By Jordan Bastian and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- Rain threatened to slow the Indians' recent momentum over the past few days, but the Tribe continued on undeterred on Sunday afternoon. In the first game of a traditional doubleheader, rookies Francisco Lindor and Cody Anderson came up big in a 7-2 victory over the Tigers.
Lindor delivered a key two-run single and Anderson logged 5 2/3 solid innings, guiding Cleveland (70-70) to its seventh consecutive win at home. The Indians, who have won 11 of their past 12 games at Progressive Field, also reached the .500 mark for the first time since April 10, when they were 2-2. Cleveland entered the day four games back of the American League's second Wild Card spot.
"Any time you can get back to .500, and hopefully move beyond, that's the ultimate goal," Anderson said. "Every game, we're trying to win. That's the overall team attitude -- just go out there trying to win."
Anderson and Tigers starter Justin Verlander were scheduled to start for their respective clubs on Friday and Saturday, but both games were washed away by rain.
In Sunday's opener, Anderson limited Detroit to two runs -- one on an RBI single by Ian Kinsler and another via a sacrifice fly from Nick Castellanos. Verlander was charged with four runs on six hits in six innings. He allowed a two-run single to Lindor with the bases loaded in the fifth and gave up a pair of RBI singles to Chris Johnson.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED 1-2 punch: When Lindor faced Verlander a week ago, he delivered a decisive two-run triple to push the Tribe to a win. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, the rookie shortstop came through again. After falling behind, 0-2, Lindor watched a 97-mph fastball for a ball. He then sent a 1-2 curveball from Verlander into center field for a two-run single, putting Cleveland ahead, 3-1.
"We had a chance to leave some guys out there," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We've seen [Lindor] do it a lot, and he continues to play like a veteran with a young kid's body and enthusiasm."
Triple threat: In the fourth inning, Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall lost sight of a deep fly ball, which hit off the wall wall and allowed Steven Moya to sprint to third base for a one-out triple. Anderson continued on unfazed, retiring James McCann (flyout to shallow left field) and Dixon Machado (strikeout) to escape the inning unscathed.
"[Anderson] made some adjustments and got the ball down and changed speeds," Francona said, "and really pitched pretty well. He doesn't really get flustered. Lonnie lost that one ball and [Anderson] comes back and makes good pitches."
Manship sinks rally: After Castellanos cut Cleveland's lead to 3-2 with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, the Indians handed the ball to reliever Zach McAllister with two outs and the bases empty. McAllister walked three batters in a row to load the bases, prompting manager Terry Francona to turn to Jeff Manship. The righty won a nine-pitch battle with Anthony Gose, striking him out to end the inning. Manship logged 1 1/3 shutout innings in relief.
"That was a difficult situation," Francona said. "The at-bat to Gose was obviously huge, and he ended up probably swinging at a ball up. But, [Manship] had thrown so many strikes. He threw 3-2, fastball, fastball, fastball, all for strikes. And that was obviously the key at-bat of the game." More >
Heavy lifting: Verlander did his part in helping out his bullpen. Despite the Indians mounting rallies in both the fifth and sixth inning, the 32-year-old veteran gave the Tigers everything he could, racking up 114 pitches in his six innings -- the third-highest pitch count of the year for the righty.
"That helps, no question," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We've got at least another nine innings to play right now, and the vast majority of our bullpen hasn't picked up a ball today."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With 12 hits in Game 1, the Indians reached at least 10 hits in 14 consecutive home games. That marks the longest such run in team history since July 2-July 16, 1925, when Cleveland had an 18-game home streak. The 14-game run is the longest by an American League team since 1950, when the Red Sox had a 20-game streak at home.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: After Sunday's doubleheader, Detroit heads to Minnesota to begin a three-game series on Monday at 8:10 p.m. ET that wraps up its road trip. Left-hander Kyle Lobstein (3-7, 5.31 ERA) will take the mound, making his 11th start. He faced the Twins back in May and lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and a walk.
Indians: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (12-10, 3.70 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe in Monday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Royals at Progressive Field. Following a two-week stint on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation, Carrasco returned to the rotation on Tuesday, allowing four runs in 2 2/3 innings on the road against the White Sox.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.