for this game

Lofton's walk-off base on balls lifts red-hot Indians

Aug 31, 2007 - 3:59 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Kenny Lofton drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to provide the Cleveland Indians their sixth straight win, 6-5, over the slumping Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.

Victor Martinez started the winning rally with a one-out line single to left - his third hit of the game - off Eric O'Flaherty (7-1). Pinch runner Josh Barfield advanced to second when Ryan Garko was hit by an 0-2 pitch.

Rick White entered and retired Jhonny Peralta on a lineout before walking Franklin Gutierrez to load the bases for Lofton, who laid off a high-inside 3-2 pitch.

"The pressure is always on the pitcher," Lofton said. "He's got to throw strikes. I thought it was a ball. If it was a strike, I would have swung.

"I'm not usually the guy with the RBI. I'm usually the guy before the guy with the RBI."

White didn't agree with the call by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook.

"I thought it was a strike," White said. "I don't know if Lofton jumped so bad he locked up the umpire, but it looked like a strike. (Holbrook) said it was high and inside. I looked at the tape and it wasn't high."

Cleveland scored twice in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead and was on the verge of the win until Joe Borowski (3-5) blew his sixth save in the ninth.

He walked Ben Broussard on seven pitches to lead off the frame before Kenji Johjima singled to left field. After Adam Jones sacrificed, Yuniesky Betancourt plated Broussard with a slow roller to second base.

"There is no other way to put it, the leadoff walk changed the inning," Borowski said. "I was lucky that only run scored and we came back."

Garko and Martinez each had an RBI hit in the seventh inning as the Indians stretched their winning streak to six games with a 5-4 victory over the slumping Seattle Mariners.

The winning streak equals a season high for the Indians, who maintained their 4 1/2 game lead over Detroit in the American League Central.

"It was a battle," said bench coach Jeff Datz, who took over the managerial reigns after Eric Wedge was ejected in the fourth. "Our guys continued to put up very good at-bats."

After scoring three runs in the second, Cleveland saw its 3-0 lead turn into a 4-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Grady Sizemore started the rally with a one-out walk against George Sherrill. After an Asdrubal Cabrera strikeout, Travis Hafner kept the inning alive with a single to left. Martinez followed by ripping a single to left to tie the game as Hafner went to third.

Brandon Morrow relieved Sherrill and quickly got ahead 1-2. Garko took a ball before putting the Indians ahead with a double off of the outstretched glove of left fielder Raul Ibanez.

It was only the sixth RBI of the month for Garko.

Cleveland looked like it was on its way to an easy win as rookie starter Aaron Laffey had retired 11 batters in a row, but Adam Jones snapped the skid by blasting Laffey's 1-1 pitch into the center field seats.

It was the first home run of the season for the Mariners top prospect, who was called up earlier in the month. Jones had just one hit in his previous 17 at-bats.

"I don't get to play a lot, so I just try to make the best of it," Jones said.

The Mariners added another run later in the inning on Jose Guillen's RBI single and took the lead in the seventh on RBI singles by Jones and Yuniesky Betancourt to take a 4-3 lead.

"We did everything we were supposed to but win the game," lamented Mariners manager John McLaren.

However it wasn't enough to prevent the Mariners from losing their sixth straight game and fall a game behind the New York Yankees in the race for the American League wild card.

"These guys are busting their tails and playing hard," McLaren said. "We need a win to feel good about ourselves."

Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez only had one bad inning - the second - as he held Cleveland to three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 frames. The lefthander was aided by a nice pickoff move, which caught two Indians baserunners napping.

Cleveland scored three runs in the second - all with two out - to take a 3-0 lead. With a runner on first and two out, Gutierrez doubled off of the left field wall. Jason Michaels followed with a two-run single to left and went to second on the throw. Michaels heads-up base running was crucial as Gomez singled through the hole at second to plate Michaels.

The runs looked like it would be enough for Laffey, who pitched well early in just his fourth major league start. The lefthander, who has replaced Cliff Lee in the rotation, allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

It was the third makeup game between the two clubs from an April snowstorm that wiped out a four-game series. The fourth game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on September 26 in Seattle.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 5 10 0
    CLEVELAND 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 6 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - HORACIO RAMIREZ, SEAN GREEN (6TH), GEORGE SHERRILL (7TH),
    BRANDON MORROW (7TH), ERIC O'FLAHERTY (9TH), RICK WHITE (9TH)
    AND KENJI JOHJIMA, JAMIE BURKE (9TH)


    Aug 30 10:36 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO KENNY LOFTON SCORED JOSH BARFIELD.
    FINAL SCORE: CLEVELAND 6, SEATTLE 5

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 10:36 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 10:36 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED BEN BROUSSARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LOPEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    CLEVELAND 5 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.350, 1-FOR-4)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 10:13 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 10:13 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 9:58 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN GARKO SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GARKO ON SECOND, V MARTINEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    CLEVELAND 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.274, 1-FOR-3)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 9:34 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V MARTINEZ ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.301, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 9:29 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED KENJI JOHJIMA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y BETANCOURT ON FIRST, A JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    CLEVELAND 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.350, 1-FOR-3)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM JONES SCORED ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A JONES ON FIRST, K JOHJIMA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    CLEVELAND 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: Y BETANCOURT (.289, 1-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 9:07 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE GUILLEN SCORED YUNIESKY BETANCOURT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J GUILLEN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    CLEVELAND 3 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.284, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 8:38 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ADAM JONES (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF AARON LAFFEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: Y BETANCOURT (.287, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS GOMEZ SCORED JASON MICHAELS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C GOMEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.279, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 7:38 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON MICHAELS SCORED RYAN GARKO AND FRANKLIN
    GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MICHAELS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C GOMEZ (.311, 1 HR, 18 RBI)

    Mariners vs. IndiansAug 30 7:36 PM