DETROIT (AP) — Shane Bieber pitched impressively into the eighth inning, and Leonys Martin stole home to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Bieber (6-2) allowed four hits and struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings. Detroit managed only one baserunner through the first six innings before scoring twice in the seventh.
Martin provided the highlight of the game in the eighth, taking off from third while reliever Victor Alcantara was preparing to make a pitch. Alcantara stepped off and threw to the plate, and although the ball arrived at the same time as Martin, the Cleveland runner’s hand knocked the ball away as he reached for home.
The Indians led 4-2 after that play. Oliver Perez relieved Bieber and got the final out of the eighth, then Brad Hand finished for his 20th save in 20 chances.
Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the sixth.
The first three Cleveland runs came in the fifth off reliever Nick Ramirez (3-1) on a misty, rainy day in which fielders seemed to have trouble with popups and fly balls. Detroit’s Nicholas Castellanos allowed Jordan Luplow’s fly to deep right to drop for an RBI double, and Jose Ramirez’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0. Kevin Plawecki added an infield single to bring home another run.
Bieber struck out his last two batters of the fifth and all three in the sixth, but the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh, and Brandon Dixon hit a two-run single. Bieber recovered to strike out Harold Castro, and Ronny Rodriguez bounced into an unusual 5-4-5 double play. Miguel Cabrera, who was on second, held up on the grounder to the left side, trying not to run into a tag. So Ramirez, the third baseman, threw to second for a force play, then took the return throw and tagged out Cabrera.
Detroit reinstated INF Jeimer Candelario (left shoulder) from the injured list and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo.
Cleveland claimed RHP Jordan Stephens off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and optioned him to Double-A Akron.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right elbow sprain) has been on a rehab assignment with Toledo, but he was in the Detroit clubhouse Saturday and expressed hope that his next start could be with the Tigers. Gardenhire sounded skeptical of that at first, but he changed his tune after checking some files on his desk. “Well, it’s a possibility,” he said. Gardenhire did say the Tigers don’t want to rush Zimmermann back, but he can obviously pitch again for Detroit when he’s healthy enough.
Indians: Trevor Bauer (4-6) starts the series finale Sunday.
Tigers: Spencer Turnbull (3-5) takes the mound as Detroit tries to avoid a three-game sweep.
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