CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Brantley homered and drove in three runs, Carlos Santana also homered and the Cleveland Indians broke a six-game losing streak with a 12-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Cleveland’s struggling offense, which scored 13 runs on an 0-6 road trip, finally broke loose.
Brantley hit a leadoff homer in the fifth and added a two-run single in the sixth. Santana hit a solo homer in the second and had an RBI single in a five-run first, while Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes each drove in two runs.
Danny Salazar (1-3) was charged with five runs, three earned, in five innings and earned his first win of the season.
Jose Abreu hit his major-league leading 11th homer in the fifth, but the White Sox couldn’t overcome a shaky start by John Danks (2-2), who allowed eight runs in five innings.
The Indians placed All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with a pulled muscle in his side.
Cleveland pitchers Corey Kluber and Cody Allen wore chicken outfits during batting practice while standing in the outfield in an attempt to help the team out of its funk.
The strategy apparently worked. Santana’s RBI single, Raburn’s two-run double and Gomes’ two-run single highlighted Cleveland’s first inning. The fast start was enough to hold off the hard-hitting White Sox, who lead the AL in runs scored but have lost three in a row.
Abreu struck out against Salazar in his first two at-bats, but homered to left on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth. The rookie sensation also leads the league with 33 RBIs.
Salazar worked out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fourth. The right-hander struck out six and won for the first time since Sept. 25 of last season, also against Chicago.
Kipnis’ absence hurt the Indians immediately as his replacement, Elliot Johnson, committed two errors. Both of the miscues came on dropped throws on potential force plays. The first came in Chicago’s three-run second inning. The second helped the White Sox load the bases with nobody out in the fourth, but Salazar got out of the inning.
Tigers 8, Royals 2
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rick Porcello cruised through seven innings, the Tigers battered James Shields once again and Detroit rolled to an 8-2 victory over the Royals on Friday night to open their three-game set.
Victor Martinez had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, and J.D. Martinez and Alex Avila also drove in two runs apiece as the Tigers won their fourth straight against the Royals.
Porcello (4-1) continued what has been the best start to a season in his career, giving up a sacrifice fly to Eric Hosmer, a solo homer to Billy Butler and little else. Porcello allowed four hits while striking out six without a walk.
Meanwhile, Shields (3-3) allowed eight runs — seven of them earned — on 12 hits, a walk and a hit batter in 6 1-3 innings. It was the worst outing for the Royals ace since last September.
Brewers 2, Reds 0
CINCINNATI — Wily Peralta doubled home two runs — the first RBIs of his career — and repeatedly escaped trouble during his eight innings on Friday night, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The NL Central leaders improved the best record in the majors to 21-9 and opened a 7½-game lead over Cincinnati. The Brewers are 12-3 on the road.
Peralta (4-1) made his fifth quality start of the season, holding the Reds to three hits and a pair of walks while throwing 110 pitches.