CLEVELAND (AP) — Cal Quantrill feels privileged to face a hitter of Miguel Cabrera’s stature.
He just doesn’t want to make history with him.
Quantrill kept Cabrera in the ballpark as Detroit’s star slugger nears 500 home runs and shut down the rest of the Tigers for seven innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 victory on Friday night.
Cabrera went 1 for 3 with a walk and remained at 498 career homers, two shy of becoming the 28th player to reach the hallowed milestone. Cabrera has homered 50 times against the Indians — his most against any team.
But he didn’t do much against Quantrill, who joked that he was thankful to avoid infamy by giving up Cabrera’s milestone homer.
“Great player,” Quantrill said of Cabrera, who has 498 career homers. “I was pretty desperate not to be the guy that they show replays of for the next forever.”
Quantrill (3-2) struck out a career-high 10 and gave up four singles in the best outing of his young career. He retired 15 in a row after allowing a pair of back-to-back hits in the first inning.
“They got ahead 4-0 and 6-0 and he got to dictate the game,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He dominated.”
Quantrill said pitching with the lead allowed him to confidently throw inside. But he still had trouble getting pitches past Cabrera as the 38-year-old stayed alive several times by following off Quantrill’s best.
“It’s an honor getting to face guys like Miggy,” Quantrill said. “People will say he’s not what he once was, blah, blah, blah. But the guy is still hitting homers at the big-league level. He’s still hitting in the four hole for a big-league team.”
Blake Parker gave up a run to the Tigers in the ninth before Emmanuel Clase came on with the bases loaded and struck out two for his 15th save.
Bobby Bradley hit a two-run double off Matt Manning (2-5) as the Indians prevented the improved Tigers from jumping them into second place in the AL Central.
Bradley’s two-run double keyed Cleveland’s four-run third off Manning, who dropped to 0-4 in five road starts.
The Indians also got runs in the inning on Myles Straw’s RBI single and Amed Rosario’s forceout.
Bradley injured his left knee while sliding into home plate in the third inning and was replaced in the fifth inning.
Cleveland added two more runs in the fourth when the Indians won a managerial video challenge overturning a catch by Tigers right fielder Victor Reyes that was initially ruled an inning-ending double play.
However, replay showed Reyes trapped Straw’s sinking RBI liner and Rosario followed with a sacrifice fly.
Indians rookie third baseman Ernie Clement made a nice play behind Quantrill in the third, snagging Derek Hill’s grounder behind the bag and making a long, off-balance throw across the diamond to Bradley, who helped with a stretch.
“He comes up with a play once a game,” said Indians interim manager DeMarlo Hale. “He’s athletic and he can make those type of plays. I still wanna harness and hopefully he can harness some of those side arm throws.”
Clement added three hits and scored twice.
Shane Bieber’s smile said it all.
Cleveland’s ace was pleased with a throwing session in the outfield before the game, a sign of progress during a slower-than-expected recovery from a shoulder strain.
The AL’s defending Cy Young winner threw comfortably from 90 feet before unleashing a couple after moving up to 60 feet. Bieber was encouraged by the session and remains hopeful he’ll pitch again this season.
“I’m sure you can tell that I’m excited and want to come back as soon as possible,” he said.
Shortly before the first pitch, the Indians placed catcher Roberto Pérez on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
Wilson Ramos was brought up from Triple-A Columbus. He signed a minor league contract with with Cleveland in July. The 33-year-old began the season with Detroit before being released in June.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (left arm discomfort) is scheduled to throw live batting practice this weekend in Lakeland, Florida. As long as there are no setbacks, he’ll likely go on a two-start rehab assignment in the minors. … INF/OF Niko Goodrum (bruised calf) will play this weekend at Triple-A Toledo before joining the Tigers next week in Baltimore.
Indians: RHP Aaron Civale (sprained finger) had a “good” bullpen session Thursday as he eyes a return this season. Civale’s workout included breaks to replicate actual innings. He’s been out since June 22, when he was 10-2.
Detroit’s Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.77) starts the second game of the series Saturday against Indians rookie Eli Morgan (1-3, 6.75), who struck out nine in six innings against Toronto in his previous start.
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