Tarik Skubal and Daniel Norris combined to pitch six innings of one-run ball, Miguel Cabrera drove in two and the Detroit Tigers hit three homers to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-4 on Sunday.
Jorge Bonifacio hit a two-run homer and Niko Goodrum and Grayson Greiner had solo shots for the Tigers, who won for the second time in the three-game series after losing their previous 20 games to Cleveland.
“We obviously knew about the streak thing coming in here, so to win this series is huge,” said Norris, who worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings. “Tarik threw really well today and I was pretty amped up to keep it going for him.”
César Hernández belted his 12th career leadoff home run for the Indians. Greg Allen hit a three-run homer in the ninth off closer Joe Jiménez before José Cisnero recorded the final two outs for his first save.
“Jiménez misfired all over the place,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I know he needs more time on the field, but you have to come into every game ready to pitch.”
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (2-3) allowed four runs in a season-low 3 1/3 innings, surrendering homers to Goodrum and Bonifacio in the fourth. Greiner’s blast came off Logan Allen in the sixth.
“I don’t know what happened the second time through the lineup,” Carrasco said. “It turned on me pretty quickly.”
Skubal made his second big league start and allowed a leadoff homer for the second time, but settled in to strike out five over 2 1/3 innings. The Tigers’ prized left-handed prospect was pulled after 69 pitches.
Norris (2-1) followed and struck out four while allowing two hits. The 27-year-old left-hander has a 2.77 ERA in five games this season but reiterated that he prefers to start.
“I came out with two runners on base and Norris picked me up big-time,” Skubal said. “He just kept dealing for the next few innings.”
Cabrera had a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth, giving him 1,707 RBIs to tie Adrián Beltré for 21st on the career list. David Ortiz is 20th with 1,768.
First-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. managed the Indians for the 17th time this season with Terry Francona recovering from a medical procedure for a gastrointestinal ailment. The 61-year-old underwent the procedure Friday at Cleveland Clinic.
“I texted Tito and he said it’s been a tough road for him,” Gardenhire said. “This has been a hard year. It’s not easy. That’s about the whole way I can put it.”
Indians RHP Triston McKenzie, who struck out 10 and won his major league debut Saturday, is staying with the team for at least one more start.
The 23-year-old allowed two hits and one run over six innings, becoming the eighth MLB player with double-digit strikeouts and two-or-fewer hits in his initial start.
“I’m not sure you can script a better debut than Triston had,” president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said.
Antonetti added that RHP Mike Clevinger and RHP Zach Plesac will not start in Cleveland’s next series against the Twins. Both were demoted to the alternate training site on Aug. 14 after breaking curfew in Chicago, risking exposure to COVID-19.
LITTLE BIG LEAGUE
The Indians and Angels will play in the fourth MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Aug. 22, 2021.
Cleveland agreed to move a home game to Bowman Field for the event, which was canceled this season because of the pandemic.
Tigers: 2B Jonathan Schoop (hamstring soreness) asked for the day off to recuperate. Schoop batted .342 with three homers and four RBIs over the previous 10 games.
Indians: OF Delino DeShields (left hip tightness), who exited in the sixth inning Saturday, was unavailable and will be re-evaluated Monday. Greg Allen filled in for DeShields.
Tigers: RHP Casey Mize (0-0, 6.23 ERA) makes his second big league start as Detroit returns to Comerica Park for a three-game series against the Cubs. The touted prospect struck out seven over 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, at the White Sox on Aug. 19.
Indians: RHP Aaron Civale (3-2, 2.91 ERA) takes the hill as Cleveland wraps its homestand with three games against Minnesota. Civale posted his first career complete game at Pittsburgh on Aug. 19, a five-hitter with six strikeouts in a 6-1 win.
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