Tigers take down Tribe thanks to Kinsler
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Kinsler launched a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Detroit Tigers topped the Cleveland Indians, 7-5, in the finale of a truncated series.
Austin Jackson knocked in a pair while Rajai Davis finished with two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Tigers, who shook off a one-run loss in Wednesday's opener after a Tuesday rainout.
Justin Verlander (2-1) fanned seven and walked four over only five innings, but allowed three unearned runs on six hits for the win. Joe Nathan tossed a scoreless ninth to post his second save.
"He didn't have his best, but he always keeps you in the game," Kinsler said of Verlander. "He gave us an opportunity to win and today our offense was finally able to swing the bats a little bit better and put some runs on the board."
Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer and added a two-run single for the Indians, while Lonnie Chisenhall went 4-for-4 and David Murphy knocked in Cleveland's other run.
Danny Salazar (0-2) lasted only 4 2/3 frames, charged with six hits and five runs.
"I think I tried to get to aggressive and too perfect and just lost control," Salazar said.
Brantley pulled the Tribe within 6-5 in the seventh inning on his second homer of the season, which came with Mike Aviles aboard courtesy of a leadoff walk, but the Tigers picked up an insurance run in the home eighth.
Nick Castellanos hit a one-out single and pinch-runner Andrew Romine swiped second before moving to third on Yan Gomes' wild throw. He came home on Davis' infield hit for a two-run spread.
Nathan then retired the side in order to preserve Detroit's winning margin.
Both teams cracked the scoreboard in the fourth. Murphy's two-out base hit plated Asdrubal Cabrera to put the Tribe up 1-0, then Miguel Cabrera scored on a Jackson fly to center in the home half.
Cleveland took a 3-1 edge in the fifth. Chisenhall singled but was erased on a Michael Bourn fielder's choice grounder, and Aviles reached on a two-out error by Castellanos. After a walk to Carlos Santana loaded the bases, two came in on Brantley's base hit to right.
Detroit countered with four in its turn at the plate on a three-run blast from Kinsler and a Jackson sac fly, then went up by a 6-3 count on Kinsler's RBI hit in the sixth.
Kinsler doubled his entire season's RBI output on Thursday and recorded his most runs driven in since a four-RBI performance on July 26, 2013, which came for Texas at Cleveland ... Chisenhall raised his average to .522 ... Aviles came into the game when Jason Kipnis was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the bases loaded for the final out of the third inning.
04/17 23:10:47 ET