Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez rounds first base after a hit. File photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
DETROIT -- Jose Ramirez continues to tear up opposing pitchers no matter which side of the batter's box he is standing on.
The Cleveland third baseman homered twice and knocked in four runs and the Indians held off the Detroit Tigers 11-8 on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.
Ramirez, who has three multi-homer games, reached base four times and scored four runs. He hit his homers from opposite sides of the plate for the second time this season, the first player in franchise history to accomplish that feat.
Ramirez is batting .325 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs and leads the club with 59 runs scored.
"It's been fun to watch," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It's both sides of the plate and he gets so dangerous when he's in one of these (grooves). It's not just getting singles, he's hitting the ball a long way. There's a reason he's hitting behind (cleanup hitter Edwin) Encarnacion, because that's how dangerous he is."
Losing pitcher Justin Verlander (5-5) surrendered seven runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. He didn't record a strikeout for the first time since May 4, 2007. The streak lasted 331 games and had been the majors' longest active streak. The strikeout streak was tied for the sixth longest since 1913.
"He's one of the most competitive pitchers you're ever going to see and we made him work for everything," Francona said.
Carlos Santana doubled twice and drove in three runs, Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer and Encarnacion scored twice and knocked in two runs for Cleveland (44-37).
Mike Clevinger (4-3) overcame early wildness to record the win. He allowed one run on two hits with a career-high-tying five walks and seven strikeouts in six innings.
Cody Allen got the last out to notch his 16th save after the Tigers scored six ninth-inning runs.
"I'm glad we were up nine instead of six," Francona said. "How many times do you give up six in the ninth and win? It's not going to put a damper on the day because we came out with good energy and played a good game. It's a little frustrating when you're just trying to get guys some work and all of a sudden you've got to get Cody up."
The Tigers lost the series 2-1 and dropped eight games behind the Indians in the American League Central Division.
"There's a whole bunch of feelings that happen when you don't pitch well," Verlander said. "Yeah, you want to pitch well for the team. You want to pitch well for yourself. You want to pitch well for everybody. You just want to win. My teammates came in after the game and during the game and said, 'Hey man, just don't worry about it. Spit it out, and get ready for the next one.' That's the kind of camaraderie we have in here."
James McCann drove in four runs and hit a three-run homer in the ninth, for Detroit (36-45).
Chisenhall put the Indians on top with his two-run shot in the second.
The Indians made it 4-0 in the third. Verlander got two outs before Ramirez drilled a 1-2 offering over the right-field wall. Chisenhall then walked and scored on Santana's double.
"My body feels great, my arm feels great. Just one of those days," Verlander said. "A couple of pitches, I went back and looked at (the video). I thought they may have caught too much plate or were a little up. But the curveball to Chisenhall was actually a decent pitch and the slider to Ramirez was on the black and in. Sometimes, you have to tip your cap."
Detroit scored its first run on J.D. Martinez's RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
Ramirez's second homer, a three-run blast, came off reliever Chad Bell in the fourth. Verlander's day ended one batter earlier when Encarnacion smacked a run-scoring single.
Encarnacion's RBI triple and Santana's two-run double in the sixth upped Cleveland's lead to 11-1.
NOTES: Detroit LF Justin Upton missed his third consecutive game because of right side soreness. Upton suffered the injury in the batting cage prior to Saturday's doubleheader. He leads the club in homers (15) and RBIs (52). ... Indiana RHP Danny Salazar made a rehab start with Triple-A Akron on Saturday. He threw 48 pitches in the 1 2/3-inning stint and allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Salazar was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 4 with right shoulder soreness. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler got the day off. He had appeared in every game since June 6. ... Indians 3B Jose Ramirez stretched his road hitting streak to 15 games.