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(Friday, July 18)
Final Score: Cleveland 9, Detroit 3
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Kipnis homered twice and drove in four runs and the Cleveland Indians opened the second half of the season with a 9-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday to start a four-game series.
Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera homered on back-to-back two-out pitches during a seven-run seventh inning that broke the game open.
"It was a big time in the game, they had just struck out the two guys before us and we wanted to get those runs in," said Kipnis.
Michael Brantley was 4-for-5 and scored twice for the Indians, who improved to 9-4 in their last 13 games.
Trevor Bauer (4-4) got the win after giving up three runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. The Indians have won each of his last four starts.
Anibal Sanchez (6-4) pitched six-plus innings for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who had won 17 of their last 23 games going into the All-Star break. Sanchez was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk -- only the third time in 17 starts this season he has given up more than three runs.
The Indians had just three hits off Sanchez in the first six innings before taking a 7-3 lead in the seventh.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said it looked like Sanchez "hit a wall" after the good start.
"I think he just got tired," Ausmus said. "I don't know if it was the time off. (But) for whatever reason he looked like he got tired."
The Indians loaded the bases in the seventh on singles by Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall and a walk by Carlos Santana. Nick Swisher knocked in the first two runs with a single, chasing Sanchez from the game for reliever Ian Krol, and Ryan Raburn followed with a pinch-hit RBI double.
That brought on Al Alburquerque, who struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up a three-run homer to Kipnis. Cabrera homered on the next pitch for the four-run lead.
Kipnis led off the ninth inning with his second homer of the game and fifth of the season and Swisher added an RBI ground-rule double to make it 9-3.
Sanchez retired the first seven batters he faced and the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Ian Kinsler's sacrifice fly. They made it 3-0 in the fourth after Sanchez escaped a jam on a double play in the top of the inning.
One run scored on Torii Hunter's double but J.D. Martinez was thrown out at home on the play. Hunter then stole third base and scored when Tribe catcher Yan Gomes' throw bounced into left field.
The series continues with a doubleheader on Saturday, making up for a game that was rained out on April 15 in Detroit ... The Indians started an 11-game road trip ... Sanchez struck out seven and Bauer fanned five ... The Indians snapped a three-game losing streak against Detroit and took a 5-4 lead in the season series.
07/19 01:09:21 ET
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