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 Cleveland Indians to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
“It worked about as well as you can draw it up,” 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 3-2 pitch to right for the first leadoff homer of his career. He hit a double in the second inning on a 3-1 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.”
Josh Tomlin (2-0) allowed one run and four hits while walking only one over 6 2-3 innings.
“He really commanded,” Francona said. “That was fun to watch.”