Brantley's 2 HRs lift Indians past Tigers

Brantley's 2 HRs lift Indians past Tigers

CLEVELAND -- Left fielder Michael Brantley launched a pair of home runs, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall came through with three defensive assists and the Indians claimed a 7-5 victory over the rival Tigers on Thursday night at Progressive Field.

Cleveland, which is now four games back of Texas for the American League's second Wild Card spot and one game under .500 for the first time since June 6, has won six in a row and 10 of 11 at home.

"You've got to win at home," Brantley said. "We had a good series at home last time and we're playing good baseball, team baseball, right now. So, we've got to keep it up."

Twice, Brantley belted go-ahead blasts for the Indians. The outfielder led off the seventh with a homer against Detroit starter Alfredo Simon and, following a Tigers rally to tie the game, Brantley delivered a two-run shot off reliever Blaine Hardy in the eighth to put the Indians ahead for good. Brantley has 15 homers this season.

"He's such an intelligent hitter," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Having him up in those situations, I'm glad he's on our side. He's really something to watch."

Brantley's go-ahead homer

Simon, who entered the game 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA against the Indians this season, was charged with five runs in 6 2/3 innings. The righty also allowed a home run to Abraham Almonte and an RBI hit each to Yan Gomes and Giovanny Urshela.

"Simon started out pitching well, but they caught up to him later," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's had really good success against the Cleveland Indians, which is why I stuck with him. It's actually our bullpen that's struggled against them, as they did tonight."

Indians starter Danny Salazar was charged with three runs in his 6 1/3 innings, but walked away with a no-decision. Anthony Gose, Ian Kinsler, Nick Castellanos and Andrew Romine each knocked in runs for the Tigers in the defeat.

Chisenhall ended with three assists, becoming the first player in the Majors with three outfield assists in a single game since May 5, 2007 (Kansas City's Mark Teahen). The Tribe's right fielder became the first Indians outfielder with three assists in a game since Rick Manning achieved the feat on May 21, 1981, against the Mariners.

Chisenhall showcases skillset

Rundown, run in: Detroit notched a run against Salazar in the second inning, when Gose singled to right field to score James McCann, marking the third Tigers hitter to reach in a row with one out. Following Gose's hit, a complicated double play on a rundown, which included Chisenhall running in from the outfield to assist, halted Detroit's rally. More >

Gose's RBI single

Abe Ruth: Almonte pulled the game into a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning with his fourth home run of the season. The solo shot to the right-field stands marked Cleveland's first run off Simon since the third inning on April 25, snapping the starter's 18 2/3-inning scoreless streak against the Tribe.

Almonte's solo shot

Roaring back: The Tigers rallied back to tie the score in both the seventh inning and eighth innings. In the seventh, McCann scored on a wild pitch and Kinsler later singled in Romine. After the Tribe regained a two-run lead in the bottom half, the Tigers again tied things up in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Castellanos and an RBI single by Romine.

Castellanos' RBI double

A wild play in the second inning led to a managerial challenge by Francona. With McCann on second base and Romine on first, Gose singled to right field to bring home a run. Chisenhall fired the ball from right to first baseman Carlos Santana, who quickly relayed it to shortstop Francisco Lindor, catching Gose in a rundown. Chisenhall ran in from right and eventually received the ball and tagged Gose out before firing the ball to Gomes, who tagged Romine out at the plate for a unique double play. Romine was initially ruled safe by home-plate umpire Ed Hickox, but the call was overturned following a replay review.

"He was so shallow on that throw, the throw was bringing him in," Francona said of Chisenhall. "So, his momentum keeps him coming. I think it's great. I love when our guys are moving, because at some point, you might be able to help."

Indians turn two

Chisenhall was the focal point of a second managerial challenge -- this time in the seventh. Kinsler singled to right field, where Chisenhall gloved the ball and again fired to Gomes. The catcher tagged the foot of Gose, who tried to score from second base. Gose was called safe, but the ruling was overturned. One run scored on the play, but the inning-ending out kept the score knotted, 3-3.

Chisenhall nabs Gose

Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander (3-7, 3.43 ERA) will take the mound against the Indians for a second consecutive start, the last in Detroit. In that start, Verlander allowed three earned runs in seven innings, and has allowed just 11 earned runs in his last 65 2/3 innings (1.78 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Indians: For the second time in as many outings, rookie right-hander Cody Anderson (3-3, 3.72 ERA) will face Verlander. The Tribe starter picked up the win on Sunday in Detroit behind seven shutout innings with only two hits relinquished. Anderson has a 2.08 ERA and a .130 opponents' average in three starts since coming off the disabled list.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.