for this game

Hafner, Sowers lead Indians over Orioles

Sep 10, 2008 - 3:19 AM By Sean Burns PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Designated hitter Travis Hafner showed little rust in his first action since late May, stroking two singles and being intentionally walked as the Cleveland Indians cruised to a 6-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Hafner, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain after hitting.217 with four home runs and 22 RBI through 47 games, singled in the first and third innings. He finished 2-for-4 with a strikeout in addition to the free pass, which came with two outs and a runner on second in the eighth inning.

"(The arm) was a little tired at the end, but overall I'm really happy with how today went," said Hafner, who chalked the intentional walk up to the situation rather than fear of his power. "I took some good swings and felt good ... it's just a matter of timing."

Manager Eric Wedge was happy to see the lefty, who had at least 100 RBI in each of the past four seasons, look so good on his first day back in the lineup.

"It's great to see him getting back into the swing of things," he said. "When you can put somebody like that in the middle of your lineup, it helps everybody around him."

Cleveland starter Jeremy Sowers (3-8) lasted eight innings to earn his second win in his last nine starts, giving up four hits a day after the Orioles hung 14 runs on Indian pitching to snap an eight-game losing streak. The third-year lefthander struck out seven and walked one. In his previous eight starts, he had gone 1-3 with four no-decisions, despite giving up four runs or less in all but one of them.

"It doesn't matter how you've been pitching, when you pitch well, you pitch well," Sowers said. "I was able to find my spots and make my pitches when I needed to."

After allowing a bunt single to Brian Roberts to lead off the game, Sowers retired 10 straight hitters, helping his team open a 3-0 lead that it wouldn't relinquish.

"(Sowers) controlled the baseball game," Wedge said. "He commanded his fastball, which makes his changeup more effective and forces (the other team) to hit the baseball ... that's what he did tonight."

The only time the Orioles managed two base runners in an inning off Sowers was the fourth, when Nick Markakis walked, moved to third on Aubrey Huff's double, then scored on a groundout by Ramon Hernandez. After that, Sowers closed his night by retiring 12 of the final 14 hitters.

"One thing that's hurt me, I've been getting guys on base and then not been getting the quality outs," Sowers said. "Tonight, I was able to stop the rally and get us back to the dugout."

Cleveland, on the other hand, was consistently pressuring offensively, scoring a run in every inning but the second, sixth and ninth and recording at least one base runner every frame but the last.

"One run at a time, that's how we did it," Wedge said. "We left 13 (on base), too. That's what happens when you don't hit home runs."

Kelly Shoppach, Michael Aubrey and Andy Marte joined Hafner with multiple hits. Shoppach doubled twice, scoring a pair of runs and driving in two more.

Marte also had an RBI double, rallying from an 0-2 count to battle Radhames Liz (5-5) through 11 pitches in the fifth, chasing the Baltimore starter when his two-out bloop fell in behind shortstop Juan Castro.

Aubrey and Jhonny Peralta had RBI singles for Cleveland, while David Dellucci added a run-scoring triple.

"You can see what happens with young major league pitchers against good hitters ... They don't swing the bat," Baltimore manager David Trembley said. "They'll make you throw over the plate, get you in counts and then make you throw a pitch maybe you shouldn't have."

In addition to having his team's only RBI, Hernandez started for the first time in his major league career at first base. The veteran catcher had played the position several times in relief, including once earlier this season, but had never started anywhere beside behind the plate or as a designated hitter.

Liz gave up four runs - three earned - eight hits and three walks while striking out five.

"He was better, but he didn't pitch enough to win, that's the bottom line," Trembley said of his starter, who gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start, September 2 against Boston. "His breaking pitches were better, sharper, down. But for the majority of the game, you're still looking at a 50-50 split, balls and strikes, and you're not going to have a lot of success doing that."








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

    BATTERIES: CLE - JEREMY SOWERS, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (9TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    BAL - RADHAMES LIZ, ALBERTO CASTILLO (5TH), DENNIS
    SARFATE (6TH), JAMIE WALKER (7TH), ROCKY CHERRY (

    Sep 9 10:12 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KELLY SHOPPACH SCORED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K SHOPPACH ON SECOND, T HAFNER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 6
    BALTIMORE 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: M AUBREY (.250, 2-FOR-4, RBI)

    Indians 6, Orioles 1  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 9 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A MARTE ON FIRST, M AUBREY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 5
    BALTIMORE 1 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.267, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Indians 5, Orioles 1  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 9 9:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ANDY MARTE SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A MARTE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 4
    BALTIMORE 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A CABRERA (.242, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Indians 4, Orioles 1  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 9 8:39 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Indians 3, Orioles 1  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 9 8:36 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RAMON HERNANDEZ SCORED NICK MARKAKIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HUFF ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: K MILLAR (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 3, Orioles 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 9 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY DAVID DELLUCCI SCORED ASDRUBAL CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DELLUCCI ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: S CHOO (.301, 0-FOR-2)

    Indians 3, Orioles 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 9 8:12 PM


  • AL
    AT BALTIMORE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL AUBREY SCORED JHONNY PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M AUBREY ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    BALTIMORE 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A MARTE (.201, 0-FOR-1)

    Indians 2, Orioles 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 9 7:54 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CLE - JEREMY SOWERS
    BAL - RADHAMES LIZ

    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: B ROBERTS (.293, 9 HR, 53 RBI)
    A JONES (.274, 9 HR, 55 RBI)
    N MARKAKIS (.301, 18 HR, 81 R

    Indians 1, Orioles 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 9 7:18 PM