CLEVELAND — David Price would like to forget everything about Aug. 27, maybe the ugliest game of his career.
He erased some it from his memory.
Price bounced back from an alarming start and Miguel Cabrera homered twice, hitting one of Detroit’s three homers off Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, as the Tigers rolled to a 12-1 win on Monday to slow the Indians’ climb in the standings.
Price (13-10) gave up one run and eight hits in seven innings, more of a typical performance by the left-hander than what happened last week when he allowed nine consecutive hits to New York in one inning and eight runs over two.
Price called it “probably the worst game I’ve ever had in my life.”
But he was more like himself against the Indians, who had won six of seven to get within 3½ games of first in the AL Central.
“It felt a lot better than five days ago,” Price said. “That left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Kluber (13-9) and Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez connected for consecutive shots in the third off Cleveland’s ace. Cabrera, who has been slowed by a sore right ankle, homered again in the eighth off rookie Bryan Price.
“He’s not running real good, but I’m not sure it matters when you’re jogging,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of Cabrera. “His bat’s not broken.”
Rookie Tyler Collins hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot in the ninth, as the Tigers pounded out a season-high 20 hits.
The Indians didn’t arrive home until 3:15 a.m. after their Sunday night game in Kansas City was suspended in the 10th inning because of storms.
Price never let them wake up, improving to 2-2 since joining the Tigers, who acquired him on July 31 and plugged him into their stable of strong starters.
Cabrera gave the Tigers a 2-0 with his 18th homer — and first since Aug. 2. Ian Kinsler led off with a soft liner down the right-field line that outfielder Mike Aviles missed with a poorly timed dive, playing what should have been a single into a triple.
One out later, Cabrera drilled his homer over the left-field wall.
“It was good to see Miggy do that,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “It’s been a while. Who knows, maybe this is a flash point for him.”
Cabrera has worn out Kluber during his career, batting .567 with four homers and nine RBIs.
Kluber induced inning-ending double plays to end the first and second, but wasn’t so fortunate in the third when Aviles couldn’t help him again.
Cabrera hit a sinking liner with two outs that Aviles didn’t see initially and had bounce off his glove. Victor Martinez followed by a hitting on 0-2 pitch over the wall in right-center for his 28th homer. J.D. Martinez then hit his 18th to make it 5-1.
Kluber was pulled one batter later, going just 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing this season. He’s lost three straight starts after going 6-0 over eight starts.
“They’re good hitters and you make mistakes to them they usually take advantage of it,” Kluber said.
BIGGY MIGGY: Cabrera has 29 career multihomer games, and his 384th homer ties him with Harold Baines on the career list. Cabrera has 20 homers at Progressive Field, the most by any opposing player in the ballpark’s 20-year history.
MOTOWN MILESTONE: Tigers rookie Steve Moya got a hit in his first major league at-bat, singling in the ninth. Moya hit 35 home runs at Erie and was named Eastern League MVP this season.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez, who hasn’t pitched since Aug. 8 because of a strained chest muscle, has made progress but isn’t ready to come back. He had a setback while throwing on Aug. 26 and the Tigers are being extra cautious.
Injuries forced the Tigers to use nine starters in August and today left-hander Kyle Lobstein will make his second career start against Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, who has yet to lose in four starts since rejoining Cleveland’s rotation.