The Cleveland Indians came into the game with four home runs as a team and managed to double that total by the end of the day, with an inside-the-park home run for good measure. The Tribe homered their way past the Detroit Tigers, opening the road trip with an 8-2 victory.
Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman entered the series with an 0.66 ERA through his first two starts of the season, pitching at least six innings in both of those games. But the Indians seemed to have a good read on him from the first inning on, as Leonys Martin opened the game with a leadoff home run. One inning later, after Detroit had managed to even the score, Brad Miller of all people took back the lead with a two-run homer, his first of the season.
The bottom of the Indians’ lineup provided the spark en route to a season-high eight runs, with Miller leading the charge. The second baseman doubled, homered, and walked. In the fifth, he followed that walk with a stolen base, advancing to third on an errant throw. That set up an Eric Stamets sac fly, extending the Indians’ lead to 5-1 and sending Zimmerman to the showers. He lasted 4.1 innings, allowing four hits and four earned runs, walking two, and striking out four.
Stamets came through in the seventh inning, sending a liner to center field that could have simply been an RBI single, but snuck past the glove of Tigers center field Mike Mahtook. Rounding the bases, he was able to beat the throw home to secure a little league home run.
Roberto Perez and Jake Bauers both added solo shots to the Indians’ impromptu home run derby, the latter delivering his first home run ball in a Tribe uniform.
Corey Kluber was able to bounce back from an abysmal start against the White Sox with an outing that was, for the most part, solid. It seemed like déjà vu all over again in the first inning, when Kluber allowed a leadoff single to Josh Harrison before another Stamets error on a Nick Castellanos fielder’s choice set the stage for a Niko Goodrum RBI single. Kluber was able to squeeze his way out of it with minimal damage, but then loaded the bases in the third inning with two outs. He escaped again, this time with no damage done.
Kluber’s cutter was the culprit for most of the afternoon, especially in the fifth inning when two that caught the heart of the strike zone led to a Castellanos single and a Miguel Cabrera RBI double into the gap in left center field. He was pulled after six innings of work, having allowed seven hits and two runs, walking one, and striking out eight.