DETROIT (AP) — Justin Masterson pitched six solid innings, and the Cleveland Indians beat Detroit 3-2 on Tuesday night for their second straight victory over the playoff-chasing Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer for Detroit, but the Tigers missed another opportunity against a struggling team. Masterson (11-12) allowed two runs and four hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Four relievers finished, with Chris Perez pitching a perfect ninth for his 34th save in 38 chances.
Rick Porcello (9-11) allowed three runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
The Indians had lost 29 of 35 before taking the first two games of this series.
Detroit swept three in a row against the Chicago White Sox to pull even with them atop the AL Central, but the Tigers lost three to Kansas City before that and are now having trouble with Cleveland. They trailed the White Sox by a game heading into Tuesday.
Michael Brantley hit an RBI double in the second to open the scoring, and Jack Hannahan drove in a run with a single later in the inning.
Brantley has hit safely in 15 straight games against Detroit.
In the third, Asdrubal Cabrera came to the plate with a man on second. His fair ball down the right field line was picked up by an unsuspecting ballboy. The umpires ruled it a run-scoring double.
Detroit left fielder Andy Dirks made a diving catch of Brantley’s sinking liner in the fifth to prevent another run from scoring, and Cabrera’s 34th home run of the year made it 3-2 in the sixth.
Detroit reliever Drew Smyly threw 30 pitches without a ball in play — three strikeouts and two walks. Then right-hander Al Alburquerque came on with two outs in the seventh for his first appearance with the Tigers since offseason surgery on his throwing elbow.
Alburquerque retired all four hitters he faced.
The Tigers put two men on in the seventh, but Omar Infante hit a routine groundball to end the inning.
Vinnie Pestano worked a perfect eighth before giving way to Perez. Detroit didn’t have a hit after Cabrera’s homer.
NOTES: The Tigers haven’t scored while Porcello was in the game in any of his last four starts. … The Indians recalled LHP David Huff, LHP Scott Maine, INF Cord Phelps and INF-OF Vinny Rottino from Triple-A Columbus. … Detroit recalled RHP Luke Putkonen from Triple-A Toledo. … Detroit will try to avoid a three-game sweep Wednesday night. RHP Doug Fister (7-8) takes the mound against Indians RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (9-14).
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