CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Cleveland Indians shelled Detroit Tigers right-handed startling pitcher Justin Verlander to hand the 2011 American League Most Valuable Player his 100th career loss. The Indians won 7-3 over the Tigers at Progressive Field.
Victor Martinez flew out to deep right field in the top of the first inning, J.D. Martinez took off for home plate and Marlon Byrd threw home. The throw from Byrd to the Indians catcher Yan Gomes was able to get J.D. Martinez from scoring.
Originally, the umpire called the Tigers right fielder safe at home, but a review showed he was out.
After the momentum was quickly turned towards the Indians, the team picked up a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Napoli hit his fifth double to drive in Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. Then, Yan Gomes singled to center field, scoring Napoli.
On Monday, Michael Brantley made his first appearance of the 2016 season as a pinch-hitter. The outfielder missed the first three weeks of the 2016 season following November surgery on his right shoulder. Brantley got his first start on Tuesday against the Tigers and delivered.
In the bottom of the third inning, Brantley picked up an RBI single for a 4-0 lead in favor of the Tribe.
The Tigers (14-11) got a home run from Ian Kinsler, his fifth of the season, off Josh Tomlin to cut the Indians lead to two runs, 4-2, in the top of the fifth inning.
Tomlin (4-0, 3.13 ERA) earned the win and is now 11-0 in his last 12 starts after a loss by the Indians. The 31-year-old went 6.0 innings deep, allowing two runs on nine hits. Tomlin tossed 105 pitches and logged five strikeouts.
Lindor and the Indians (11-12) bounced back with a home run of their own off Verlander. The 22-year-old shortstop unleashed on a pitch and sent the ball soaring into the right field seats. Lindor's home run had a ball exit speed of 106 miles per hour and the ball went 418 feet at a launch angle of 26 degrees. With the home run in the fifth inning, Cleveland jumped out to a 7-2 lead.
Verlander (2-3, 6.49 ERA) took his 100th career loss on Tuesday. As a matter of fact, Verlander has not defeated the Indians in two years. The pitcher, who is newly engaged to Kate Upton, gave up seven runs against the Indians for the fifth time in his career. The 33-year-old veteran allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts across 5.0 innings pitched.
Detroit picked up a run in the top of the eighth on a single by Nick Castellanos to score Miguel Cabrera, but it was too little too late.
The Indians sent Cody Allen to the mound for the ninth inning. Allen gave up a single to J.D. Martinez, but struck out the side -- including striking out Cabrera looking for the third out -- to secure the 7-3 victory for Cleveland. The Indians have won nine of the last 11 games against the Tigers.
The Tigers and Indians will battle in Game 2 of the three-game series on Wednesday at 6:10 PM ET. Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 6.08 ERA) will start for the team from the Motor City, while Corey Kluber (1-3, 4.24 ERA) will pitch for the Tribe.