David Price tries to follow up his marvelous Opening Day performance on Saturday when the Detroit Tigers continue their series with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Price came within one out of a shutout on Monday, as he scattered five hits over 8 2/3 scoreless innings. The pending free-agent also struck out five batters without allowing a walk.
"It's always big to go out there and put up zeros and pitch late into the game," Price said. "To be able to do it on opening day, that definitely makes it a little bit more special. I felt good."
One of the main reasons the Tigers acquired Price at last year's trade deadline was how well he has pitched against the Indians. In nine starts versus the Tribe, Price is 7-1 with a 2.64 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with the American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who also pitched well on Opening Day against Houston, but was not helped by his offense.
Kluber gave up two runs and three hits in 7 2/3 innings, but absorbed the loss in the 2-0 setback. He did strike out seven batters and walked two.
"I started off well," said Kluber, who retired the first 18 batters he faced. "I felt like maybe a little bit, as it got later in the game, I lost my fastball command just a little bit and didn't quite locate some two-strike pitches like I would've wanted to. But, in general, overall, I felt pretty good."
The Tigers have given the righty trouble in the past, as he owns a 2-5 lifetime mark against them with a 5.00 ERA in 11 games (10 starts).
After sweeping their season-opening series behind outstanding pitching, Detroit flexed its offensive muscle to move to 4-0 on Friday. Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead an 18-hit attack that powered the Tigers to an 8-4 win in the opener.
"We feel pretty good about what we have in the lineup one through nine," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus remarked. "But especially two through six, two through seven, is tough. There's no breaks in there for pitchers."
Alfredo Simon (1-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive surge, earning the victory in his Detroit debut despite permitting the first earned runs by a Tigers' hurler this season.
Simon was reached for three runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings of work, while counterpart Zach McAllister (0-1) was rocked for 13 hits in surrendering five runs across four-plus innings.
Carlos Santana paced Cleveland at the plate by going 2-for-3 with two RBI, with Michael Bourn recording a pair of hits and scoring twice in defeat.
Detroit had the upper hand in the head-to-head series last season, going 11-8 against the Tribe.