CLEVELAND -- The Detroit Tigers have cooled off baseball's hottest team. Miguel Cabrera was 2-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBI to lead the Tigers to an 11-7 win over the Cleveland Indians Thursday night, completing a sweep of the Indians in their brief two-game series.
Cleveland trailed 9-2 after the top of the fifth inning, but the Indians cut it to 9-7. In the eighth inning, however, Cabrera's long drive to centerfield off reliever Rich Hill hit in the glove of centerfielder Michael Bourn and bounced over the fence for a two-run homer, Cabrera's 13th of the season and his fifth in the last three games.
The Tigers appeared to blow the game open with a four-run third inning and three-run fifth inning that stretched their lead to 9-2. However, the Indians got an RBI single from Michael Brantley and a two-run home run from Carlos Santana in a three-run fifth inning that cut the lead to 9-5.
Detroit starter Justin Verlander, who had to sit through a 62-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning, came back to get the last two outs of the inning after the rain stopped. But Verlander was removed from the game after five innings and 110 pitches. He did get the win, and is now 5-4.
Cleveland continued its comeback vs. reliever Drew Smyly. Yan Gomes hit Smyly's first pitch over the left-field wall for a home run to start the sixth inning, and Brantley's two-out RBI single later in the inning cut the Detroit lead to 9-7. Brantley was 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who only lasted four innings, came into the game on a roll for the first time in the nearly two years since he was acquired in a trade with Colorado. In his last four starts prior to Wednesday Jimenez was 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA.
The Tigers were not impressed, however, and the first three Detroit batters in the top of the first inning all got hits. That included an RBI double by Cabrera, followed by a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez that gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
The Indians countered with three straight hits and a run in the bottom of the first against Verlander. Bourn's RBI single in the second tied it at 2-2, but Detroit batted around and scored four runs in the third inning as Jimenez gave up three doubles and three walks.
Jimenez was removed from the game after four innings, having allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks. Detroit scored three runs off reliever David Huff in the top of the fifth inning, but the Indians countered with three in the bottom of the fifth, two coming on Santana's home run.
NOTES: Indians 1B Nick Swisher is expected to rejoin the Indians Friday in Boston. Swisher is on the paternity list and had left the team to be with his wife JoAnna, who gave birth to the couple's first child on Tuesday. ... Indians C Santana led the American League in hitting in April with a .389 average, but he went into Wednesday's game hitting .182 in May. ... Tigers 1B Prince Fielder played in his 387th consecutive game Wednesday. That's the longest active streak in the majors. ... Tigers DH Martinez, who played for the Indians from 2002-09, came into Wednesday's game with a .348 career batting average vs. his former team.