CLEVELAND - Miguel Cabrera got a planned day off in pursuit of his 500th career home run, and the Cleveland Indians, sparked by Bradley Zimmer’s tie-breaking home run in the seventh, defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-5 on Sunday.
Cabrera, who has 498 homers, didn’t play as part of Detroit manager A.J. Hinch’s plan to help his slugger get through the season. The Tigers are off Monday and Cabrera will return to the lineup Tuesday in Baltimore.
Derek Hill’s first major league home run in the second inning helped Detroit build a 5-2 lead, but Cleveland rallied and went ahead on Zimmer’s two-run homer off Erasmo Ramírez (1-1).
Myles Straw reached on a one-out single and Zimmer hit a 1-1 pitch to the seats in right for his third homer of the season.
Owen Miller also homered for the Indians, who scored three unearned runs in the fourth thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Zack Short.
Bryan Shaw (5-5) pitched a scoreless seventh. Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his second save of the series and 16th of the season. Akil Baddoo reached on an infield hit with two outs, but Jonathan Schoop popped out to end the game.
Hill, a rookie center fielder, homered off Zach Plesac as Detroit build the early lead. The rally began with walks to Jeimer Candelario and Willi Castro. The Tigers added two runs in the third on Plesac’s wild pitch and Candelario’s RBI double.
Plesac was charged with five runs in four innings.
Short’s wild throw to second on a ground ball hit by Miller helped Cleveland’s offense in the fourth. Andrés Giménez’s sacrifice fly, Austin Hedges’ RBI single and Ernie Clement’s run-scoring double tied the game.
Tigers starter Wily Peralta allowed five runs — two earned — in five innings.
Hinch plans out Cabrera's playing time in advance to keep the slugger sharp and healthy.
"I give Miguel a series-by-series plan," Hinch said. "I’m pretty mapped out, especially for him. He’s easy to do, trying to lengthen his season. Day games after night games, he’s going to have a couple (planned days off). He may play all three games in Baltimore. He might get the last game off."
Cabrera has homered 50 times against the Indians, his most against any team. He would become the 28th player to hit at least 500 homers.
Manager Terry Francona is recuperating at his Cleveland apartment after hip replacement surgery Monday.
"He’s doing at-home physical therapy," said Chris Antonetti, Cleveland's president of baseball operations. "At some point that therapy will transfer to the ballpark. He’s doing well. He’s in really good spirits."
Francona stepped down for the season July 29 and DeMarlo Hale is serving as interim manager.
Tigers: INF Niko Goodrum (sore calf) has completed a minor league rehab assignment and is expected to be activated Tuesday.
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber (strained shoulder) played catch out to 100 feet Saturday. He could throw off the mound later in the week. … RHP Aaron Civale (sprained middle finger) threw a 30-pitch bullpen Saturday and is expected to throw off the mound again Tuesday. … 1B Bobby Bradley (bruised left knee) was out of the lineup for the second straight day.
Tigers: RHP Casey Mize (6-6) will make his 22nd start of the season Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series in Baltimore.
Indians: Cleveland will likely go with a bullpen game Monday against Cincinnati. The game is a makeup of a May 9 rainout.