CLEVELAND — Andy Marte and Austin Kearns hit two-run homers, the Cleveland Indians' latest offensive boost.
Marte broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning off Max Scherzer (6-7) and Kearns capped a four-run sixth to help Cleveland open the season's second half with an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
The Indians also had two doubles and a triple, giving them an extra-base hit in 38 consecutive games since being one-hit by Detroit's Armando Galarraga in his near perfect game on June 2.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said a 2 p.m. workout at Progressive Field apparently didn't knock the rust off after four days of inactivity during the All-Star break.
“We were sluggish in every phase,” Leyland said. “We were sloppy defensively. We were sloppy on the bases. The pitching wasn't good. We didn't hit good. We didn't manage good. We didn't do anything good. It's very disappointing.”
Detroit remained one game behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central despite losing to a team it has dominated of late. The Indians improved to 7-20 since the start of 2009 against Detroit, which has faded in the second half of recent seasons.
Jake Westbrook (6-5) gave up two runs over 5 2-3 innings to win his first home start against Detroit since Sept. 18, 2007. The right-hander missed most of 2008 and all of 2009 following reconstructive elbow surgery.
“I would have liked to go longer, but making 32 pitches in the first inning makes that tough,” Westbrook said. “But this was a big win. We want to have a good second half and this is the way to start it.”
Miguel Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a run-scoring single to put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the first. Austin Jackson singled on the 10th pitch to open the game, stole second, and scored on Cabrera's two-out liner off the left-field wall.
“I'm not here for personal stuff,” said Cabrera, who leads the majors with 78 RBIs. “I'm here to win games. It's a tough loss. We have to forget about this.”
Cleveland took a 2-1 lead in the second. Matt LaPorta walked and scored from first when Trevor Crowe sliced a shot down the left-field line that went for a triple. Left fielder Brennan Boesch ran over to cut off the ball, which caromed off a wall in foul territory and bounced past him.
After Marte walked, Crowe scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Jason Donald.
Magglio Ordonez doubled to open the Tigers' fourth and eventually scored on a groundout by Boesch to tie it 2-2.
Marte hit his third homer of the season, on a 3-2 pitch to make it 4-2.
“I had a lot of 3-2 counts,” said Scherzer, who walked five over five innings. “I was sick of walking people 3-2. I challenged him with a fastball and he hit it.”
Leyland was not happy with Scherzer, whose wildness didn't hurt his chance at extend his career-best winning streak to five.
“Not good,” Leyland said. “His control was bad. Five walks. Totally out of sync.”
Carlos Santana had a sacrifice fly and Travis Hafner followed with an RBI single in the sixth to make it 6-2. Kearns then connected for an opposite-field homer to right off Brad Thomas.
Scherzer had been 5-2 with a 2.44 ERA since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo on May 30, but gave up four runs, five hits and five walks over five innings, striking out seven. He dropped to 1-5 with a 5.61 ERA in nine road starts overall.
“I didn't give the team a chance to win,” Scherzer said. “I didn't have a good outing.”