By Steve Herrick
CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Clevinger held Detroit to three hits in six innings and outpitched Justin Verlander, All-Star Michael Brantley broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double, and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Tigers 4-0 on Saturday night.
Clevinger (5-3) allowed only one runner to reach second base and won his third straight decision.
Verlander (5-6) gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings and lost to Cleveland for the second time this week. The right-hander struck out six after the Indians snapped his streak of 331 consecutive games with at least one strikeout last Sunday.
Brantley hit a 3-2 pitch to right-center in the fifth that scored Francisco Lindor, who reached on a two-out single.
Cleveland scored three in the eighth off Bruce Rondon. Carlos Santana, returning after three days on the paternity list, had an RBI double and scored on rookie Bradley Zimmer’s triple. Yan Gomes added a sacrifice fly.
The Indians played their fifth straight game without manager Terry Francona. He was released from the Cleveland Clinic on Friday night, one day after undergoing a cardiac ablation for an irregular heartbeat. Francona was resting at his downtown residence following a heart procedure and four-day hospital stay.
Francona won’t manage Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in Miami and is expected to rejoin the Indians and assume his usual duties July 14 when the team opens a three-game series in Oakland.
Verlander lost to the Indians for the 24th time in his career, the most losses he’s had against any team. He was removed with two on in the seventh and threw 115 pitches. Verlander’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors as the Tigers fall further back in the AL Central. He didn’t record a strikeout until fanning Zimmer in the fourth.
Clevinger retired Miguel Cabrera on a hard grounder to the mound with a man to end the sixth. The ball hit off Clevinger’s leg and rolled a few feet away, but he recovered and threw to first.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis sustained a right hamstring injury running out a grounder in the third and was replaced by Erik Gonzalez.
Tigers: LHP Anthony Gose (strained elbow) was placed on the disabled list at Single-A Lakeland. The former outfielder has made 11 appearances in his first season as a pitcher, posting a 7.59 ERA.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (sore shoulder) will make a minor league rehab start at Single-A Mahoning Valley on Tuesday.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer ranks second in the American League with 14 quality starts. The first-time All-Star is 1-2 with a 6.98 ERA in four career starts against Cleveland.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber — named to his second AL All-Star team — seeks to extend his franchise-record streak of five straight games with double-digit strikeouts.
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