"I'm not too worried about using that word any time," Francona said. "I do know I've sat in this chair a lot of nights, been kind of grumpy, and trying to figure out on that bus how we're going to pull it together. So it's nice to come here and play well, but I would never use a word like that."
But Francona was excited about the Indians' big fifth inning, in which they hit four home runs off Justin Verlander. It was the second time in his career Verlander had allowed four homers in a single game, with the other also coming against the Tribe, back in 2007.
"I just thought we took advantage of some balls up that inning, and didn't just take one, we got a crooked number, which is hard to do," Francona said.
Juan Uribe and rookie Tyler Naquin hit back-to-back home runs to start the fifth, then Mike Napoli and Lonnie Chisenhall were able to hit a pair of two-out, two-run blasts to blow the game open. Sunday was the third time in team history the Indians have gone deep four times in one inning, the first in almost 12 years.
Chisenhall, who has been with the Indians since 2011, said it feels good to be able to have such a strong start against their American League Central rivals.
"In the past, we've had a tough time down the stretch getting anything going against them at all," Chisenhall, who went 4-for-4 and finished a double shy of the cycle, said. "So to be in the situation we are right now, it's a little bit of uncharted territory, but we just want to win games, so we're definitely going in the right direction."
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Indians on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.