CLEVELAND (AP) – Michael Brantley was 4 for 5 with three RBIs, Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer and the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers for the sixth straight time this season, 9-4 on Thursday night.
Brantley, who missed most of April after offseason surgery on his right shoulder, came into the game batting .167. He had an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the eighth, raising his average to .276.
Brantley also ended a potential Detroit rally in the sixth with a catch on the warning track after a long run.
Chris Gimenez, playing his first game of the season, hit a solo homer in the fourth and the Indians swept a three-game series from Detroit for the second time this season. The Tigers came into the series with a five-game winning streak.
Trevor Bauer (2-0) allowed three hits in 5 2/3 innings and overcame Nick Castellanos’ three-run homer in the fourth.
Napoli’s homer off rookie Michael Fulmer (1-1) capped a four-run first inning in which six straight hitters reached base.
Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor singled with one out. Brantley’s single through the right side scored Kipnis. Napoli belted a 2-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his fifth home run.
Gimenez was acquired from Texas for cash considerations Wednesday after backup catcher Roberto Perez fractured his right thumb.
Bauer, making his second start of the season, struck out four and walked two. The right-hander was moved into the rotation when Carlos Carrasco went on the disabled list with a hamstring injury last month.
Castellanos, the AL’s leading hitter, got Detroit back in the game in the fourth. Miguel Cabrera drew a leadoff walk and Victor Martinez singled for Detroit’s first hit. After Justin Upton hit into a fielder’s choice, Castellanos’ high drive to right cleared the fence for his fifth home run.
Castellanos nearly did more damage in the sixth. Upton’s double ended the night for Bauer, who was replaced by Jeff Manship. Castellanos hit a line drive to left, but Brantley, breaking to his right, ran it down before sliding head-first on the track.
Fulmer, who won his major league debut last Friday at Minnesota, allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Toledo when Shane Greene was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his right finger.
Castellanos, who leads the AL with a .383 batting average, was 2 for 4.
Davis drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth.
Tigers: C James McCann activated off the disabled list Tuesday, was given the night off after starting the last two games. McCann had been on the 15-day disabled list since April 12 with a sprained right ankle.
Indians: Perez will undergo surgery Friday after which a timetable will be announced on how long he’ll be out.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann opens a three-game series against Texas at Comerica Park. The AL Pitcher of the Month went 5-0 with a 0.55 ERA in April.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar starts against the Royals in the opener of a three-game home set. Four of his first five outings this year have been on the road.