CLEVELAND — Franmil Reyes homered twice and Zach Plesac pitched seven dominant innings after getting an early lead to give the Cleveland Indians a 4-1 win Friday night over the Detroit Tigers, who scratched starter Julio Teheran just before the first pitch.
Reyes hit a two-run homer in the first off emergency starter Derek Holland (0-1) and added a 446-foot solo shot in the sixth to make it 4-0.
Plesac (1-1) pitched scoreless ball, allowing just three singles while improving to 3-1 in five career starts against the Tigers. He’s given up three earned runs in 30 2/3 innings to Detroit.
The Tigers avoided being shut out when Wilson Ramos homered off Bryan Shaw in the eighth.
Emmauel Clase worked the ninth for his first save with Cleveland and the second of his career. He got one with Texas in 2019.
Detroit was forced to make the pregame pitching change after Teheran complained of tightness in his right triceps while warming up. The right-hander beat the Indians in his debut for the Tigers last week, allowing one run and four hits in five innings.
But when he felt discomfort while warming up in the Progressive Field bullpen, the team wasn’t taking any chances.
It was the first road game for first-year Tigers manager A.J. Hinch after Detroit played its first six at Comerica Park.
Reyes’ 409-foot liner into the left-field bleachers gave the Indians a 3-0 lead in the first, which began with the announcement that Teheran wouldn’t be pitching.
Holland, who made five starts for Pittsburgh last season, gave up a pair of singles and a fielder’s choice RBI to Eddie Rosario before Reyes connected for his second homer, providing Plesac with a welcomed three-run cushion.
In the sixth, Reyes ripped a 2-2 pitch from Fulmer over the wall in center and into some still blooming trees inside Heritage Park.
Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 4.
He entered the series one hit shy of tying Jesse Burkett (2,870) for 46th place in MLB history, and four hits behind Babe Ruth (2,873) for 45th.
Rookie Akil Baddoo didn’t add another chapter to his story-book start, going 0 for 2 with a walk.
Detroit’s 22-year-old rookie homered on the first pitch in his first major-league at-bat and connected for a grand slam in his second game. On Thursday, he entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth and delivered a walk-off RBI single in the 10th.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Baddoo is the first player since 1900 to begin his career with multiple homers, including a grand slam, in his first three games.
Clase threw nine pitches over 100 mph in his appearance Wednesday against Kansas City. In just two games, the right-hander had already thrown more triple-digit pitches (18) than all Cleveland pitchers combined since 2008.
Indians manager Terry Francona believes there’s numerous reasons for pitchers throwing harder than in the past, and one is today’s pitches are recorded when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.
“I don’t want to be the old guy that’s like ‘They don’t throw like when I (played)’,” he said. “I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say if Nolan Ryan was pitching today, he would be one of the hardest throwers. He’d take your breath away. Literally.”
Francona faced the Hall of Famer 42 times in his career.
“I don’t think that was in his speech,” Francona joked without mentioning he batted .225 (9 of 40) against Ryan.
Tigers: Pitching coach Chris Fetter rejoined the team after testing positive for COVID-19. Hinch said Fetter took some playful ribbing from players on the trip to Cleveland, but added everyone is happy to have him back.
Indians RHP Aaron Civale (1-0) starts against Tarik Skubal (0-0) for the second time in a week. Civale allowed just two hits in seven innings in beating Detroit on April 4. Skubal pitched into the sixth, and left with a lead but Cleveland scored seven runs off Tigers relievers.