DETROIT (AP) — Mike Clevinger struck out 10 in eight sparkling innings, and Francisco Lindor homered to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Cleveland swept the three-game series and is now 15-1 against the Tigers this year. The Indians have won 14 straight against Detroit.
Clevinger (10-2) allowed four hits and no walks in his longest outing of the season. He was lifted after 115 pitches, and Brad Hand worked a perfect ninth for his 33rd save in 38 chances.
Lindor opened the scoring in the third with a solo homer off Daniel Norris (3-11) and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Indians entered the game in the American League’s first wild-card spot and 3 ½ games behind AL Central-leading Minnesota. Cleveland has won 50 of its last 75 games after starting the season 29-30.
Norris has worked limited innings in his starts lately and pitched three Thursday. He did not allow a hit until Lindor’s two-out homer to right in the third. Lindor came up with the bases loaded in the seventh and nearly broke the game open with a drive to right-center, but center fielder Harold Castro made a nice running catch, and Cleveland scored just one run on the play.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco is expected to return this weekend. He was diagnosed with leukemia and has been out of major league action since late May. “When he comes back now, it’s to help us win games,” manager Terry Francona said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t care about his health and his well-being because we do, but we wanted to make sure that he was ready to help us win.” Francona said Carrasco has shown in the past that he can pitch out of the bullpen and is open to that role.
Tigers: DH Miguel Cabrera missed a second straight game. He hasn’t played since leaving Tuesday night’s game with tightness in his left biceps.
Indians: Cleveland begins a three-game series at Tampa Bay. Shane Bieber (12-6) is scheduled to start Friday night for the Indians.
Tigers: Detroit hosts Minnesota for four games. Edwin Jackson (3-7) starts for the Tigers against Kyle Gibson (12-6).