DETROIT, Michigan -- The Cleveland Indians got on the scoreboard early and Corey Kluber was magnificent on the mound to defeat the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, 10-1.
Tribe score early
Before Kluber had to throw a pitch, Cleveland backed him with three runs in the top of the first inning. Yan Gomes and Jose Ramirez both recorded RBI singles, then Ramirez stole second base and an error by Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia allowed Gomes cross home for a 3-0 lead.
"It's awesome to go out to the mound for the first inning and already have three runs on the board," Kluber said. "Then the guys add five more in the third."
Gomes came back to the plate in the top of the third inning and stayed hot with three-run home run to left field. Rajai Davis, a former Tigers outfielder, followed up the home run with an RBI single. To give the Indians an 8-0 lead, Carlos Santana knocked his fourth double of the year to drive in Tyler Naquin.
Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 7.00 ERA) gave up seven runs (six earned runs) on nine hits and one walk across 2.1 innings of work. The right-handed pitcher struck out two batters.
"I don't really know what is going on," said Sanchez, who was shut down with shoulder problems last season. "I feel good. I feel healthy. I wish I had an answer."
Sanchez has allowed 12 runs on 17 hits across 7.1 innings in his last two outings. It does not help that Sanchez had to toss 32 pitches just to get though the first inning of the ball game.
"He [Sanchez] certainly didn't have a good outing, but the first inning wasn't that bad," manager Brad Ausmus said. "The two big hits were a bloop single and a 15-hopper up the middle."
Salty stays hot
The Tigers (8-8) finally got a run on the board as Saltalamacchia cranked his sixth homer of the season to right center field off Kluber. While the shot was great, Detroit trailed by seven runs and the deficit only got worse.
Detroit tallied two hits - the home run by Saltalamacchia and a single by J.D. Martinez -- off Kluber. On the other end, Cleveland was able to score 10 runs on 15 hits and two walks.
Former Cy Young winner shines for first win
Kluber, the 2015 American League Cy Young winner, went 8.0 innings deep and gave up just one run on two hits. While picking up 10 strikeouts, the 30-year-old did not walk anyone. It was Kluber's fifth game with 10 or more strikeouts and zero walks since the beginning 2014 season. He is now 1-3 with a 4.67 ERA after getting the victory on Saturday.
"I think the biggest thing today was just fastball command," Kluber said. "I was able to locate it where I needed it, and I was able to work my other pitches off of that."
The Indians (8-7) scored their final two runs of the game for a 10-1 lead off RBI doubles from Gomes and Davis. Dan Otero pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth inning, with two strikeouts, to secure the 10-1 victory for Cleveland over Detroit.
"We're trying to fix things and help guys get better," Ausmus said. "We're in here working to win games."
The Indians catcher, Gomes, finished the game 3-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored. It was just the second career five-RBI for the 28-year-old, who is now hitting .240 on the season. Davis was solid in his first outing against his former team, going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
"It felt great to actually help the team for a change," Gomes said. "I felt it coming yesterday, but I didn't get any pitches I could drive. Today, I had a couple and hit them hard."
The Tigers and Indians will square off in Game 3 of the series at Comerica Park. The Tigers, who are trying to get their first victory in the three game series, are planning to send right-handed pitcher Shane Greene (1-1, 7.15 ERA) to the hill. Meanwhile, the Indians will counter with Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 2.79 ERA) on Sunday at 1:10 PM ET.