By STEVE HERRICK/Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) – Rookie Cody Anderson out-pitched Justin Verlander for the second time in a week, and the Cleveland Indians reached the .500 mark for the first time since early April with a 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday.
Anderson (4-3) allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings. Francisco Lindor, another rookie who has helped Cleveland get back in the AL wild-card race, broke a 1-all tie with a two-run single in the fifth.
Verlander (3-8) gave up four runs in six innings and lost to Anderson for the second straight Sunday.
The Indians (70-70) hadn’t been .500 since they were 2-2 on April 10. Chris Johnson was 3 for 4 and drove in two runs for Cleveland, which has won 12 of 16.
Detroit, the four-time defending AL Central champion, has dropped 16 of 21.
The teams were rained out Friday, forcing the doubleheader, and again Saturday, a game that hasn’t been rescheduled.
Verlander retired the first eight hitters before Jose Ramirez doubled with two out in the third. He sent down the next four batters but ran into fifth-inning trouble with the Tigers leading 1-0.
Lonnie Chisenhall drew a leadoff walk and took third on Yan Gomes’ double. Abraham Almonte walked to load the bases before Johnson slapped a single through the right side, tying the game.
Verlander retired the next two hitters on infield popups before Lindor bounced a 1-2 pitch into center for a 3-1 lead. Verlander threw 34 pitches in the inning.
Johnson’s bloop single added another run in the sixth and a frustrated Verlander tossed his glove against the dugout wall following the inning.
Ian Kinsler’s RBI single in the first put Detroit ahead. Nick Castellanos’ sacrifice fly in the sixth cut the lead to 3-2. The Tigers loaded the bases, but Jeff Manship struck out Anthony Gose to end the inning.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (strained rotator cuff) will start Wednesday against Minnesota. LHP Daniel Norris (strained right oblique) will also pitch in relief that day. Both are on the 15-day disabled list.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (strained right hamstring) might start Thursday against Kansas City, but no firm decision has been made when the reigning Cy Young winner will return.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein (3-7, 5.31) will start the opener of a three-game series Monday in Minnesota.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (12-10, 3.70) will pitch the opener of a four-game home series against Kansas City on Monday.
He says his department is pursuing animal cruelty charges and seeks information from the public.
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