Tigers' scrambled start kicks off 4-1 loss in Cleveland

©The Detroit News

In this photo from April 4, 2021, manager A.J. Hinch of the Detroit Tigers watches from the dugout during the second inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. - Duane Burleson/Getty Images North America/TNS

CLEVELAND — Not the way you want to start a three-city, 10-game road swing.

Right-hander Julio Teheran experienced tightness in his right triceps while warming up for his start Friday night and was officially scratched after the Tigers had batted in the top of the first inning.

Lefty Derek Holland got the emergency call and the Tigers had to scramble in a 4-1 loss to Cleveland .

The Tigers said Teheran was pulled as a precaution, but it's possible he could end up on the 10-day injured list. He came out of his last start in spring with back tightness.

The Indians scored three runs off Holland in the first, with the help of a fortuitous bounce. With one out and a runner on first, Jose Ramirez hit a ground ball up the middle, directly at second baseman Niko Goodrum, who seemed poised to turn it into an inning-ending double-play.

Instead, before it got to Goodrum, the ball caromed off the base and into center field.

Holland got the next hitter Eddie Rosario to hit another ground ball. This one got to Goodrum at second base, but again, the Tigers missed turning the double-play. Rosario beat the return throw from shortstop Willi Castro and a run scored.

Franmil Reyes followed that with a 409-foot, two-run home run to left field.

That seemed liked more than an enough offense for Cleveland starter Zach Plesac, who breezed through seven shutout innings. He allowed just three singles ( two by Castro) and struck out six.

The Tigers bullpen kept the game close. Holland ended up going 2 2/3 innings and Buck Farmer got four outs.

The question of who steps into the rotation if Teheran goes on the injured list may have been answered Friday. Michael Fulmer pitched four strong innings out of the bullpen Friday.

The lone blemish was another long home run by Reyes — this one, on a center-cut 95 mph fastball, went 446 feet to dead center.

The only other hit off Fulmer was soft line drive that Jonathan Schoop misplayed at first base. He struck out five and didn’t walk anybody. Both his fastballs (two-seam and four-seam) were hitting 96 and sitting at 95 mph. He also deftly mixed in his slider, change-up and curveball.

He ended up throwing 68 pitches, which should set him up for a start in five days if Teheran can’t go.

The Tigers' lone run came from the first batter to face a Cleveland pitcher not named Plesac. Wilson Ramos launched his third homer of the season, a 443-footer into the shrubbery in center field off Bryan Shaw.