DETROIT — Jason Kipnis sprinted around the bases after hitting each of his two homers, remembering how it felt to trot after hitting the ball well enough to clear the fences.
Kipnis hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and added a solo shot in the ninth inning to help the Indians beat the Tigers 9-3 Friday night.
He began the game without a home run since April 21.
"I haven't even done it (in batting practice), I feel like, for two months," Kipnis said.
After Kipnis' tiebreaking homer, Asdrubal Cabrera sent the next pitch over the rightfield fence to cap a seven-run seventh inning that helped Cleveland erase a 3-0 deficit in the opener of a four-game series against the American League Central-leading Tigers.
Cleveland has 61 runs this season in the seventh inning, more than it has scored in any other inning.
"As long as we score before we have to go home," manager Terry Francona said.
Trevor Bauer gave up three runs on six hits over six innings.
Detroit's Anibal Sanchez retired the first seven batters he faced and had a 3-0 lead. He ended up giving up four runs, six hits, walking one and striking out seven in an uneven performance.
"I think he just got tired, actually," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "The ball got up in the zone. He was real crisp up until that point. It was almost like he hit a wall."
The Tigers won 17 of 23 games going into the All-Star break. Cleveland has won seven of 10 games to move a game over .500.
"We've had guys struggling in the first half. It's been a surprise, but I don't think anybody's mad about being at .500 in the first half," Kipnis said. "And if you have a great second half, I don't think anybody's going to be too mad about how we did in the first half, so that's what we're concentrating on."
The Indians chased Sanchez in the seventh on Nick Swisher's bases-loaded, two-run single with no outs. Detroit's Al Alburquerque entered with two runners in scoring position and struck out two. He had a 1-2 count against Kipnis, whose fourth homer of the season gave Cleveland a 6-3 lead.