CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor's big games are becoming a daily occurrence.
Cleveland's 22-year-old shortstop did it again in Tuesday night's 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Lindor hit a three-run homer off Justin Verlander, scored three times and fell a triple short of the cycle in addition to making an outstanding defensive play.
"Whether you do it with the bat, the glove or your legs, that's part of the reason he has a chance to be so good because he can impact a game in so many different ways," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Lindor singled in the first inning when Cleveland scored three times, doubled and scored in the third and homered in the fifth as the Indians ended Detroit's five-game winning streak.
Lindor, who finished second in last season's AL Rookie of the Year voting, is showing no signs of a sophomore slump. He's batting .315 and is tied for second on the team with 12 RBIs, but admitted he didn't expect his drive off Verlander to reach the seats in right field for his second home run of the season.
"I was pretty surprised," he said. "I didn't think it was going to go that far. I knew I got it, but I'm not a power hitter."
Josh Tomlin (4-0) remained unbeaten in four starts, allowing two runs in six innings. The right-hander also got a boost in the second from his shortstop. Lindor took a hit away from Justin Upton with a diving stop in the hole, got to his feet and made a strong throw to first.
"He makes it look routine, but that's a tough play," Tomlin said. "He gets up like he's done it 100 times. Well, he has. He's a stud. That's for sure."
Verlander (2-3) gave up seven runs in five innings.
The Indians beat the Tigers for the fourth straight time this season. Cleveland swept a three-game series at Comerica Park on April 22-24.
Cleveland, which lost five of six after the sweep, took a 3-0 lead in the first on Mike Napoli's two-run double and Yan Gomes' RBI single, an inning in which Verlander threw 38 pitches.
"It's easy to kick yourself in the butt after the fact, but the first inning was a big turning point already in the game." Verlander said. "The double by Napoli was one of the at-bats I wish I'd have pitched differently."
Michael Brantley, playing his first game at Progressive Field following shoulder surgery in November, had an RBI single in the third.
Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Detroit.
Tomlin scattered nine hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
Verlander allowed eight hits, struck out three and walked two. He fell to 18-20 in 45 career starts against Cleveland. The right-hander is 9-14 in 24 career starts at Progressive Field.
Nick Castellanos, who leads the league with a .368 average, had two hits, including an RBI single in the eighth.
ON THE WAY BACK
Francona said RHP Cody Anderson, optioned to Triple-A Columbus on April 27, will start Saturday against Kansas City. Anderson was 0-1 with a 7.65 ERA in four starts before being sent down.
Tigers: RHP Shane Greene (right middle finger blister) threw before the game, but manager Brad Ausmus said "it's too early to tell" if he will be activated off the DL when eligible on May 10.
Indians: C Roberto Perez (fractured right thumb) will be re-evaluated by team doctors Thursday to determine if he needs surgery. He was injured Saturday tagging a runner at the plate. ... RHP Carlos Carrasco (strained left hamstring) has begun light jogging. He was injured covering first base April 24.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez walked seven and struck out nine in his last start against Oakland, becoming the first Detroit pitcher to post those numbers since Jack Morris in 1988.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber recorded his only win of the season, allowing one run in eight innings on April 23 at Comerica Park. He's 3-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 14 career appearances against Detroit.
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