CLEVELAND (AP) — Aaron Civale dazzled in his major league debut, striking out the side to begin the game and allowing just two infield hits over six innings to pitch the Cleveland Indians over the Detroit Tigers 2-0 on Saturday.
The Indians purchased Civale’s contract from Triple-A Columbus when outfielder Leonys Martín was designated for assignment before the game. The 24-year-old right-hander was making a spot start because Mike Clevinger is on the injured list with a sprained ankle.
Civale will likely be sent back to Columbus, but he made a strong impression, striking out six, walking three and working out of a sixth-inning jam.
Civale walked Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera with two outs, but Brandon Dixon fouled out to first baseman Carlos Santana down the right field line.
José Ramirez had an RBI triple in the second while Oscar Mercado added an RBI single in the third.
Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull (3-7) allowed two runs in six innings.
Brad Hand — the Indians’ fourth reliever — allowed two hits in the ninth, but picked up his 22nd save in 22 chances.
Civale retired the first eight batters, fanning four of them, and didn’t allow a baserunner until Dawel Lugo drew a two-out walk in the third. Shortstop Francisco Lindor then fielded JaCoby Jones’ ground ball in the hole, but Lugo beat the throw to second and Jones was given a hit.
Cabrera, despite being slowed by a sore knee, beat out a grounder to first base was Civale late in covering the bag in the fourth.
Civale, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft, made seven starts between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus going 5-0 with a 2.85 ERA.
The Indians have won seven of eight against Detroit this season and 12 of 17 overall. The Tigers have lost seven of eight.
Cleveland’s sloppy baserunning helped keep Detroit in the game. Mercado was doubled off second on a line drive to left in the first inning and Ramirez was caught off third on a groundball in the second.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected by plate umpire Roberto Ortiz in the fourth inning. Castellanos complained to Ortiz after being called out on strikes and yelled from the dugout. Gardenhire was thrown out and came on the field to argue before departing for his sixth ejection of the season.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (broken right arm) could begin throwing next week if scans on his arm show the bone is continuing to heal properly. Kluber was hit by a line drive May 1.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris 2-5, 4.40 ERA) will make his eighth career appearance against Cleveland in the series finale Sunday.
Indians: Rookie RHP Zach Plesac (2-2, 2.56 ERA) held Texas to one run and two hits over seven innings in his last start Tuesday.