Reyes Blasts a Pair as Tribe Takes Opener from Tigers; CLE 4, DET 1

With family on hand to enjoy the show, Franmil Reyes blasted a pair of homers in a three-hit game to back seven strong innings from Zach Plesac in a 4-1 for the Cleveland Indians over the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

Plesac got all of the support that he would need after an eleven-pitch first inning when the Tribe bats struck through against Derek Holland. The veteran left-hander was thrust into a starting role with Julio Teheran a late scratch with shoulder soreness during his warmups and Cleveland got to work and capitalized on missed outs by Detroit to take an early lead. Amed Rosario opened the home half of activity with a single to right. Cesar Hernandez was cut down swinging on three pitches, but Jose Ramirez laced a worm burner up the middle and off of the second base bag into shallow left, allowing A. Rosario to advance to third on the unusual play. Eddie Rosario grounded to the hole at second, but he legged out the backend of the double play attempt to allow A. Rosario to score safely on the play and leave the inning alive for Reyes. His big day at the plate began with a bang as his fifth straight pitch in on the hands was yanked over the left field wall and into the bleachers for a two-run shot, putting the Indians up by a 3-0 count.

Reyes – Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

Plesac handled his business from there. He retired the side in order in the second with a pair of strikeouts and added another K after a double play ball erased Niko Goodrum’s leadoff single in the third. He struck out another in perfect fourth and fifth innings and stranded Willi Castro in the sixth after his two-out single to left.

Holland pitched into the third and Buck Farmer worked a quiet fourth for Tigers’ manager AJ Hinch. Michael Fulmer took over for the fifth and retired the side in order, but with one out in the sixth, Reyes stepped in and delivered again with a rocket 446 feet to center and over the Heritage Park trees to give Cleveland a 4-0 lead.

Plesac wrapped up his night with a perfect seventh inning against the heart of the Tigers lineup before turning the game over to the bullpen. Detroit got a run closer with a solo homer by Wilson Ramos to start the eighth against Bryan Shaw, but he worked out of the inning and Emmanuel Clase struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of 2021.

Cleveland moved to 3-3 on the season and 2-1 at home. Detroit dropped below the .500 mark at 3-4 in its first road contest of the season.

Plesac was impressive for the Tribe in his second straight quality start. He worked seven shutout innings, allowing just three base hits and striking out six on the night. Seventy of his 97 pitches crossed for strikes as he was on the attack all game long. Twenty of the 23 batters that he faced saw first pitch strikes. Plesac is now 1-1 on the season with a 1.38 ERA.

Plesac – Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

Holland took the loss after the tough last second spot start. He worked two and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts on 46 pitches. Farmer worked a quiet four outs, giving up a hit while striking out a pair. Fulmer pitched the final four frames, allowing a run on two hits with five strikeouts in an encouraging effort for Detroit.

Reyes led the way for the Tribe at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI to push his early season batting average up to .304 and his slugging mark to .739. He extended his hitting streak to five straight and nearly matched his season total for hits in one game. Reyes recorded the ninth multi-homer game of his brief career, one that started with the San Diego Padres in 2018. It marked the second straight two-homer game for an Indians player.

Ramirez added a pair of hits two spots ahead of Reyes in the lineup. Cleveland did not draw a walk in eight innings at the plate.

Castro had two of Detroit’s four hits on the night, contributing a pair of singles. Ramos’ homer was his third of the season and gave him his third RBI. The Tigers had just five base runners against Tribe pitching and did not have an at bat with runners in scoring position.

Game two of the three-game set from Progressive Field is scheduled for a 7:10 PM ET start on Saturday. Aaron Civale will draw the starting nod against left-hander Tarik Skubal.

Photo: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire (via Getty Images)

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