salazar)
SF - Austin Jackson 2 (3)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 4 (8), Austin Jackson 2 (6), Rajai Davis (5)
2-OUT RBI - Rajai Davis (1)
SB - Ian Kinsler (3, 2nd base off Wood/Gomes), Andrew Romine (1, 3rd base off Atchison/Gomes)
CS - Ian Kinsler (1, 3rd base by Wood/Gomes)
Team LOB - 6
DP - A. Gonzalez-Kinsler-Cabrera, A. Gonzalez-Kinsler-Cabrera-Kinsler-Cabrera
E - Nick Castellanos (1, Misplayed grounder), Alex Gonzalez (3, Throwing), Justin Verlander (1, Throwing)
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Justin Verlander (W,2-1) 5630470 2.08
Phil Coke (H,1) 0.2100000 11.57
Al Alburquerque (H,1) 0.2011110 5.06
Ian Krol (H,3) 0.1211001 3.60
Joba Chamberlain (H,1) 1.1100020 5.06
Joe Nathan (S,2) 1000010 7.94
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 113-74, Phil Coke 13-10, Al Alburquerque 15-8, Ian Krol 9-7, Joba Chamberlain 15-10, Joe Nathan 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-2, Phil Coke 2-1, Joba Chamberlain 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 24, Phil Coke 4, Al Alburquerque 3, Ian Krol 3, Joba Chamberlain 4, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25990
Game Time - 3:38
Temperature - 50
Umpires - Home - Lance Barrett, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Toby Basner, Third Base - Ed Hickox