DETROIT – The Cleveland Indians beat Detroit for the 20th straight time, nearing the major league record for most wins by a team over a single opponent, as Franmil Reyes hit two home runs to defeat the Tigers 8-5 Sunday.
Baltimore holds the mark with 23 consecutive wins over Kansas City in 1969-70. The Indians can match the record when they host Detroit in a three-game series next weekend.
The New York Yankees currently have an active streak of 18 straight wins against the Orioles.
“They have our number right now but it just takes one,” Tigers starter Michael Fulmer said. “We go to Cleveland next week and hopefully buckle down on the starting pitching there. I have these guys in five days again.”
Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Sandy Leon also homered as the Indians connected a season-high five times. Reyes, who had three hits, homered three times in the three-game sweep, but exited in the ninth inning after being hit by a pitch in the left hand.
“It was painful at the beginning, but it went away, thank God,” said Reyes, who pointed to the dugout on his way to first after his long seventh-inning homer. “What I could see from the team, especially today, was the support we give each other. How the guys are fired up in the dugout.”
Manager Terry Francona said X-rays were negative.
Detroit lost its fifth in a row.
Cleveland broke a 4-all tie with a three-run sixth off reliever John Schreiber (0-1). Leon’s solo home run, his first of the season, broke the tie and was the first run scored off Schreiber in his eighth appearance of the year.
Miguel Cabrera had a pair of game-tying singles, driving in three runs to move up to 22nd on the all-time list at 1,705. The 37-year-old Detroit star was in a 1-for-19 skid until his consecutive pair of singles.
Both starters allowed three runs over 2 2/3 innings, with Fulmer surrendering two home runs, falling behind 3-0 in the third.
After Cabrera’s single tied it 3 in the bottom half, Jeimer Candelario hit a ball into the right-field corner that was trapped between the wall’s padding and the ground. He advanced to third and Cabrera scored from first.
Cabrera was directed back to third and Candelario to second after the umpires ruled it a ground-rule double. An ensuing argument earned Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire an ejection, the first of his season and 85th of his career.
Delino DeShields made a diving catch in center field, and Cesar Hernandez had a double to reach base for the 20th time in 21 games this year.
“Playing the game right is a good way to play,” Francona said. “We needed to do some things today or we lose that game.”
Oliver Perez (1-0) got the win in the first decision of his 18th season. Six Cleveland relievers combined to allow five hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Detroit’s Cameron Maybin was ejected after grounding into a double play to end the fifth inning. He had been arguing balls and strikes during his at-bat and was tossed while walking toward the dugout.
The second home run for Reyes hit the ivy in deep center field, registering 453 feet off reliever Carson Fulmer.
“It was a fastball, right down the middle,” Reyes said. “I got really impressed, I hit that one really far. I hit it right on the barrel.”
Indians: Reyes was hit by a pitch from Joe Jimenez with one out in the ninth.
Tigers: SS Niko Goodrum left the game after four innings with right upper back tightness. Bench coach Lloyd McClendon said after the game that he had no update on Goodrum but he was lifted as a precaution. … RHP Ivan Nova went on the disabled list Saturday with right triceps tendinitis. Top RHP prospect Casey Mize could be among the candidates to replace him Tuesday in what would be his MLB debut.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 3.22 ERA) opens a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday, opposing left-hander Steven Brault (0-0, 5.14).
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (0-2, 10.24) pitches at the Chicago White Sox for the first of four on Monday as the Tigers open a seven-game road trip against lefty Gio Gonzalez (0-1, 6.61).