Kluber fans 10, Gomes HR and 5 RBIs as Indians beat Tigers
DETROIT (AP) Corey Kluber got a big boost even before throwing a pitch.
Yan Gomes and the Cleveland Indians scored three runs in the first inning and kept going Saturday, making it easier for Kluber to cruise to a 10-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Gomes homered and drove in five runs, and Kluber (1-3) happily accepted the offensive output to earn his first win of the season. He struck out 10 and gave up just two hits over eight impressive innings.
The 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner went 9-16 last year. The Indians had backed him with a total of three runs in his first three starts this season.
''It's awesome to go out to the mound for the first inning and already have three runs on the board,'' Kluber said. ''Then the guys add five more in the third.''
''You can't relax too much - that would let them get right back in it - but you can just focus on getting outs,' he said.
Kluber didn't walk anyone.
''I think the biggest thing today was just fastball command,'' he said. ''I was able to locate it where I needed it, and I was able to work my other pitches off of that.''
This was Kluber's fifth game with at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks since the start of the 2014 season - only Clayton Kershaw (8) and Max Scherzer (6) have more.
Gomes came in hitting .143 with one RBI and no extra-base hits in his last eight game. He singled home a run in the first, hit a three-run homer in the third and added an RBI double in the seventh. It was his second career five-RBI game.
''It felt great to actually help the team for a change,'' Gomes said. ''I felt it coming yesterday, but I didn't get any pitches I could drive. Today, I had a couple and hit them hard.''
Anibal Sanchez (2-2) struggled for the second straight start, allowing seven runs while only getting seven outs. In his last two starts, he has allowed 12 runs on 17 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
''I don't really know what is going on,'' said Sanchez, who had the worst season of his career in 2015 before being shut down with shoulder problems. ''I feel good. I feel healthy. I wish I had an answer.''
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his sixth homer for the Tigers.
The Tigers fell behind early yet again, as Sanchez gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in a 32-pitch first inning.
''He certainly didn't have a good outing, but the first inning wasn't that bad,'' manager Brad Ausmus said. ''The two big hits were a bloop single and a 15-hopper up the middle.''
The Indians hit for the cycle in the five-run third inning, chasing Sanchez and sending Detroit to a third straight loss.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) went 0 for 3 with a walk Friday night in his first rehab game with Triple-A Columbus. He played for Double-A Akron on Wednesday, then worked out with Cleveland on Wednesday. He could be activated during Cleveland's series in Minnesota next week.
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (broken wrist) was scheduled to resume his rehab stint Saturday with Triple-A Toledo. He was hitting .216 in 10 games between Single-A Lakeland and Toledo when he was hit by a pitch on his bad wrist.
In the seventh inning, Miguel Cabrera hit a hard grounder to short that MLB StatCast measured at 107 mph. Indians SS Francisco Lindor fielded the short hop, but was knocked over backward. He scrambled to his feet and threw Cabrera out before breaking out into relieved laughter.
''I have no idea if he did a great job of staying in front of that ball or if he just didn't have time to move,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. ''Miggy killed that ball.''
TEN YEARS AGO
The Tigers honored Craig Monroe before the game, the first of several times they will recognize key players from the 2006 Tigers. In Jim Leyland's first season, Detroit went to the World Series for the first time since 1984 before losing to St. Louis. Monroe threw out the ceremonial first pitch, which was caught by another member of the 2006 team, Justin Verlander.
The Tigers clubhouse was closed for nearly 30 minutes after the loss. Ausmus said there had been a postgame ''discussion'' but neither he nor the players would elaborate. Detroit has lost six of eight after a 6-2 start.
''We're trying to fix things and help guys get better,'' Ausmus said. ''We're in here working to win games.''
The teams finish a three-game series on Sunday afternoon with Detroit's Shane Greene (1-1, 7.15 ERA) facing Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 2.79). History would point to a high-scoring game, as Greene has a 9.00 ERA in two starts against Cleveland while Carrasco is 4-6 with a 6.29 ERA in 15 games (10 starts) against the Tigers.