DETROIT (AP) — Needing a home run for the cycle, Jake Bauers had a conversation with teammate Shane Bieber before heading to the plate in the eighth inning.
“I told him, ‘I don’t know man, I think I’m just going to try and stay left-center, hit a base hit where the shortstop should be,'” Bauers said. “He’s like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to try and hit a homer.'”
Bauers connected for a two-run shot that easily cleared the wall in right field, becoming the first Cleveland player to hit for the cycle since 2016. The Indians, who scored eight runs in the fourth inning, routed the Detroit Tigers 13-4 on Friday night.
Bauers hit an infield single and a triple in that fourth inning. He also hit a double in the second. His cycle came one night after Shohei Ohtani accomplished the same feat for the Los Angeles Angels.
The last Cleveland player to hit for the cycle was Rajai Davis, at Toronto on July 2, 2016.
Leonys Martin’s three-run homer highlighted Cleveland’s eight-run fourth. The Indians sent 13 men to the plate that inning, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 10-3 advantage. The first six batters of the inning reached base.
Adam Plutko (3-1) allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings for Cleveland. He walked one and struck out six.
Ryan Carpenter (1-4) threw 92 pitches but only lasted three-plus innings. He allowed six earned runs, eight hits and four walks.
Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Dixon hit consecutive homers for Detroit in the second.
“We just didn’t pitch or catch,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I feel bad, because we had our fans here and then had another game like this. We hit the ball — the back-to-back homers were fun — but an eight-run inning just takes all the life out of you.”
The 23-year-old Bauers came into the game hitting just .209, and he had a chat with manager Terry Francona before the game.
“I have a responsibility to try to help, but he’s responsible for what happened, and I’m proud of him,” Francona said. “We talked for a long time, but he’s the one that did it.”
Bauers opened the scoring with an RBI double in the second. The Indians led 2-0 before Cabrera and Dixon answered with solo shots.
Cleveland hit for the cycle as a team in the fourth. Roberto Perez and Bauers hit singles to start the inning, then came home on Martin’s homer. The Indians later loaded the bases, and second baseman Harold Castro’s one-out error allowed two runs to score.
Perez added a two-run double, and Bauers hit an RBI triple.
Bauers completed his cycle with a homer that went an estimated 406 feet and made it 13-3.
The game was played with three umpires after third-base ump Jim Wolf left in the first inning. There was no announcement of a reason for Wolf’s departure.
The Indians announced the signing of 32 of their 2019 draft picks, including right-hander Daniel Espino, their first-round selection.
The Tigers announced six signings, meaning they’ve agreed to terms with 21 of their 40 picks, so far.
After the game, Detroit announced that Carpenter was being optioned to Triple-A Toledo, and catcher Grayson Greiner was going on the 10-day injured list with a back strain. Before Saturday’s game, the Tigers plan to recall left-hander Gregory Soto from Toledo and purchase the contract of catcher Bobby Wilson from Toledo.
Right-hander Tyson Ross (right ulnar nerve) has been transferred to the 60-day IL.
Detroit OF Nicholas Castellanos spoke at length to reporters before the game. His future with the rebuilding Tigers has been in doubt for a while.
“I’ve also had conversations with (general manager) Al (Avila) where him saying, like, it doesn’t really make sense where we are right now in this process of a rebuild, to be handing out extensions,” Castellanos said. “This was back in the end of last season. I don’t have a college education, but I can pick up the pieces here and put a puzzle together. … If I’m a gambling man, I don’t see them offering me an extension at this point in time.”
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber has been cleared to work on strength building after having his broken arm evaluated. … RHP Cody Anderson had surgery Friday to repair a tendon in his right elbow. … RHP Dan Otero (shoulder inflammation) threw out to 100 feet Friday.
Tigers: Detroit said Double-A RHP Casey Mize, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, was going on the IL with shoulder inflammation.
Indians: Bieber (5-2) starts Saturday night at Detroit.
Tigers: Soto (0-2) takes the mound Saturday. Gardenhire is hoping he can pitch two or three innings.
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