DETROIT (AP) — Miguel Cabrera hit his 450th homer in his first game off the disabled list and the Detroit Tigers went on to a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
Cabrera missed the minimum of 10 days with a strained right groin. On a cold, damp night, he left the game for a defensive replacement after seven innings.
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.
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 the game 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. 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.
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.”