DETROIT -- Several Indians players were asked Tuesday if being almost no-hit after struggling to score runs for weeks was considered rock bottom.
The players didn't seem to think so, and one day later, they bounced back in a 6-4 victory against the Tigers to pull back into a tie for first place atop the American League Central. The six runs -- on 13 hits -- Wednesday were more than the Indians had scored in the previous four games combined.
"I don't remember the last time we had this type of offense," manager Manny Acta said. "It's been a while."
Indians starter Fausto Carmona was wild and got knocked around a bit, allowing four earned runs in five innings. But unlike recent games -- when good Indians pitching didn't get support -- Cleveland got Carmona a win, his first since May 3, as the right-hander moved to 4-8 on the year.
Carmona got two quick outs to start the game, but then found trouble. Detroit's Brennan Boesch hit a solo home run to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Miguel Cabrera reached on a sharply-hit ball that third baseman Jack Hannahan couldn't handle. The play was originally ruled an error, but changed to a hit after the game.
With the inning still alive, the Tigers got a double from Victor Martinez, a walk from Magglio Ordonez and a two-run single from Alex Avila as Detroit took a 3-0 lead.
"Fausto goes out there, down 3-0 in the very first inning, and these guys could be thinking, 'Here we go again,'" Acta said.
With the Indians' inability to score recently, a 3-0 deficit seemed like it would be extremely difficult to overcome. But in an explosion, given their recent struggles, the Tribe fought back to take a 4-3 lead with a four-run fourth inning.
Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera led off the inning with a single. The first pitch to the next batter, Shin-Soo Choo, hit the dirt and Cabrera took off for second, sliding in safe. Although they were still down by three runs, second baseman Orlando Cabrera said that changed the momentum and the feeling in the dugout.
"At that particular moment he did it, and we were talking about it early in the game, Manny was telling us [to be aggressive], and he did it and we got pumped up," Orlando Cabrera said. "We really got the momentum right there and were able to put a couple hits together and score those runs."
After the single by Asdrubal Cabrera, Choo drew a walk and designated hitter Matt LaPorta hit a single to score Asdrubal Cabrera. Orlando Cabrera followed with a single to score Choo.
After a sacrifice bunt, a single from Lou Marson tied the game and a sacrifice fly from Grady Sizemore gave the Indians a 4-3 lead. The four runs were more than the Indians had scored in nine of the previous 11 games.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout from Boesch.
But the Indians' offense wouldn't let up. A double from Orlando Cabrera scored Choo to give the Tribe a 5-4 lead. It was Cabrera's fourth straight hit dating back to the previous night, when he broke up the no-hit bid of Tigers starter Justin Verlander in the eighth inning.
Acta replaced Carmona after 103 pitches through five innings. It was the first time since April 28 that Carmona was pulled with a lead, and Acta wanted him to leave the game with some confidence after losing his last five starts.
"Even if he had only like 90 pitches, he wasn't going to go back out there for the sixth, because I wanted to get him out of there on a high note with his confidence up and not crush him if he would have lost another game," Acta said.
After wasting numerous quality starts over the past few weeks, it was big for the offense to pick up a pitcher who didn't necessarily have his best stuff.
"We've been letting the pitchers down a lot, and they've been throwing the ball really well," Orlando Cabrera said. "So for us, tonight, to bounce back like that against Detroit, the team that is going to be right there with us, that's huge."
Carmona hasn't given up fewer than four runs in a start since May 8, but getting out of the first inning with just three runs was important to keep the Indians in the game early.
"There were chances we could've blown it open a little bit and gotten a little bit bigger lead, but he did his job and held us to the three runs there and gave them a chance," Avila said of Carmona.
The Indians extended the lead with a run in the seventh, and the bullpen held on for the win, with Chris Perez notching his 17th save with a scoreless ninth.
Things seemed like they couldn't get any worse for the Indians after they were nearly no-hit on Tuesday. It may not have been rock bottom, but for the Indians -- and Carmona -- Wednesday's win felt like more than a simple victory in the middle of June.
"You could feel it in the clubhouse when we walked in, how happy those guys were for [Carmona], because they know how good of a guy he is, how hard he works and it's been a while since we gave him a win," Acta said. "The fact is, he hasn't pitched his best baseball yet, but in a lot of occasions where he has pitched well, we haven't scored for him."
Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.