Indians
Twins
5 - 2 Final
  for this game

Sizemore drives in four as Sabathia outduels Santana

Aug 4, 2007 - 5:45 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) - Age 25 has been good so far for Grady Sizemore.

After getting two hits and driving in two runs on his birthday Thursday, Sizemore homered and drove in four runs as the Cleveland Indians topped the Minnesota Twins, 5-2, on Friday.

Sizemore hit a two-run homer off Johan Santana in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games, then singled home the eventual game-winner off Santana in the fifth inning.

"I'm getting old," Sizemore joked. "It's only two days. There's a lot of baseball left."

C.C. Sabathia (14-6) allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings to win for just the second time in his last six decisions, helping the Indians start out the four-game series with a victory. It marked the first time Cleveland has won two consecutive games since July 19-20.

The contest was an emotional one for Minnesota, which had its Thursday game against Kansas City postponed because of the tragic Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis on Wednesday night. The bridge stood mere blocks from the Metrodome and cut off the city's major North/South thoroughfare while killing at least five people and injuring nearly 100 with many still missing.

"It was tough before the ballgame with the little tribute there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I'm sure it had more than one person's tears in their eyes. As we know, our hearts are all with them."

As if that wasn't enough, the Twins fell 6 1/2 games behind the Indians in the wild card race. The Indians, meanwhile, leaped over Detroit to take a half game lead in the American League Central as the Tigers lost to Chicago, 7-4, on Friday, and now lead the wild card standings.

"Any time you get a victory against Johan Santana, he's one of the best in the game and he's tough to get runs off of," Indians third baseman Casey Blake said. "Grady had a heck of a night. He was basically our whole offense."

The contest was close through six innings until the Indians broke it open with a two-run seventh.

Kenny Lofton reached second to start the inning on a two-base error from rookie second-baseman Alexi Casilla, who misplayed a bloop hit behind second base. Gutierrez singled Lofton to third to end Santana's night, and Sizemore brought in the runner from third with a single off reliever Dennys Reyes.

Franklin Gutierrez scored the fifth run on another Casilla error in the next at-bat, as he threw wildly to first trying to double-up Casey Blake on a ground ball. Blake was caught in a run-down, but Gutierrez scored well before Blake was tagged.

Santana (11-9) allowed five runs - three earned - on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts, losing for the third time in his last four starts. He has a 4.85 ERA in those games, after going 5-0 in his previous five outings with a 1.03 ERA.

"I was trying to make something special and hopefully have something positive here in the Twin Cities," Santana said. "Unfortunately it didn't happen, but we have to keep on doing what we do."

"Nothing Johan does scares me," Gardenhire said. "He's one of the best pitchers in the game if not the best pitcher in the game. I don't worry too much about Johan Santana."

But the two-time Cy Young winner couldn't slow down Sizemore, who had his third straight multi-hit night with all his RBI coming off lefthanded pitchers. He also stole his 28th base of the season.

"He did a little bit of everything today," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's a lot of work on his part. You talk about a star player never getting complacent, never being satisfied, he's the greatest example of that."

After hitting .214 off lefthanded pitching in 2006, Sizemore is batting .283 against them this season.

"I still think I can get a lot better," Sizemore said. "It's something that will probably take time and more experience to get comfortable and see more guys. It's a work in progress."

Sizemore got the scoring started in the third inning with a home run to right field. The round-tripper plated Josh Barfield, who managed the Indians' first hit off Santana in the previous at-bat.

Twins designated hitter Mike Redmond singled and went to second on a wild pitch to start the bottom half of the frame, went to third on Nick Punto's groundout, then scored when Casilla ripped an 0-2 pitch from Sabathia to left field.

Minnesota tied the score in the fourth inning with a double from Michael Cuddyer and a two-out RBI double from Torii Hunter. But Sabathia avoided more damage from there, and the Indians took the lead for good in the fifth.

Franklin Gutierrez tripled to lead off the frame and Sizemore plated him with a single two batters later. Aaron Fultz and Rafael Betancourt held Minnesota scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings and Joe Borowski logged a scoreless ninth for his 30th save in 33 chances.

Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Indians.

Cuddyer and Hunter both had two hits for Minnesota, which lost its second straight contest after winning four in a row.








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

    BATTERIES: CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, AARON FULTZ (7TH), RAFAEL BETANCOURT (7TH), JOE
    BOROWSKI (9TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ
    MIN - JOHAN SANTANA, MATT GUERRIER (7TH), DENNYS REYES
    (7TH

    Aug 3 11:30 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ALEXI CASILLA ALLOWED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5
    MINNESOTA 2 END TOP, 7TH

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 10:39 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED KENNY LOFTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON FIRST, F GUTIERREZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 4
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.268, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 10:28 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.268, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 9:32 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TORII HUNTER SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HUNTER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M REDMOND (.282, 1-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 9:20 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALEXI CASILLA SCORED MIKE REDMOND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CASILLA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J TYNER (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 9:01 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GRADY SIZEMORE (19) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF JOHAN SANTANA SCORED JOSH BARFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2, MINNESOTA 0
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.267, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. TwinsAug 3 8:45 PM
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