EditorsNote: minor edits
Rookie Oscar Mercado belted a solo homer to highlight his fourth straight multi-hit performance as the host Cleveland Indians continued their mastery of the Detroit Tigers with a 7-2 victory on Tuesday.
Jordan Luplow and Roberto Perez each drove in a pair of runs, and Yasiel Puig added an RBI single for the Indians (88-63), who defeated Detroit (45-105) for the 15th straight time and the 16th time in 17 meetings this season.
Adam Plutko (7-4) allowed two runs on four hits in six innings to post his first win since Aug. 27, when he recorded a career-high nine strikeouts against the Tigers. On Tuesday, he fanned six while walking one.
Mercado extended his hitting streak to eight games in the first inning by depositing a 1-2 curveball off Zac Reininger (0-3) over the left field wall to open the scoring. The homer was Mercado's 12th of the season and second in three games.
Cleveland doubled its advantage in the second inning. Mike Freeman reached on a one-out single to left field and scored on Perez's double off the wall in left-center field.
Victor Reyes halved the deficit with an RBI single to shallow left field in the third, but the Indians broke open the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Mercado doubled and Carlos Santana walked to send Reininger to the showers. Nick Ramirez struck out Puig before Luplow hit a fly ball that caromed off the left field wall and past outfielder Christin Stewart to plate both runners. Perez followed three batters later with a single to left field, scoring Luplow and giving Cleveland a 5-1 lead.
The Indians' Greg Allen drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning before Dawel Lugo answered by leading off the fifth with a homer to trim the advantage to 6-2.
Plutko shook off Lugo's sixth homer to finish off the fifth inning then retired the side in order in the sixth. Two relievers bridged the gap to Carlos Carrasco, who allowed the first two runners to reach in the ninth before retiring the side to secure the win.
Prior to the game, the Indians announced that second baseman Jason Kipnis' MRI exam Monday revealed a fracture of his hook of the hamate bone in his right wrist. The injury typically requires four to six weeks of recovery time.
--Field Level Media