Corey Kluber spun six strong innings to earn his first major league victory, as the Cleveland Indians downed the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, in the opener of a three-game set Monday at Comerica Park.
Kluber (1-3), making his seventh big league start, allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Cody Allen and Esmil Rogers each fired hitless frames in relief before Vinnie Pestano worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to nail down his second save of the season.
Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in a pair, including the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly to help the Indians win for the second time in their last three games on the heels of a six-game skid.
"We had pitching today and we made some plays and we were able to get the win," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
Delmon Young finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Tigers, who entered the game tied with Chicago for the AL Central lead after sweeping the White Sox in a three-game weekend series.
"I didn't see any signs of lingering a big series," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We were ready to play and we got beat."
Darin Downs (1-1) was charged with the loss after loading the bases in the seventh before Cabrera's go-ahead fly.
With the game locked at 2-2 in the seventh, Downs served up one-out singles to Lou Marson and Jason Kipnis around a Shin-Soo Choo walk to load the bases.
Bryan Villarreal then entered from the bullpen and yielded Cabrera's sac fly to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.
After the Indians had a run cut down at the plate in the top of the ninth, Pestano was called upon to finish things off in the bottom half.
Prince Fielder greeted him with a leadoff double, but the right-hander grounded out Young before hitting Brennan Boesch.
After a brief meeting at the mound, Pestano struck out Jhonny Peralta and then got Alex Avila to ground out to second to secure the victory.
Earlier in the game, the Tribe scored in their first at-bat as Kipnis singled, moved to third on Michael Brantley's base hit and scored on a passed ball.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the bottom half when Quintin Berry singled, Miguel Cabrera worked a one-out walk and Fielder was hit by a pitch.
Young then stroked a single through the right side of the infield to plate Berry.
Cleveland regained its lead in the third as Choo singled and stole second two batters later before moving to third on Avila's throwing error.
Asdrubal Cabrera then fouled off six pitches before slapping the 12th pitch of his at-bat into center field to score Choo for a 2-1 edge.
Young led off with a double into the right-field corner in the fourth and Boesch followed with a looping single into center before Peralta singled off the base of the wall in left field to score Young and tie the game at 2-2.
Cleveland improved to 1-12 when not registering an extra-base hit ... Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez allowed two unearned runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings ... Detroit went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded six ... Cleveland finished 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.