Tigers beat Indians 5-3

Michael Fulmer won’t pitch in the Midsummer Classic, but he’ll settle for winning a duel opposite fellow American League All-Star Corey Kluber. Fulmer’s six-plus quality innings and Justin Wilson’s five-out save helped the Tigers close out the first half by avoiding a series sweep to the Indians with a 5-3 win Sunday night at Progressive Field.

Cleveland heads into the All-Star break at 47-40, up 2 1/2 games on the Twins in the AL Central. Detroit moved within eight games but still has work to do at 39-48 as general manager Al Avila listens to offers ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

“We salvaged a win and go into the break not feeling sour about the way the game’s gone,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Hopefully the guys can have a nice four days off, reset and come back ready to go.”

Kluber and Fulmer (9-6) both allowed a run on three hits over their first five innings. But while Fulmer did it in just 58 pitches, Kluber threw 101, thanks in part to eight strikeouts. Detroit scored three runs in the sixth off the Tribe bullpen, two on Alex Presley’s go-ahead double, to move ahead for good.

“Yeah, [Kluber labored] and then he had to work so hard there in the top of the fifth,” Indians bench coach and acting manager Brad Mills said. “It was 30 pitches, he had traffic all over the place. I haven’t talked to him, but he just didn’t get settled in.”

Fulmer entered the seventh with a 5-1 lead and a pitch count of only 71, but four straight hits, including Jose Ramirez’s two-run homer, knocked Fulmer out of the game before an out was recorded. Shane Greene retired three straight to escape the jam, then turned the ball over to Wilson, who stranded the bases loaded.

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