The Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead, then withstood a late charge from the Cleveland Indians to win 8-5, running their record to a perfect 6-0 on the early season. Kyle Lobstein (1-0) got the win after allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings. Indians starter T.J. House did not make it through the second inning, allowing six runs on six hits while recording just four outs. Joakim Soria worked a 1-2-3(-4) ninth inning for his second save of the year.
The Tigers offense kept rolling early, collecting three hits and scoring three runs off of House before the 25-year-old lefthander even recorded an out. Rajai Davis walked to lead off the game, Ian Kinsler singled, then Davis scored when Roberto Perez airmailed a throw on a steal attempt at third base. Miguel Cabrera made it 3-0 when he hit a 410-foot home run to deep left field, his first of the year.
After the Indians got a run back in the bottom of the inning, the Tigers tacked on three more runs in the top of the second. Once again, Davis and Kinsler reached base in front of Cabrera, and the best hitter in baseball singled to left, scoring Davis. After a Victor Martinez walk, J.D. Martinez lined a two-run single to center to give the Tigers a 6-1 lead. That was the end of the day for House, who only recorded four outs.
The Indians struck back in the third inning with a pair of runs, both driven in by former Tiger Ryan Raburn. The 33-year-old outfielder hit a line shot to center following a single by Carlos Santana and a Brandon Moss double. The RBI hit cut the Tigers' lead to 6-3. Cabrera got one of those runs back in the top of the fourth with a long solo shot to left field.
After a few scoreless innings on both sides, the Indians cut the Tigers' lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Brandon Moss drew a leadoff walk against Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy, then Ryan Raburn doubled to right. An RBI groundout from Lonnie Chisenhall and a Roberto Perez sacrifice fly scored the runs, making the score 7-5 heading into the ninth inning. J.D. Martinez hit his team-leading third home run of the season in the top of the ninth, stretching the lead to 8-5.
The Tigers are back in action tomorrow in an interleague series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game is Pittsburgh's home opener and will start at 1:35 p.m. Anibal Sanchez and Gerrit Cole are the starting pitchers.
Miguel Cabrera: Cabrera capped off a hot series with a spectacular game. He had four hits, including two home runs and a double, and was intentionally walked in the eighth inning. Cabrera had 11 hits in the three-game series and is hitting .520 on the season.
J.D. Martinez: The younger Martinez had three hits of his own on the day, including a two-run single in the second and a solo home run in the ninth. Martinez leads the team with three home runs through six games.
Nick Castellanos: A pair of solid defensive plays earned Castellanos a shoutout today. Castellanos made two diving stops on sharp ground balls in the second inning, the second of which saved a run. Castellanos added a double in five at-bats at the plate.
The top of the lineup: The Tigers jumped all over T.J. House at the start of the game, scoring three runs before he even recorded an out. They were also able to start another rally in the second inning, scoring three more runs. Through two innings, the Tigers' first three hitters had each reached base and scored twice. Their first five hitters reached base a combined 17 times this afternoon.
James McCann and Yoenis Cespedes: The only two Tigers batters to not record a hit, McCann and Cespedes were a combined 0-for-10 on the afternoon with two strikeouts.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Angel Nesbitt recorded his first career strikeout in the sixth inning, retiring Michael Bourn on a 94 mile-per-hour fastball.
- Miguel Cabrera's home runs were the 391st and 392nd of his career. He is one behind Jim Edmonds for 57th place in MLB history, and seven behind Al Kaline, who hit 399 career home runs. Cabrera has 254 home runs as a Tiger, fifth in franchise history.
- The Tigers had 11 hits today, their sixth game in a row with at least 10 hits. This is the longest streak in franchise history, and the longest in the majors since the Indians had 10 hits in each of their first 10 games in 1999, a major league record.
- The Tigers' 6-0 record ties the 1985 team for the second-best start to a season in franchise history. The only Tigers team to win more games before their first loss was the 1984 club, who went 9-0 en route to their famed 35-5 start and the fourth World Series title in franchise history.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: