Kipnis hits 3-run HR in 9th, Indians top Tigers 4-1
DETROIT— Jason Kipnis hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Friday night.
Jose Ramirez almost broke the tie earlier in the ninth, hitting Shane Greene’s 3-1 pitch just past the foul pole down the right-field line, but ended up drawing a walk. Yonder Alonso singled with two outs.
Kipnis connected off Greene (2-3) for a drive over the right-center field scoreboard for his fourth homer of the season.
Trevor Bauer (5-4) struck out 12 in eight innings, giving up one run and seven hits. He has fanned 37 in 21 innings over his last three starts.
Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Tigers ace Michael Fulmer came into the game with a 1-3 record and 6.89 ERA in his past six starts. Against Cleveland, though, his fastball regularly reached 98 mph as he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven without walking a batter.
The Tigers only needed four pitches to take a first-inning lead on doubles by Leonys Martin and Nicholas Castellanos, but Bauer quickly settled down.
Cleveland tied it in the fourth on Alonso’s two-out RBI double. Edwin Encarnacion scored from first, but Alonso was thrown out trying for his third triple in nine major league seasons.
LHP Andrew Miller (knee) threw a bullpen session before Friday’s game. He is likely to throw again during Cleveland’s series in Chicago next week.
The teams play the second game in the weekend series on Saturday, with Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.36) facing Detroit’s Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.33).