Ubaldo Jimenez fired 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball Tuesday to help the Indians take a 4-2 victory over the Tigers in the opener of a three-game set at Comerica Park.
Jimenez (6-4) scattered five hits and walked one while striking out four to earn his first victory in five career starts at Comerica Park. Chris Perez recorded his 18th save of the season despite allowing a run in the ninth.
Asdrubal Cabrera, Lou Marson and Michael Brantley each stroked RBI triples, while Shin-Soo Choo added an RBI and a run scored for the Indians, who swept the Tigers in a three-game set from May 22-24 in Cleveland.
"It's a big outfield and there's a lot of room out there," said Brantley about the team's trio of triples. "With the speed that we have on the base paths, hopefully we get a few more before we get out of here."
Drew Smyly (2-2) absorbed the loss, yielding four runs on six hits and two walks over six frames. Miguel Cabrera clubbed two hits, including an RBI double, but the Tigers dropped their sixth game in their last eight tries.
"When you get two strikes on these hitters, you have to be able to make a good pitch," lamented Smyly. "I let a couple of them go today."
The Tigers plated a run in their first at-bat as Quintin Berry was hit by a pitch to start the game. Berry swiped second two batters later and came around to score when Miguel Cabrera roped a double into the left-field corner.
Cleveland pulled even in the third on Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI triple into deep center field to score Choo, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
The Indians then jumped in front with a pair of runs in the fifth as Marson lifted an RBI triple into the gap in right-center field to plate Lonnie Chisenhall before crossing home on a liner up the middle from Choo to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
After Shelley Duncan worked a two-out walk in the sixth, Brantley pressed the lead to three with a triple that was just out of the reach of a diving Brennan Boesch in right field.
Detroit mounted a charge in the ninth as Gerald Laird reached on a fielder's choice before a double from Jhonny Peralta. Laird then scored on a sacrifice fly from Boesch, but Choo made a sliding catch in right field on a ball hit by Ramon Santiago for the final out.
Brantley extended his hit-streak to 13 games with his triple in the sixth...Detroit's Prince Fielder now has a 12-game hitting streak after his single in the sixth...Laird took over behind the plate for Alex Avila in the top of the sixth after Avila left the game with right hamstring tightness...Indians infielder Jose Lopez was scratched with lower back soreness.