Jordan Luplow hit a two-run homer to cap a four-run seventh inning, and the Cleveland Indians overcame a home run by Akil Baddoo on the first pitch of his first major league at-bat to beat the Detroit Tigers 9-3 on Sunday.
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Cleveland avoided a season-opening sweep in Detroit after falling behind 3-1 in the third inning. Yu Chang put the Indians up 4-3 with a two-run single off Daniel Norris (0-1) in the seventh, and Luplow added his home run one out later.
“There was some enthusiasm, and there was something to yell about. We hadn’t had a whole lot to yell about,” said Cleveland manager Terry Francona, whose team lost the first two games of the season. “Guys were into it. It was fun.”
Franmil Reyes and Austin Hedges also homered for Cleveland.
Baddoo was taken by the Tigers with the third pick of the 2020 winter meeting draft of unprotected players. The 22-year-old, who had never played above Class A before, gave his bat a little flip after hitting an opposite-field drive to left in the third off Aaron Civale (1-0), then completed an excited tour of the bases to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.
“Got a good pitch to hit, and I was able to hit it in front of my family and everyone,” Baddoo said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get the win, but looking forward to tomorrow.”
Tarik Skubal was solid on the mound for the Tigers before the bullpen let the lead get away. Nomar Mazara hit a two-run homer in the first for Detroit.
Civale gave up three runs and two hits in seven innings. He did not allow a hit other than the two home runs. Civale improved to 7-0 in his career when receiving at least three runs of support.
Skubal allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Eddie Rosario drove in the first two Cleveland runs with an RBI single in the first and a run-scoring groundout in the sixth.READ MORE: Here's What You Need To Know About Michigan's Fireworks Laws
Skubal left with men on second and third in the sixth. Norris got Rosario to hit a grounder that made it 3-2, then he struck out Reyes for the third out.
But the Indians broke through against Norris the following inning and kept pouring it on against the Detroit bullpen. Reyes made it 8-3 with a two-run homer in the eighth, and Hedges added a solo shot in the ninth.
“It was nice to pick up Civale,” Luplow said. “We just wanted to get some runs for him so he could pitch his game.”
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera had the day off. Manager A.J. Hinch said he had some soreness coming off of Saturday’s game, but Hinch wasn’t too concerned about it.
LHP Logan Allen starts Cleveland’s home opener Monday against Kansas City LHP Danny Duffy.
Detroit begins a home series against Minnesota, sending RHP Jose Urena to the mound against RHP Matt Shoemaker.
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