Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Kinsler's go-ahead RBI single was part of a four-run ninth inning that lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 9-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians and the club's first 5-0 start since 2006.
Kinsler also singled in a run earlier and finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Miguel Cabrera collected four hits as well, along with an RBI, while Yoenis Cespedes delivered a two-run double off Cleveland closer Cody Allen during Detroit's big ninth inning.
"Our hitters feed off each other and like to do well," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's kind of a competition between them for who has the best game every day. A lot of times, it's Miggy or Victor (Martinez), but Ian came through late here."
Jerry Sands went 3-for-4 for the Indians and came through with a pair of two- run doubles, the last knotting the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth.
Sands' clutch two-out hit off Ian Krol (1-0) in the eighth gave the Indians renewed life in a back-and-forth game that lasted four hours and 16 minutes, but Allen (0-1) killed the momentum by struggling to find the strike zone in the final inning.
He walked Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis in succession to begin the frame, setting the stage for Kinsler's opposite-field base hit that broke the 5-5 deadlock.
Cabrera then hit a ball to the track in right that Sands couldn't come down with for a single that loaded the bases. Two batters later, after J.D. Martinez hit into a force play in which Indians catcher Yan Gomes sprained his right knee when being slid into by Davis, Cespedes laced a slicing liner down the right-field line to increase the lead to 8-5.
Detroit got its final run when Cleveland reliever Kyle Crockett issued a bases-loaded walk. The Indians got one back when Jason Kipnis singled home Mike Aviles in the ninth, right before Santana grounded to second for the final out.
The game had been billed as a showdown between Indians ace Corey Kluber and David Price, two of the last three Cy Young winners in the American League. However, both were long gone before it was ultimately decided.
Kluber struck out 10 and gave up just two runs over 6 1/3 innings, exiting with a 3-2 advantage that the Indians bullpen couldn't hold.
Marc Rzepczynski gave up an infield single to pinch-hitter James McCann and walked Romine on five pitches before giving way to Bryan Shaw, who recorded the second out but yielded a sinking line drive to Kinsler that dropped in front of a diving Sands to tie the game. Cabrera and Victor Martinez followed with back-to-back RBI singles for a 5-3 advantage.
"As excited as you can be about facing that lineup, we thought we had it kind of set up," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Things kind of unraveled."
Sands got Cleveland back in it an inning later, stepping up with two on and two out and driving a fastball from Krol to the base of the wall in right to knock in Carlos Santana and Brandon Moss, both of whom had reached on walks.
The recently recalled outfielder also came up with a huge hit off Price, who had been in complete control through the first five innings but tired in the sixth while working with a 2-0 lead.
He walked Mike Aviles and Santana, then short-hopped a throw to second on Gomes' comebacker for an error that loaded the bases with one out. After Ryan Raburn's fly ball to center was plenty deep enough to bring in Aviles, Sands socked a high fastball into the gap in right center to briefly send Cleveland in front.
The error rendered all three of Price's runs allowed unearned over his 5 1/3- inning stint, during which the standout lefty fanned six.
"I take pride in being a good defender, just getting those balls up the middle and being able to field my position," Price said. 'That's a play I have to make. I didn't."
Kluber, on the other hand, overcame a shaky beginning in which Anthony Gose homered on the game's second pitch and Kinsler and Cabrera each singled to put runners on the corners.
The reigning Cy Young recipient regrouped to get the dangerous Victor Martinez to bounce into a double play that plated Kinsler, then held Detroit's potent offense squarely in check over the remainder of his stint.
Victor Martinez was removed for a pinch-runner following his RBI single in the seventh due to a minor injury to his left leg ... The Tigers went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position and are now batting an astounding .397 (27- for-68) in those situations through five games ... Kluber has never beaten the Tigers in seven career starts at Progressive Field, going 0-4 with three no- decisions ... Detroit has now won six straight meetings between the teams and prevailed in eight of its last nine visits to Cleveland.