Rookie Oscar Mercado capped a two-homer performance by going deep to lead off the seventh inning as the host Cleveland Indians posted an 8-6 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Mike Freeman launched a two-run homer, and Tyler Naquin and Jose Ramirez each ripped a two-run double for the Indians, who have won nine of 10 meetings with Detroit this season.

Jordy Mercer belted a pair of homers, and Christin Stewart and Jeimer Candelario also went deep for the tumbling Tigers, who fell for the 21st time in their past 25 games.

After Detroit failed to score following a 54-minute rain delay in the top of the seventh inning, Cleveland erupted for four hits on six pitches in the bottom of the inning to seize an 8-5 lead.

Mercado, who blasted a solo homer in the fifth inning, deposited a 1-1 slider from Victor Alcantara (3-2) over the wall in left field. Carlos Santana and Jordan Luplow each singled before Ramirez ripped a two-run double into the right field corner.

Nick Wittgren (4-0) picked up the win after allowing no hits in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Brad Hand overcame Mercer's leadoff homer in the ninth inning and Victor Reyes' single to strike out two of the next three batters he faced for his 25th save of the season.

The Tigers seized a 3-2 lead as Nicholas Castellanos singled to lead off the fourth inning before Stewart stepped up two batters later and sent a 1-1 fastball from Adam Plutko over the wall in right field. Stewart's homer was his seventh of the season and first since June 21 at Cleveland.

Mercer and Mercado traded solo homers in the fifth inning before Candelario gave Detroit a 5-3 lead in the sixth by launching a 2-1 fastball over the wall in center field. Candelario's homer was his seventh of the season and fifth in July.

Cleveland forged a tie at 5 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Roberto Perez and Freeman each had two-out singles before Naquin doubled down the left field line. Stewart was unable to cleanly field the ball, allowing both runners to score.

The Indians opened the scoring in the second inning. Perez drew a two-out walk before Freeman deposited a 1-1 fastball from Daniel Norris over the wall in left field.

Plutko (5 1/3 innings) and Norris (5 2/3 innings) each gave up five runs.

--Field Level Media

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