DETROIT: Right-hander Corey Kluber held the dangerous Detroit lineup to seven hits and catcher Yan Gomes recorded three hits and scored three runs on his 27th birthday as the Indians claimed a 6-2 victory over the Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Comerica Park.
Kluber (10-6, 2.95) fell one out shy of pitching his second complete game of the season. With two out and a run home, Tribe manager Terry Francona lifted him for right-hander Bryan Shaw after Kluber gave up the second of two ninth-inning doubles. He threw 114 pitches, 79 for strikes. He struck out 10 and walked one.
The game was the makeup of an April 15 contest postponed due to cold and snow.
The Indians improved to 2-0 on the three-city, 11-game road trip and boosted their record to 6-4 against the Tigers this season, 3-1 on the road. Last season the Tribe went 4-15 against the three-time defending American League Central Division champs.
Right-hander Zach McAllister (3-5, 5.63) was set to take the mound against Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (11-3, 3.35) in the nightcap.
The Indians scored three runs in the fifth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall drew a leadoff walk and Nick Swisher brought him home with a double to center. Gomes singled to right and David Murphy plated Swisher with a single to right. After Ryan Raburn bounced into a double play, Jason Kipnis drove in the third run with a single to right, scoring Gomes, who had singled.
Swisher finished the game hitting .296 in July with three doubles, three homers and 15 RBI in 14 games.
Kipnis tacked on another run in the seventh with an RBI single to center and David Murphy drove in the fifth run in the ninth with a single to right. Murphy went 2 for 2 with two RBI and two walks. Asdrubal Cabrera brought home the final run with a ninth-inning single.
Kluber, who finished fourth among five American League pitchers on the Final Vote list for the All-Star Game, continued to show he would have been a fitting representative. Kluber struck out the side in the seventh as the Tigers went down 1-2-3 in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
It marked Kluber’s third career start on seven days rest and he improved to 2-0.
Rookie right-hander Drew VerHagen (0-1, 5.40), making his first major league start after having his contract purchased from Triple-A Toledo, took the loss for the Tigers. He allowed three runs on five hits, walked three and struck out four.