DETROIT (AP) — J.D. Martinez homered, tripled and drove in four runs, and David Price pitched into the eighth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.
Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the fourth with a two-run homer, and then drove in two more runs with his triple in the seventh. Price (14-11) allowed a home run to Ryan Raburn in the second but kept Cleveland off the scoreboard after that.
The Tigers are neck and neck with Kansas City atop the AL Central, and if they win the division they can thank Martinez, who has 21 home runs. He had never hit more than 11 in a season when Detroit signed him to a minor league deal in March.
Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco (7-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Detroit won for only the fourth time in eight starts by Price, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade on deadline day. The left-hander has allowed a couple big innings since joining the Tigers, but he also has shown plenty of his All-Star form. Price allowed eight hits Friday in 7 2-3 innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Tigers catcher Alex Avila helped out with the defensive play of the night. When Mike Aviles hit a foul popup behind the plate in the fifth, Avila made the catch while jumping into the screen, which provided a soft landing spot.
Carrasco had won four straight decisions since rejoining Cleveland’s rotation Aug. 10 — and he had allowed only three runs in 38 2-3 innings.
With Cleveland up 1-0 in the third, Ian Kinsler lined an RBI double to right. Martinez’s homer made it 3-1 in the fourth.
Victor Martinez added an RBI single in the seventh, and J.D. Martinez followed with a triple to the gap in right-center that made it 6-1. Avila added an RBI infield single.
Indians: Aviles doubled in the second, a day after he returned from a nine-day absence brought on by a concussion. He appeared in both games of a doubleheader against Minnesota on Thursday.
Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus said LHP Phil Coke (back) is day to day.
Detroit LHP Kyle Lobstein (1-0) takes the mound Saturday night against Cleveland RHP Danny Salazar (6-7). Salazar pitched his first career shutout when he faced the Tigers on Sept. 3.