DETROIT -- Nicholas Castellanos capped a three-hit game with an RBI triple to bring in the deciding run in Detroit's 7-4 win over Cleveland on Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of their doubleheader at Comerica Park. Castellanos, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, drove a pitch from
DETROIT -- Nicholas Castellanos capped a three-hit game with an RBI triple to bring in the deciding run in Detroit's 7-4 win over Cleveland on Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of their doubleheader at Comerica Park. Castellanos, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, drove a pitch from Bryan Shaw into the right-center-field gap in the seventh and J.D. Martinez scored from first.
"He's not really doing anything different," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Castellanos, who entered the day tied for second in the Majors in barrels per batted ball event (13.6 percent), according to Statcast™. "He's just getting a lot of them to fall now."
The triple was Castellanos' fifth this season, which leads the American League and is one off his career high. Shaw hadn't allowed a triple since May 23, 2016.
"I threw the ball pretty much where I wanted to," said Shaw, who had a 1.72 ERA in June. "Really, the only pitch that wasn't where I wanted to for a hit was the triple up and away. It was supposed to be down."
Detroit got to Indians starter Josh Tomlin in the third with back-to-back homers from Martinez and Jose Cabrera, and again in the fourth with a two-RBI double by Jose Iglesias. Tomlin continued to spiral downward, having allowed a 7.94 ERA and a .394 batting average (1.163 on-base plus slugging) in his past five starts (22 2/3 innings). Carlos Santana wiped the slate clean with a game-tying two-run homer to right off Daniel Stumpf, which cleared Tomlin from the loss.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez turned in his third solid start since returning from Triple-A, using a severe mix of speeds to fool Cleveland hitters. He struck out five, allowing four hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He threw everything from a 64-mph curveball to a 93-mph sinker.
"Sanchez, he threw great today," Santana said. "He lived off [the] changeup approach. He used some more changeups, so he got a win. He threw a lot. He threw us low. He was throwing great tonight."
"Today I could say is my best outing so far," said Sanchez, who has a 3.12 ERA in three starts this year. "Especially because I got really, really good command."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tigers claw back in seventh: The Indians erased Sanchez's chance at his first win since Aug. 23 when they plated three runs in the seventh, led by Santana's 10th homer of the year. But Detroit took its lead back in the bottom half, using three hits and two walks to plate three runs. James McCann completed the rally with an RBI single for just his fifth RBI since May 13.
Detroit hits back-to-back jacks: With two outs in the third inning, Detroit jumped ahead of Cleveland on two swings in a span of three pitches. First it was Martinez, who sent a slow cutter high (98-foot apex) and deep (estimated 402 feet) to tie the game at 1. Then Cabrera drilled a low sinker two pitches later. It was the third time the Tigers have gone back-to-back this season (most recently June 3 by Castellanos and Alex Presley).
"He was really struggling to find his breaking ball," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Tomlin. "When you look up at him in the third inning and his strikes and balls are even, that's rare. He just was kind of fighting it the whole way. And it looked like maybe he was trying to reel it in a little bit. It just was a battle for him the whole time."
THREE STARS FOR ZIMMER
In the second inning, Bradley Zimmer got a chance to flash his speed and range in Comerica Park's spacious center field. Tigers center fielder Michael Mahtook sent a Tomlin pitch into right-center with an exit velocity of 105 mph, and Zimmer sprinted to his left, covering 36 feet in 3.2 seconds, per Statcast™. Zimmer left his feet and snared the line drive with a diving catch for his latest highlight-reel play. According to Statcast™, the ball had a 69-percent catch probability, making Zimmer's grab a three-star play.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Sanchez took his seventh straight no-decision, dating back to Sept. 9, 2016. He hasn't won since Aug. 23 of last season against Minnesota, and he's winless against the Indians since Aug. 31, 2013.
Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Tigers on Saturday.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.