Indians Hit Two Homers off Justin Verlander, Beat Tigers 2-1

Terry Francona had a hunch Carlos Santana should be moved up in the lineup to lead off against Justin Verlander, hoping the designated hitter would work deep into counts against the standout pitcher.

He did that, and more.

Santana and Marlon Byrd homered off Verlander, lifting the Cleveland Indians to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

"It worked about as well as you can draw it up," Francona said. "But if he had been hitting fourth, he might have done the same thing and there might have been someone on base."

Santana hit a 3-2 pitch to right for the first leadoff homer of his career. He hit a double in the second inning on a 3-1 pitch.

Verlander said he threw a fastball down and in that Santana hit into the seats.

"It wasn't a mistake," he said. "Sometimes, you just tip your cap."

Josh Tomlin (2-0) allowed one run and four hits while walking only one over 6 2-3 innings.

"He really commanded," Francona said. "That was fun to watch."

Zach McAllister and Bryan Shaw followed with 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief. Cody Allen pitched the ninth, getting Miguel Cabrera to pop up in foul territory for the first out, and earned his fifth save in as many chances.

"Everyone did a good job," Francona said. "These are games we've lost in the past."

Verlander (1-2) gave up four hits, but two were costly because they went over the fence in right field. He walked two and struck out 10.

"Unfortunately, two solo homers is all they needed," Verlander said.

Cleveland had lost three of four. Detroit has dropped four of its last five.

Byrd saw what he liked on the first pitch from Verlander in the seventh, sending it over fence for a tiebreaking homer.

"It was big to go right back up," Francona said.

TRAINER'S ROOM: Detroit C James McCann, on the 15-day DL since April 12 with a sprained right ankle, ran the bases Friday to take another step toward coming back.

"We'll probably send him on a rehab when he's ready, just to make sure he can catch nine innings with the ankle," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "But he's close. We'll probably have to make a decision probably by the end of the weekend, as far as when he's going to go."

Indians OF Michael Brantley, recovering from shoulder surgery, has been making progress and the team wants to see him play consecutive games in the minors before moving back up to the majors.

"He feels really good," Francona said.

UP NEXT: Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (0-3, 6.16 ERA) will try to end his winless start Saturday against RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-1, 4.60) in the second game of the three-day series, the first of six matching the AL Central teams.

MOVING ON UP: Ramon De Jesus became the first Dominican-born umpire to be on the field in a Major League Baseball game. He was the second base umpire in the Indians-Tigers game.

PAYING RESPECTS: The Tigers had a pregame ceremony to honor former broadcaster Paul Carey, who died last week. He was 88.

There was a moment of silence and a white flag with "PC," on it was raised, just below the U.S. flag, and the team plans to keep it up all season. Carey was Ernie Harwell's radio broadcast partner from 1973-91, including the Tigers' 1984 World Series championship season.