Kinsler, Tigers survive

NOAH TRISTER AP Baseball Writer Published:

DETROIT (AP) -- Ian Kinsler's first few weeks with Detroit have been just what the Tigers were hoping for.

Kinsler homered and drove in four runs, and the Tigers held on for a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

Kinsler has settled into Detroit's leadoff spot nicely after the Tigers traded Prince Fielder for him in the offseason. He hit his second homer of the season -- a three-run shot in the fifth inning -- and raised his average to .327.

"I'm playing ball, man -- I love to play baseball," Kinsler said. "I'm enjoying myself. I would like to win some more games, but right now we're playing OK, and just waiting to erupt a little bit and run off a bunch of wins in a row."

Justin Verlander (2-1) allowed three unearned runs in five innings, and the Tigers trailed 3-1 before Kinsler's homer off Danny Salazar (0-2).

Detroit never gave up the lead after scoring four runs in the fifth, although Cleveland's Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 6-5.

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in four chances. The Tigers used five relievers, trying to make it through the late innings with a bullpen that's been shaky so far.

"I think as we go along here, we'll start to learn when guys are going to go in the game and when their role is going to be called upon," Nathan said. "That'll help with preparation and getting yourself mentally ready to go in."

There were four unearned runs in a sloppy game that included five errors, three by the Tigers.

Lonnie Chisenhall had four hits for the Indians, raising his average to .522.

Cleveland's Jason Kipnis was ejected after striking out in the third inning. Kipnis struck out swinging with the bases loaded for the third out, then appeared to say something to plate umpire Lance Barrett, who immediately threw him out of the game.

"He was upset about the first pitch, and I agreed with him," Indians manager Terry Francona said.

Cleveland opened the scoring in the fourth when Asdrubal Cabrera reached on a bunt single and went to second on a throwing error by Verlander. David Murphy drove him in with a single.

Austin Jackson's sacrifice fly in the bottom half tied it, but Verlander allowed two more runs in the fifth. An error by third baseman Nick Castellanos kept the inning going, and Brantley's bases-loaded single brought home two runs to make it 3-1.

Verlander allowed six hits and four walks. He struck out seven.

Salazar didn't fare any better. His outing ended in the fifth when the Tigers took the lead. Kinsler hit a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left-center field, and Detroit added another run that inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jackson.

"I walked the first guy and then I started thinking about everything. I was trying to figure out if my arm was in the right slot, or if I had changed my delivery somehow, and then I was just lost," Salazar said. "I was overthinking everything, and trying to make a perfect pitch. As soon as I started doing that, the ball was all over the place."

Reliever C.C. Lee added to Cleveland's problems in the sixth when his errant pickoff throw allowed Detroit's Rajai Davis to go from first to third. Davis scored on a single by Kinsler.

Brantley's homer in the seventh brought the Indians within one, and Cabrera nearly tied it when his drive down the line in left sailed just foul.

But the Tigers added a run in the eighth. Castellanos singled, and pinch-runner Andrew Romine stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by catcher Yan Gomes. He scored when Davis beat out a two-out chopper for an infield single.

Salazar allowed five runs, six hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.

NOTES: Detroit's Joba Chamberlain pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, striking out two. ... Detroit hosts the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, with LHP Drew Smyly (1-0) starting for the Tigers against RHP Jered Weaver (0-2). Cleveland hosts Toronto. The Indians start RHP Justin Masterson (0-0) against RHP Drew Hutchinson (1-1)

RANGERS 8, MARINERS 6

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered again, doubling twice and scoring two runs as Texas won its third straight after losing the series opener. Kouzmanoff is hitting .414 since being promoted from Triple-A on April 9 after starting third baseman Adrian Beltre strained his left quadriceps.

Shin-Soo Choo homered for Texas and J.P. Arencibia had a pair of RBI groundouts. Robinson Cano hit his first homer for the Mariners, going back-to-back with Corey Hart. Cano is in a 3-for-18 slump.

Pedro Figueroa (2-1) earned his second victory in less than 24 hours. Joe Beimel (0-1) was the loser.

YANKEES 10, RAYS 2

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- CC Sabathia pitched seven innings for a rare win at Tropicana Field, leading the Yankees past David Price and the Rays in a matchup of former AL Cy Young Award winners.

Sabathia (2-2) allowed two runs and seven hits, improving to 2-7 in 12 starts at Tropicana Field since joining the Yankees in 2009. He lowered his ERA to 5.19.

Price (2-1) entered 6-1 in nine starts against Sabathia but gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings. Sean Rodriguez hit into a triple play and had a solo homer for the Rays, who have lost four straight.

Brian Roberts, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and rookie Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs each for the Yankees.

TWINS 7, BLUE JAYS 0, 1ST GAME

MINNEAPOLIS -- Unfazed by the subfreezing temperature at first pitch, Kyle Gibson (3-0) allowed four singles in a career-high eight scoreless innings in a day-night doubleheader opener.

