Live Tigers blog: Tigers prounce Indians with 7-1 win

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Tigers' Tyler Collins hits a three-run home run in the second inning.

Nicholas Castellanos put the Tigers ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, which proved to be the go-ahead run for the Tigers in their 7-1 win over the Indians in the first of a four-game series.

Tyler Collins' 3-run home run in the second inning made it 5-0, before Alex Avila singled in Martinez and Justin Upton in the fifth to make it 7-1.

But it was Victor Martinez's first-career bunt single in the bottom of the fifth, with the Tigers (13-12) up 5-1 that everyone will be talking about at work tomorrow.

Martinez laid down a perfect bunt down the third base side, that would've been an easy out had someone been at third base instead of shallow right field.

Martinez had not successfully bunted in his previous 1,757 at-bats.

The only run for the Indians (14-11) came in the top of the third, on a RBI single from Edwin Encarnacion.

That was more than enough for Daniel Norris (2-2), who threw six-innings of one-run ball, giving up five hits and striking out eight while walking four.

Trevor Bauer (2-3) took the loss for the Indians. He went four-plus innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking five.

Tuesday's game will be a battle of the aces. Justin Verlander (1-2, 4.60 ERA) will start for the Tigers, while Corey Kluber (3-1, 4.19 ERA) will go for the Indians. First pitch is set for 7:10.

Tigers up 7-1 heading to 9th

Victor Martinez got his second shift-beating single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, a slap-hit through the shortstop-third base gap that would've normally been occupied by a fielder.

But Martinez was stranded when Justin Upton grounded out to end the inning.

Going to the ninth, the Tigers are up 7-1.

Tigers go quietly in 7th, Sanchez warming

When this game is over, which will you be more surprised by? Victor Martinez's perfectly-laid bunt single, or Anibal Sanchez's 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning with two strikeouts?

Both happened, and going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers have a 7-1 lead.

Tyler Collins (2-for-3, 3-run home run), Nick Castellanos (2-for-4) and Martinez (2-for-4) are due up for the Tigers.

Tigers go quietly in 7th, Sanchez warming

Jim Adduci reached on an error by Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but was stranded to end the inning.

After seven, the Tigers maintain a 7-1 lead.

Anibal Sanchez and his 9.82 ERA will enter for the Tigers to start the eighth inning.

7th-Inning Stretch: Tigers 7, Indians 1

The Tigers, after six and a half innings, have a 7-1 lead over the Indians.

Tyler Collins is 2-for-3, with a 3-run home run, while Nicholas Castellanos and Victor Martinez are each 2-for-4 with a double. Martinez hit his first-career bunt single in the bottom of the fifth.

Edwin Encarnacion is the only Cleveland batter with two hits. He also has the lone RBI for the Indians.

Castellanos stranded in 6th

The Tigers got a leadoff single and a stolen base from Nicholas Castellanos in the bottom of the sixth inning, but nothing else.

Victor Martinez popped out, before Castellanos swiped second on a strikeout from Justin Upton. Alex Avila then struck out looking to end the inning.

After six, the Tigers are ahead 7-1. Right-hander Alex Wilson will take over for left-hander Daniel Norris, who had a six-inning quality start.

Tigers lead comfortably in 6th

Daniel Norris, save for a ground-rule double from Brandon Guyer with one out, threw a low-stress top of the sixth inning.

The pitch count for the left-hander crossed 100, but Norris got out of the inning with no runs allowed.

Right-hander Alex Wilson was warming up during the inning, so the night is likely over for Norris.

He's allowed a run on five hits, while striking out eight and walking four.

Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers are up 7-1.

V-Mart bunts, Tigers add to lead in 5th

Victor Martinez laid down a perfect bunt single to third base -- where nobody was covering -- to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.

Now, while you collect yourself, a statistic. The bunt single was the first such attempt for Martinez in 1,757 at-bats.

The next batter, Justin Upton, smacked a double to left-center field, moving Martinez to third. After Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer was lifted for right-hander Zach McAllister, Martinez and Upton scored on a single from Alex Avila, to make it 7-1 with nobody out.

Avila took second on a wild pitch from McAllister and advanced to third on a ground ball out from Jim Adduci. Walks to James McCann (one out) and Ian Kinsler (two outs) loaded the bases for Tyler Collins.

But Collins struck out swinging to end the inning.

After five, the Tigers have a 7-1 lead.

Norris throws perfect 5th

That run support seems to be paying off for Daniel Norris.

He threw a 1-2-3 top of the fifth inning, with a 5-1 lead.

But the pitch count is still high for the left-hander, at 88 through five.

Victor Martinez (1-for-2, double, RBI), Justin Upton (0-for-1, walk) and Alex Avila (0-for-1, walk) are due up for the Tigers.

Collins' bat stays hot in 4th

Tyler Collins is having a good day offensively for the Tigers.

He's 2-for-2 with a walk and a 3-run home run through four innings.

Collins singled with two outs for his second hit, moving Ian Kinsler (walk) to third with the help of a Brandon Guyer error in right field.

