St. Louis, MO – Johnny Damon hit a two-run home run as the Cleveland Indians took a 6-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Josh Tomlin (3-3) gave up just two runs on eight hits with a walk over seven innings while Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley each had two hits, an RBI and a run scored for the Indians, who have won three of four.
"I didn't need to prove anything, but I just wanted to come out and pitch as well as I could for as long as I could," said Tomlin. "I think I needed that tonight, it was huge for me."
Yadier Molina went 3-for-4 with a run scored while Matt Adams hit a two-run single for the Cardinals, who have dropped seven of their last 10. Jake Westbrook (4-6) was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.
"When you don't perform as well as you think you're capable of it's frsutrating," said Westbrook. "I need to make some adjustments here and get back on track."
Cleveland got on the board in the first inning. With one out, Asdrubal Cabrera and Kipnis hit consecutive singles and Carlos Santana followed with a run- scoring double. Brantley then hit into a groundout that scored Kipnis for a 2-0 lead.
A Casey Kotchman groundout in the fourth plated Santana and Kipnis hit an RBI single in the fifth for a 4-0 advantage.
In the seventh, Brantley singled with two outs and Damon followed with his second homer of the season, a shot to right, for a 6-0 lead.
St. Louis had men on base in each of the first four innings, but Tomlin was able to escape damage and set down the side in the fifth and sixth.
He got into trouble in the seventh when Adams had a pinch-hit, two-run single with one out in the frame, but Tomlin retired the next two batters.
Joe Smith worked a scoreless eighth and Nick Hagadone did the same in the ninth to cap the win.
The last time these teams met was in 2009 when Cleveland took two of three at home...Both teams left eight men on base, but Cleveland batted 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position while St. Louis was just 1-for-7...Westbrook is 0-4 in his last six starts.