Published January 13, 2015
Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila each drove in three runs to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 10-4 win over the Cleveland Indians in the first of a three-game set from Comerica Park.
"Very important," said Cabrera when asked about facing a division opponent. "If you want to win the division you have to beat the teams in your division."
Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Andy Dirks each homered for Detroit, which got back to its winning ways at home after dropping two straight in Washington. Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta each belted a pair of doubles as the Tigers improved to 11-4 as the host this season.
Max Scherzer (5-0) allowed just five hits and struck out seven, but was charged with all four Cleveland runs in eight innings of work.
Nick Swisher went 3-for-4 and finished a home run shy of the cycle for the Tribe, who had won 10 of 11 coming in. Corey Kluber (2-2) absorbed the loss after surrendering eight runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 frames.
"I think just chalk it up to a bad one," said Kluber. "Everyone has their days."
Swisher's RBI double gave Cleveland its only lead of the game in the top of the first inning. Jason Kipnis doubled with one out before Swisher's drive two batters later plated the game's first run.
"Tough loss for us tonight," said Swisher. "Obviously coming into their ballpark you want to make a statement early. We gotta come back tomorrow."
Detroit wasted little time taking the lead, thanks to three straight doubles in the bottom of the second inning. With one out and Victor Martinez on first, Peralta doubled to left to put two men in scoring position for Avila, who delivered one of his own to deep right to plate both runners. Infante then came through with another two-bagger, a bloop to short right-center field that once again put runners on second and third.
Torii Hunter singled in Avila, but before Infante crossed home plate, Hunter was tagged out rounding first base to cost the Tigers an extra run.
Fielder put Detroit up 4-1 with a moon shot to right-center with one away in the third.
Swisher tripled down the first-base line with one out in the top of the fourth, which brought Carlos Santana to the plate for a run-producing groundout to second.
However, Cabrera gave the Tigers some insurance runs with a three-run blast in the bottom of the inning, which traveled an estimated 453 feet. Infante and Austin Jackson, who reached on an infield single two batters earlier, scored on Cabrera's homer.
Avila's single up the middle, which followed Peralta's ground-rule double, in the next stanza brought in yet another run to give the Tigers an 8-2 lead after five.
Each team added two more runs from that point on. The Indians tacked on a pair in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Mark Reynolds and Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly, while Dirks' solo homer in the bottom of the seventh and a Victor Martinez RBI single in the eighth capped the scoring.
Prince Fielder now trails his father Cecil by 50 home runs for his career. Cecil retired with 319, while Prince just hit number 269 ... Cabrera joined Hank Greenberg as the only Tigers to ever tally 40 RBI through the first 33 games of a season. Greenberg accomplished the feat in 1937 ... The Tigers went 7-for-15 with runners in scoring position ... Cleveland's Michael Bourn went 0-for-4 in his return from the DL after missing 21 games with a right finger laceration.