By TOM WITHERS/AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) – Michael Brantley homered with two outs in the 10th inning off Al Alburquerque, giving the Cleveland Indians a 5-4 win over the drowsy Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Brantley connected on a 3-2 pitch, driving it into the Tigers’ bullpen to end Cleveland’s four-game losing streak. He held onto the bat until he nearly reached first, and then let go once he realized the ball had cleared the wall. Brantley was greeted at home by his teammates, who doused him with water in celebration.
Scott Atchison (1-0) pitched a perfect 10th, retiring Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez for the first two outs.
Detroit’s J.D. Martinez hit a pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie it 4-all, but the Tigers couldn’t muster more magic in extra innings.
The Tigers, who arrived just three hours before the first pitch because of travel delays from Boston, had their 11-game road winning streak ended.
Rookie Jesus Aguilar had two RBIs for the Indians, who were outscored 30-6 while being swept by Oakland over the weekend.
Martinez hit his 11th homer for the Tigers.
With Detroit two outs from losing its road winning streak, Martinez homered off interim closer Cody Allen to tie it 4-all.
Batting for shortstop Andrew Romine, Martinez drove a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center, just over the glove of leaping outfielder Michael Bourn at the wall. It was Martinez’s first homer in 40 at-bats and it came at the perfect time for the sleep-deprived Tigers, who earlier rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie it in the fifth.
The Indians took a 4-3 lead in the seventh on Aguilar’s sacrifice fly.
Cleveland badly needed a strong outing, and Corey Kluber came through. The right-hander allowed eight hits and struck out eight in seven innings. He contained the AL’s best hitting club and didn’t show any fear while pitching inside to Cabrera, who didn’t seem pleased with the right-hander’s challenge.
Kluber set the tone early when he started Cabrera off with a high, inside pitch in the first that annoyed baseball’s most feared hitter. Cabrera took his time getting back into the batter’s box as Kluber waited patiently. Cabrera, who came in batting .417 with three homers against Kluber, struck out and then shot a menacing stare toward the right-hander, who ignored it.
The Tigers, who walked into Progressive Field wearing pajama-like travel suits after their long day, tied it 3-3 in the seventh on a two-run double by No. 9 hitter Rajai Davis.
Nick Swisher and Aguilar hit RBI singles in the fifth off Detroit starter Drew Smyly, who was the only well-rested Tigers player. He spent Sunday night in Cleveland while his teammates were stuck in Boston, where they were forced to spend an extra night due to mechanical problems with their plane.
The Indians went 0 for 15 with runners in scoring position against the Athletics before Swisher’s base hit.
NOTES: Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland watched the game from the press box. Leyland, who retired after last season, is a special assistant to general manager Dave Dombrowski. … Detroit starters came in with a major league-best 2.64 ERA. … The Indians plan to activate DH Jason Giambi from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. The 43-year-old has been out with a calf strain since May 5. … Indians OF Michael Brantley has hit safely in 16 straight home games. … Indians RHP Trevor Bauer will be recalled to start Tuesday’s game against Justin Verlander.
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