for this game

Sabathia wins 18th as Indians sweep Tigers

Sep 19, 2007 - 8:52 PM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- C.C. Sabathia and the Cleveland Indians are one step closer to returning to the postseason for the first time in six years.

Sabathia set a career high with his 18th win as Cleveland rallied once again to defeat the Detroit Tigers, 4-2, on Wednesday.

With the three-game series sweep, Cleveland (90-62) reduced its magic number for clinching the American League Central Division to three games. "We knew what we needed to do to put this thing to rest and bury (Detroit) for good," Sabathia said.

Detroit (83-70), on the other hand, finds its postseason hopes on life support. The defending AL champions are 7 1/2 back of the Indians in the division and five games behind the New York Yankees (87-64) for the wild card.

"(Cleveland) is going to be the Central Division champions, obviously," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They did what a championship team does. We had our chance. We met them head on and they kicked our butt."

Sabathia (18-7), who is the only member on the Indians' roster from the 2001 division-winning team, allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings. The burly lefthander didn't walk a batter and struck out six.

"I feel pretty good," Sabathia said. "But it's more gratifying to be able to be in the position to make the playoffs. That's the main focus, the main goal when you come into spring training. We're close, but we still have some work to do."

Rafael Betancourt worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Joe Borowski pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his AL-leading 42nd save in 48 chances.

After giving up two runs in the third inning, Sabathia settled down and showed why he is an AL Cy Young candidate. Sabathia, who leads the majors with 234 innings pitched this season, retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced.

"All I can do is go out and try to help this team win," Sabathia said. "I rather go to the World Series than win the Cy Young."

Indians manager Eric Wedge said Sabathia has been interregal in the team's success.

"He's a true No. 1," he said. "It's a different atmosphere at the ballpark when he is pitching. Both teams feel it when he is pitching. He's the guy that keeps streaks going or stops bad streaks."

Detroit had a chance to prevent Sabathia from getting the win in the eighth inning when it loaded the bases with two outs. But Betancourt got Marcus Thames - who was 4-for-4 with two grand slams with the bases loaded this season - to fly out to left to end the inning.

Trailing, 2-0, Cleveland battled back with a solo home run by Casey Blake in third off of Tigers starter Nate Robertson (8-12). It was Blake's third home run in his last six games, with the previous two being walk-off blasts.

"I was coming in with a fastball," Robertson said. "He got (his swing) going early and turned on it. When we tried to throw him the slow stuff, he hit that. Whatever he's doing, he is doing it right."

Cleveland scored three in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Blake started the rally with a one-out walk and stole second base. Franklin Gutierrez brought him home with a double down the left-field line to tie the game.

"Blake created something for us," Wedge said. "He had another big home run to get us going. He's really stepped up."

Jason Michaels put the Indians in front when he followed with an RBI double to left and Asdrubal Cabrera plated him later in the frame with a single.

Robertson did a good job of minimizing the damage, inducing the Indians to hit into three double plays to keep his team in striking distance. He allowed four runs, six hits and three walks while striking out five in seven innings.

Ryan Raburn drove in both runs for the Tigers, who squandered leads in each game of this series.

"It was the kiss of death," Leyland said. "We had the lead in all three games, but we couldn't add on and we couldn't hold the lead."








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

    BATTERIES: DET - NATE ROBERTSON, BOBBY SEAY (8TH) AND MIKE RABELO
    CLE - C.C. SABATHIA, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH), JOE
    BOROWSKI (9TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ

    HOME RUNS: DET - NONE


    Sep 19 2:52 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED JASON MICHAELS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A CABRERA ON FIRST, G SIZEMORE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.253, 0-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 1:43 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON MICHAELS SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MICHAELS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.272, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 1:39 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ SCORED CASEY BLAKE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F GUTIERREZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J MICHAELS (.273, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 1:38 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY BLAKE (18) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2, CLEVELAND 1
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: F GUTIERREZ (.271, 13 HR, 35 RBI)

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 12:51 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN RABURN SCORED MIKE HESSMAN AND RAMON
    SANTIAGO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R RABURN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    CLEVELAND 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: P POLANCO (.342, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 12:39 PM
  • 5
    roots
    EdanStarfire Added 5 roots

    Tigers vs. IndiansSep 19 11:15 AM