CLEVELAND (AP) — Triston McKenzie struck out 10 in his major league debut and Domingo Santana delivered a bases-clearing double in the sixth, lifting the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
McKenzie (1-0) went six innings, allowing two hits on a Willi Castro homer and a Jeimer Candelario double. The 23-year-old right-hander notched his first strikeout on three pitches to future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera in the first.
Santana’s two-out double came off reliever John Schreiber and gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead and Roberto Perez followed with an RBI single. Carlos Santana had a sacrifice fly in the seventh and César Hernández singled in the Indians’ final run in the eighth.
Matthew Boyd (0-4) pitched a season-high 5 1/3 innings for Detroit but remained winless in seven starts dating to Sept. 22, 2019. The left-hander surrendered two runs — both on Santana’s shot to the gap in left-center — and struck out six.
McKenzie held the Tigers hitless until Castro blasted a 445-foot homer in the fourth. The 6-foot-5, 165-pounder had not pitched in an actual game since Aug. 30, 2018 and missed all of last season with a strained right rotator cuff and right pectoral strain.
Francisco Lindor and Hernández each had three hits for Cleveland, which has won 21 of its last 22 games against Detroit.
First base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. managed the Indians with Terry Francona recovering from a medical procedure for a gastrointestinal ailment. The 61-year-old underwent the procedure Friday at Cleveland Clinic and has missed 16 games this season.
McKenzie filled a hole in the rotation created when Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac were demoted to the alternate training site after violating league rules by leaving the team hotel in Chicago, risking exposure to COVID-19.
Clevinger and Plesac are eligible to be recalled next week, but the Indians have been noncommittal on the subject.
DOWN TO THE FARM
Indians OF Bradley Zimmer was optioned to the alternate training site to make room for McKenzie. He made the opening day roster, but only logged 37 at-bats and hit .162. “It was a hard move because Zimmer had a great camp,” Alomar said. “But with Domingo Santana swinging the bat better, there weren’t going to be many opportunities here.”
Tigers: RHP Iván Nova (right triceps tendinitis) is still experiencing soreness and has yet to resume throwing. He was placed on the 10-day IL on Aug. 15.
Indians: OF Delino DeShields (left hip soreness) exited the game in the sixth inning and was replaced in center by Greg Allen. DeShields went 0 for 2.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (0-1, 18.00 ERA) allowed four runs over two innings in his big league debut Aug. 18 against the White Sox. He struck out one and walked one in starting Detroit’s 10-4 loss at Chicago.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 3.71 ERA) makes his fourth home start of the season in the three-game series finale. He is 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA at Progressive Field this year, allowing five runs in 16 1/3 innings.