DETROIT (AP) — Julio Teheran pitched through trouble in his Detroit debut, and the Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Saturday.
For a second straight game, Detroit scored two runs in the first and led the rest of the way. Willi Castro hit an RBI triple off Zach Plesac (0-1) and came home on Miguel Cabrera’s groundout. The Tigers added three runs in the seventh.
Teheran (1-0) allowed a run and four hits in five innings.
“It’s just awesome,” he said. “That’s how I want to start my season, especially with the Tigers.”
Eddie Rosario drove in both Cleveland runs with a home run in the second and a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
“I actually thought we hit some balls pretty good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We haven’t strung them together.”
The Indians had men on first and second with nobody out in the third, but Ben Gamel grounded into a double play. Franmil Reyes hit into a double play the following inning after Cleveland put the leadoff man on.
“He battled quite a bit and had to pitch around some things,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “Him being able to mix his pitches and create some advantages … just kind of an all-around good job of competing today when he had to work through his troubles.”
Teheran, who made the team as a non-roster invite to spring training, won for the first time since 2019, when he was with Atlanta. He posted a 10.05 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels in last year’s shortened season.
Plesac allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Detroit then added three runs off reliever Nick Wittgren. Jeimer Candelario hit an RBI double, Jonathan Schoop added a sacrifice fly and Nomar Mazara hit a run-scoring single.
The Tigers’ bullpen fared a bit better. Detroit used four relievers, including Michael Fulmer, who pitched a perfect seventh in his first career relief appearance. The 2016 AL Rookie of the Year was left out of the rotation to start this season.
Bryan Garcia got four outs for his first save of the season.
Cleveland’s Trevor Stephan made his major league debut, pitching a scoreless eighth.
The temperature at gametime was 49 degrees, up from 32 for Thursday’s season opener, which Detroit won 3-2.
“The first game was difficult with the weather,” Rosario said through a translator. “Today we saw better at-bats, better contact, and I felt like guys are having a good approach.”
Tigers: Hinch said a majority of the team received a single-shot COVID-19 vaccination after Thursday’s game. “Ultimately, the faster that we get vaccinated, the safer that we are, and the more likely we are to be able to play continuously throughout our schedule,” Hinch said.
The Tigers send LHP Tarik Skubal to the mound against Cleveland RHP Aaron Civale in Sunday’s series finale.
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