DETROIT (AP) — Anibal Sanchez had a strong start, retiring the first seven Cleveland Indians he faced.
As Sanchez started to get away from his plan to pitch low and hard, the Indians took advantage of his mistakes.
Jason Kipnis hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer and Asdrubal Cabrera sent the next pitch over the right-field fence to cap a seven-run seventh inning after Sanchez was chased, and Cleveland came back to beat the Detroit Tigers 9-3 on Friday night.
“I think he just got tired, actually,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t know if it was the time off or whatever reason, it just looked to me like he got tired. The ball got up in the zone. He was real crisp up until that point. It was almost like he hit a wall.”
Kipnis hit another home run, a solo shot, in the Indians’ two-run ninth.
Trevor Bauer (4-4) gave up three runs on six hits over six innings.
Sanchez (6-4) ended up giving up four runs, six hits, walking one and striking out seven.
“He got up a little bit and he made a couple mistakes up that he hadn’t all night,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The AL Central-leading Tigers won 17 of 23 games going into the All-Star break.
“The standings don’t matter that much right now,” Ausmus said.
Cleveland has won seven of its last 10 games.
The Indians chased Sanchez in the seventh when Nick Swisher hit a bases-loaded, two-run single with no outs. Al Alburquerque later entered the inning with two runners in scoring position and was working his way out of the jam with two strikeouts. He had a 1-2 count against Kipnis, whose fourth homer of the season gave Cleveland a 6-3 lead.
“It just snowballed, basically,” Detroit catcher Alex Avila said.
Indians reliever Scott Atchison got Austin Jackson to hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
After both starters pitched two perfect innings, the Indians had a hit in the third and the Tigers had two and scored a run in the home half.
Detroit loaded the bases with one out and Bauer got out of the jam, allowing one run on Ian Kinsler’s sacrifice fly and getting Miguel Cabrera to hit an inning-ending fly.
Torii Hunter hit an RBI double in the fourth, stole third and scored on catcher Yan Gomes’ throwing error, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead. They potentially could have scored another run in the inning, but J.D. Martinez was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on Hunter’s double.
The Tigers had designated hitter Victor Martinez in the lineup for the first time since July 4. He had been out with a strained lower right side, an ailment that led to him missing the All-Star game. Martinez was 2 for 4 and scored a run.
“He said he felt great,” Ausmus said. “I talked to him after the game. He wants to play both (Saturday) so we’ll see how that goes.”
NOTES: The Tigers have recalled OF Andy Dirks from his rehab assignment because he has some soreness where he had back surgery. ... Indians OF Michael Bourn, who is on the DL with a strained left hamstring, is expected to join the team for its next series that starts Monday at Minnesota. ... Miguel Cabrera stole his first base of the season in the sixth inning, and the 37th of his 12-year career. ... Cleveland recalled RHP Chen-Chang Lee from Triple A-Columbus, bolstering their bullpen. Lee fills the roster spot created when RHP Zach McAllister was optioned to Columbus, but McAllister is scheduled to pitch in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Detroit against RHP Max Scherzer. Detroit RHP Drew VerHagen is set to make his major league debut Saturday afternoon against Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber.
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