However, Collins and Kinsler were stranded to end the inning.

After four, the Tigers are up 5-1.

Pitch count getting high for Norris

After the third inning, it looked like Daniel Norris was cruising. He had thrown 30 pitches and a 5-0 lead.

The lead is still comfortable, but Norris has thrown 44 pitches in the last two innings and his pitch count is mounting, now at 74.

Norris got his fifth strikeout -- of Brandon Guyer to lead off the inning -- and his fourth walk -- to the next batter, Austin Jackson.

But Norris got out of the inning, after Cleveland had runners on the corners.

Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers still lead 5-1.

Avila doubled up to end 3rd

A double play ended things abruptly for the Tigers in the bottom of the third inning.

After Alex Avila walked with one out, Jim Adduci hit a screaming line drive at Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez, who made the catch and threw a bullet to first base to double up Avila.

After three, the Tigers are up 5-1.

Indians get on board in 3rd

Daniel Norris found himself in a bit of a jam in the top of the third inning.

Norris walked Michael Martinez, the No. 9 hitter, before getting Carlos Santana to ground in to a 6-4-3 double play. Francisco Lindor followed with a single right back up the middle -- which Norris had to duck to avoid -- before Norris walked Michael Brantley to put two on with two outs.

Edwin Encarnacion then singled in Lindor, putting Cleveland on the board. Norris struck out Jose Ramirez for the second time of the evening to end the half inning.

The Tigers have a 5-1 lead going to the bottom of the third.

Also in the third inning, the Indians sent this highly-pointed tweet.

It's in reference to this, from last September.

Collins goes deep in 2nd

The Tigers extended their lead significantly on one swing in the bottom of the second inning.

Tyler Collins sent a 3-2 offering from Trevor Bauer halfway up the seats in right field for a 3-run home run, with one out, making it 5-0.

A four-pitch walk to Jose Iglesias and a single from Ian Kinsler, who was 1-for-20 going into the at-bat set up the Collins long ball.

The Tigers lead 5-0 after two.

Norris tosses 1-2-3 2nd

It's still early, but a little bit of run support seems like it might be going somewhere for Daniel Norris.

He threw a 1-2-3 top of the second inning, getting his third strikeout -- of Roberto Perez, looking -- to end the frame.

Going to the bottom of the second, the Tigers have a 2-0 lead and are sending the bottom of the lineup, James McCann, Jose Iglesias and leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler (0-for-1) to face Trevor Bauer.

Tigers take early lead

The Tigers got some early offense from the top of the order in the top of the first inning, in which they sent seven batters to the plate.

After Tyler Collins drew a one-out walk from Trevor Bauer, Nicholas Castellanos doubled over the head of former Tiger Austin Jackson in right-center field, scoring Collins. Then, Victor Martinez doubled to the gap in left-center to score Castellanos.

Justin Upton walked, putting two on with one out, but the Tigers did no further damage.

After one, the Tigers are up 2-0.

Norris strands two in 1st

Daniel Norris had a bit of a hiccup in the top of the first inning.

After retiring Cleveland's first two batters, he walked Michael Brantley on the next four straight pitches after being ahead 0-2 in the count. Norris then gave up a single to Edwin Encarnacion.

But a swinging strikeout from Jose Ramirez squashed the threat.

Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

Live blog: Tigers vs. Indians

A four-game losing streak briefly dropped the Tigers below .500 before they bounced back Sunday against the White Sox.

Now, the Tigers can try to climb into first place.

The Tigers open a four-game series Monday against the Indians at Comerica Park, trailing Cleveland by two games in the American League Central. After struggling mightily against the AL champions last season with a 4-14 record, the Tigers took two out of three April 14-16 in Cleveland.

The Tigers face Trevor Bauer (2-2. 6.26 ERA) for the second time this season. Things got a little dicey between the two teams in the first meeting after Bauer brushed back Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera with a first-inning pitch. Cabrera responded with a three-run homer in the fifth, as the Tigers held on, 7-6.

Tigers lefty Daniel Norris (1-2, 4.71 ERA) also pitched in that game, and will start Monday against the Indians. Norris earned the victory in that start with six shutout innings, but hasn't survived the fifth inning in his past two starts, where he's allowed nine runs (all earned) on 17 hits and four walks in 8.2 innings combined.

INDIANS AT TIGERS

First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM

Records: Tigers are 12-12, fourth place in the American League Central, two games behind the Indians. Indians are 14-10.

INDIANS LINEUP

1. Carlos Santana, 1B

2. Francisco Lindor, SS

3. Michael Brantley, LF

4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH

5. Jose Ramirez, 3B

6. Brandon Guyer, RF

7. Austin Jackson, CF

8. Roberto Perez, C

9. Michael Martinez, 2B

SP: Trevor Bauer, RHP

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Tyler Collins, CF

3. Nick Castellanos, 3B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Justin Upton, LF

6. Alex Avila, 1B

7. Jim Adduci, RF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

SP: Daniel Norris, LHP