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Indians pound Justin Verlander, beat Detroit Tigers in rout 13-6

By Ryan Lewis Published: April 15, 2017

The slumbering Indians lineup woke up in a big way on Saturday, knocking around Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander in a 13-6 win at Progressive Field on Jackie Robinson Day.

After a week filled with, for the most part, offensive futility and missed scoring chances, the Indians drilled three home runs in the first three innings against last year’s American League Cy Young runner-up.

The Indians (5-6) tagged Verlander for nine earned runs, a new career high, and totaled 11 hits off him, the most he’s allowed in any single start since June of 2014.

Jose Ramirez started the barrage in the first inning, turning on an inside fastball and belting it for a three-run home run. An inning later, Verlander (1-1) left a curveball over the middle of the plate to Carlos Santana, who crushed it for a two-run home run. Lonnie Chisenhall hit his second home run in as many days in the third, a two-run shot to right field that extended the Indians’ lead to 7-0.

And with that, a week’s worth of power was bottled into one hour.

Carlos Santana tacked on two more in the fifth with a single to right field off Shane Greene, though the runs were Verlander’s responsibility.

“We were kind of due to start to swing it a little bit,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I’m not sure I would have picked [it to happen against] Verlander. But we did a good job and stayed after them. You kind of get that line moving and you get first-and-thirds. The ball was really flying and we took advantage of it.”

Indians ace Corey Kluber (1-1) cruised through the first three innings, facing one hitter over the minimum and striking out six of the 10 hitters he faced. Then, the Tigers (7-4) began to respond.

Victor Martinez drove in a run with a single in the fourth and was followed by Justin Upton, who drilled a two-run home run to left field to make it 7-3. Nick Castellanos cut the deficit to 7-4 with a groundout in the fifth that sored Jose Iglesias.

Leading 9-4, Kluber exited the game in the seventh after Ian Kinsler walked and Castellanos singled with one out. Miguel Cabrera singled home a run off Andrew Miller and Upton cued a ball no more than 60 feet but in the perfect spot down the first-base line to score another run and make it 9-6.

Tyler Collins followed with a single to load the bases and bring up James McCann, now representing the go-ahead run. Finally, Miller ended the rally, as McCann lined out to Jose Ramirez at second base to end the inning.

Ramirez, who went 4-for-4, added the exclamation point in the eighth, hitting his second three-run home run of the day, this one off Anibal Sanchez. It marked his first multi-home run game. The six RBIs were also a career high. Abraham Almonte capped the day’s scoring with an RBI-single that hit off of Sanchez.

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