At 31 degrees, took the mound for the coldest start for an outdoor game in Twins history.

Josmil Pinto highlighted a five-run fifth inning against R.A. Dickey (1-3) with a two-run double, missing a grand slam by a few inches. Trevor Plouffe also had two RBIs.

TWINS 9, BLUE JAYS 5, 2ND GAME

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota scored three straight runs on wild pitches by the Blue Jays' Sergio Santos in the eighth inning, when the Twins walked eight times off three relievers in rallying for a victory and a sweep of a day-night doubleheader.

The Twins trailed 5-1 in the fifth of the night game after another lackluster start by Mike Pelfrey.

Steve Delabar walked two batters starting the six-run eighth, setting up Santos (0-1) for trouble as manager John Gibbons called for his closer early. Santos walked all three batters he faced. Josmil Pinto came home on a wild pitch. Ball four by Santos to pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki was wild, too, allowing Chris Herrmann to score and tie the game. Santos threw another wild pitch to Brian Dozier, and pinch-runner Pedro Florimon raced home for the lead.

Casey Fien (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory.

RED SOX 3, WHITE SOX 1

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester pitched eight sharp innings and David Ross hit a tiebreaking RBI double in Boston's two-run ninth, leading the Red Sox to over the White Sox.

Lester (2-2) allowed one run and seven hits for his second straight win after opening the season with two losses. The left-hander struck out nine and walked none, winning an impressive pitcher's duel with White Sox ace Chris Sale.

Lester retired his first 16 batters before Tyler Flowers singled in the sixth. Xander Bogaerts homered with two out in the sixth for Boston's only hit off Sale.

Ronald Belisario (1-2) was the loser.

ROYALS 5, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON -- James Shields struck out 12 in eight innings and the Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Astros.

Shields (1-2) gave up one run and four hits, all singles. He struck out seven straight batters in the late innings.

Scott Feldman (2-1) yielded four earned runs and nine hits in six innings. It was the first tough outing for the Astros newcomer after he had allowed just one run and seven hits combined in his first three starts.

The Royals were up by two when Alcides Escobar hit a two-run double in the fourth. Salvador Perez added an RBI double in the fifth.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

DODGERS 2, GIANTS 1

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hyun-Jin Ryu stretched his road scoreless streak to 26 innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Thursday to avoid a sweep.

Ryu (3-1) struck out three and walked one on a season-high 112 pitches in seven innings, helping his club move into a tie with the Giants atop the NL West at 10-6. Kenley Jansen gave up a two-out RBI single to Adrianza before finishing for his fifth save.

Yasiel Puig returned to the Dodgers starting lineup and went 1 for 4 with a strikeout. He dropped a routine fly ball in right early on but recovered to throw out Brandon Belt at second. He then made a nice over-the-head catch on the next batter and a running grab in shallow center in the eighth with a runner on second.

Madison Bumgarner (2-1) allowed two runs, six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings but threw 99 pitches.

PHILLIES 1, BRAVES 0

PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Revere hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth, and A.J. Burnett tossed three-hit ball over seven innings to outpitch Alex Wood (2-2). Atlanta's Julio Teheran beat Cliff Lee 1-0 less than 24 hours earlier.

Antonio Bastardo (2-1) worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

ROCKIES 4, PADRES 1

SAN DIEGO -- Franklin Morales (1-1) allowed four hits in six innings and Wilin Rosario hit a tiebreaking groundout in a three-run seventh.

Ian Kennedy (1-2) took a one-hit shutout into the seventh before Corey Dickerson reached on a one-out double, Troy Tulowitzki walked and Justin Morneau lined a ball to right field. Chris Denorfia broke in, then retreated as the ball went over him for an RBI double.

Rosario grounded out to shortstop as Tulowitzki scored for a 2-1 lead, and Nolan Arenado followed with a run-scoring single.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched the ninth to remain perfect in four save chances.

CARDINALS 8, NATIONALS 0

WASHINGTON -- Adam Wainwright (3-1) pitched his fourth career two-hitter and seventh shutout. He chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors in beating Washington for the eighth straight time dating to Game 5 of the 2012 NL division series.

Wainwright allowed Ian Desmond's infield single in the second inning and Adam LaRoche's single to right in the ninth. He struck out eight and walked three.

Taylor Jordan (0-1) gave up seven runs -- five earned -- in 5 1/3 innings.

PIRATES 11, BREWERS 2

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh.

Harrison's two-run drive down the left field line was the second of his career as a pinch hitter. It stared Pittsburgh's nine-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings that was capped by Alvarez's sixth of the year.

McCutchen, last year's NL MVP, hit a two-run homer in the first inning in his 57th at-bat.

Edinson Volquez (1-0) gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings for his first win with the Pirates.

Milwaukee has lost three of four following a nine-game winning streak.

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