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Tigers 3, Indians 8: Cleveland offense doles out souvenirs

Tigers pitching just couldn’t keep the ball in the park.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

A close game fell apart late for the Detroit Tigers, as the Cleveland Indians rode a power display and a four-run eighth inning to the victory in the series opener, 8-3.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the third inning with a pair of two-out doubles from Nicholas Castellanos doubling off the base of the wall to plate Victor Reyes, then Niko Goodrum dropping a fly ball just inside the left field line to score Nick. Victor Martinez miraculously legged out an infield single in a bid to keep the inning alive, but Goodrum was thrown out ten feet from home to end the frame.

Tigers starter Mike Fiers was able to pitch himself out of some early trouble, getting inning-ending strikeouts in the second and third to strand multiple Cleveland baserunners. But his luck would run out in the fifth with Francisco Lindor’s two-run homer to right center closing the gap. Cleveland and Detroit traded solo home runs in the sixth inning to keep the game tied, with Yonder Alonso and Victor Martinez both going deep for their respective clubs.

The Indians broke the game open against the Detroit bullpen in the eighth. Joe Jimenez gave up a run on two singles and a walk to start the frame, handing the ball over to Daniel Stumpf after recording only one out. Stumpf promptly surrendered a three-run shot to pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer, who turned on a fastball low and inside to give Cleveland a four-run lead. Lindor went yard again in the ninth, the fourth home run for the Indians on the night.

With the loss, Detroit slips to 44-61, four games back from last year’s pace. The series continues tomorrow with Francisco Liriano expected to face off against Mike Clevinger. First pitch is 6:10 p.m.