for this game

Indians power past Tigers into first place

May 26, 2007 - 3:33 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Indians powered back into first place in the American League Central.

Casey Blake and Victor Martinez blasted homers in the first inning to lead the Indians to a 7-4 victory over the defending American League-champion Detroit Tigers in a battle of the top two teams in the AL Central.

Josh Barfield added a two-run shot for Cleveland (29-17), which regained a one-half lead over Detroit (29-18) to secure just its fourth win in its last 11 games at Comerica Park.

A trendy pick to finish atop one of baseball's toughest divisions, the Indians have proven worthy of the hype. Cleveland has a stable of young players, who make up a formidable lineup.

"I think this whole division, the AL Central, we're going to beat up on each other all year," Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe said. "I like (Cleveland's) chances."

It was on display Friday right from the start. After stud leadoff man Grady Sizemore grounded out to second to start the game, Blake blasted a soaring shot into the right field grandstand, and Martinez then deposited a two-out blast in the same area - both off Tigers starter Nate Robertson (4-4).

Barfield added another blast off Robertson in the third, roping a shot down the left field line to make it 4-1.

"It's big to get an early lead," Barfield said. "It took the pressure off of Byrd and he was able to settle down and pitch his game. I'm swinging the bat much better and getting better at-bats. I think I'm turning the corner."

After Sizemore added an RBI single in the sixth, the Tigers put together a quick two-out rally in the bottom of the frame to get back in the game.

Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen stroked back-to-back doubles for the first run, and Ivan Rodriguez smacked his second run-scoring single of the game to plate the second tally.

"It was a good ballgame," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We fought our way back in it. The add-on runs there in the ninth were disastrous for us. We fought our way back in the ballgame, I have no problem with it.

"Right now, I talk about it all the time, when you use your bullpen because you want to, that's one thing. And when you use it because you have to, that's another. Right now, we're asking a little too much of our bullpen."

One inning later, Monroe belted a solo homer to make it 5-4, and Curtis Granderson followed with a single to chase Indians starter Paul Byrd. The righthander allowed three runs and nine hits, while striking out four without walking a batter in 6 1/3 frames.

"The story is not my pitching. It's (Jason) Michaels leaping like superman to take a homer away and it was the bullpen that kept us in the game," said Byrd, who was referring to a Michaels' remarkable catch to rob Monroe of a three-run homer in the third. "I threw too many strikes tonight. I tried to get nasty and it got me into trouble. I threw too many hittable pitches and didn't make the ones I wanted too."

Rafael Betancourt came in and retired Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield to end the threat in the seventh. Sheffield ripped a liner down the line, which was caught by a diving Andy Marte for the final out of the inning.

"All I every wanted to do when I come into a game is do my job," Betancourt said. "It's not only me, there are seven of us out to get guys out. That's what we are there for."

The righthander also tossed a scoreless eighth, inducing Rodriguez into an inning-ending double play, setting up the Joe Borowski - who hurled the ninth for his 15th save - tied for the AL lead.

The much-maligned closer was the beneficiary of Travis Hafner's RBI triple in the top of the ninth - his first of the season - and Jhonny Peralta hit a sacrifice fly to plate two much-needed insurance runs.

"I just wanted to hit the ball good," Peralta said. "It turned out to be a very important run for us."

Robertson allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out two and walking three.

"I felt fine," Robertson said. "That's the thing. That's what's really baffling to me right now. I feel fine, I'm not fooling guys. Tonight, a little different story. I left some pitches up. One on a hitter's count, one on my count where I had the advantage, the 0-2 home run, just left it right over the plate. I've got to figure something out because I'm not fooling too many guys."

Guillen and Rodriguez each stroked three hits for the Tigers, who suffered just their second loss in their last seven games.






  • 5
    roots
    davehogg Added 5 roots

    Indians vs. TigersJun 22 12:31 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 7 12 0
    DETROIT 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 4 11 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - PAUL BYRD, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (7TH), JOE BOROWSKI (9TH) AND
    KELLY SHOPPACH
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON, WILFREDO LEDEZMA (6TH), TIM
    BYRDAK (8TH), JOSE MESA (9TH) AND

    May 25 10:05 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JHONNY PERALTA SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 7
    DETROIT 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J MICHAELS (.284, 1-FOR-4)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 9:56 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED CASEY BLAKE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HAFNER ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 6
    DETROIT 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (.320, 1-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 9:47 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 9:47 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 9:38 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CRAIG MONROE (6) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF PAUL BYRD.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5, DETROIT 4
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.221, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY IVAN RODRIGUEZ SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, I RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5
    DETROIT 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.259, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 8:49 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED MAGGLIO
    ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUILLEN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5
    DETROIT 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.275, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED JOSH BARFIELD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5
    DETROIT 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.269, 1-FOR-1, 2 BB, HR, RBI)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOSH BARFIELD (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON SCORED JASON MICHAELS.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 4, DETROIT 1
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: K SHOPPACH (.318, 1-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 7:54 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY IVAN RODRIGUEZ SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    DETROIT 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.255, 0 HR, 10 RBI)

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 7:32 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 2 2 2 0
    DETROIT 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CLE - PAUL BYRD
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON

    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.286, 8 HR, 27 RBI)
    P POLANCO (.333, 1 HR, 26 RBI)
    G SHEFFIELD (.246, 9 HR, 22

    Indians vs. TigersMay 25 7:14 PM