Brantley’s Blasts Tame Tigers; Indians 7, Tigers 5

It took two tries, but the latter of Michael Brantley’s two home runs proved to be the winning blast as the Cleveland Indians held on to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

Response runs and overturned calls at the plate were also key stories on a night that Brantley played the hero on two separate occasions as he homered to break a seventh inning tie and hit a two-run shot in the eighth to again break up an even score.

Cleveland starter Danny Salazar pitched effectively with a quality start effort and left in position to earn a win with the Indians up 3-1 in the top of the seventh. Reliever Bryan Shaw allowed both runners inherited to score and then, after the Indians reclaimed a 5-3 lead aided by the first of Brantley’s homers, he allowed three straight hits that led to the Tigers tying the game back up at five all. Brantley’s two-out shot in the bottom of the eighth provided the deciding runs and gave the Indians their fourth win in their last five games and a key victory on a day that the second American League Wild Card team, the Texas Rangers, had already lost to Seattle. The Tribe win pulled the club within four games of the Rangers in their playoff pursuit.

The Indians were aided by two overturned calls at the plate. Andrew Romine was initially ruled safe at home in the second on the back end of a run down, but video review showed that the throw from Lonnie Chisenhall to Yan Gomes was in time as Chisenhall earned assists on both outs of the double play. Again in the seventh, the potential go-ahead run was ruled safe at the plate on the throw from Chisenhall, but manager Terry Francona challenged and the call was overturned on the third assist from the Tribe’s converted right fielder on the night, a feat not matched since Rick Manning in 1981.

Cleveland will send right-handed rookie Cody Anderson to the mound to rematch Detroit’s Justin Verlander in Friday night’s 7:10 PM ET first pitch.

W: Cody Allen (2-4)

L: Blaine Hardy (4-3)

HR: Abraham Almonte (4, 4th inning off Alfredo Simon, 0 on, 1 out); Brantley 2 (14, 7th inning off of Simon, 0 on, 0 out; 15, 8th inning off of Hardy, 1 on, 2 out).

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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