DETROIT — 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 Indians to a 2-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night.
"It worked about as well as you can draw it up," Indians manager 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-and-2 pitch to right for the first leadoff homer of his career. He hit a double in the second inning on a 3-and-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."
Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin allowed one run and four hits while walking only one over 62/3 innings.
"He really commanded," Francona said. "That was fun to watch."
Zach McAllister and Bryan Shaw followed with 12/3 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."
Cleveland had lost three of four. Detroit has dropped four of its last five games.
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.