Tigers Drop One Against Indians

By  | 

DETROIT (AP) -- Grady Sizemore trotted around the bases and stepped back into the dugout as if his leadoff homer were no big deal.
Just another day at the ballpark for Sizemore. Even after achieving something only one other Cleveland player has ever done.
Sizemore hit two home runs to join the 30-30 club and Franklin Gutierrez had a 10th-inning solo shot to help the Cleveland Indians win their eighth straight, 4-3 over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Sizemore homered on the game's second pitch and became the second Indians player to have at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.
"He's unbelievable," manager Eric Wedge said of the three-time All-Star. "You wouldn't know if it was his first or his 30th. In a low-scoring ballgame, he set the tone. That's what he does. He does it from a spot in the order that can give us a lot of energy."
Joe Carter also accomplished the feat with Cleveland in 1987. Sizemore is the 14th American League player to join the 30-30 club, and first since Alfonso Soriano did it for Texas in 2005.
Sizemore, who has 34 steals, added his 31st homer in his next at-bat.
"It's exciting when we're playing well like we are," Sizemore said. "We're finding ways to win right now and that's what you want."
With more than a month left in the season, he has a chance to become the fifth major leaguer to join the 40-40 club -- not that he's obsessed with getting there.
"I don't try to hit homers. I try to just keep the ball in the gap and in the center of the field," he said. "I've got a long way to go."
Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Soriano (2006) are the only players in baseball history who have reached the 40-40 plateau.
Gutierrez, who singled in the game-winning run in the ninth inning of Sunday's victory at Texas, hit the second pitch thrown by reliever Gary Glover (1-3) into the left-field stands to break a 3-3 tie.
"That's the first time that's happened to me," Gutierrez said of the consecutive game-winning hits. "I've been having some good games in the late innings."
Glover regretted the throw.
"I tried to run it in on him. but he got a good swing," he said. "It wasn't the best pitch to throw at that time."
Jensen Lewis worked the bottom of the inning to earn his seventh save in eight chances. Brendan Donnelly (1-0) worked the ninth inning for the Indians.
Cleveland starter Zach Jackson, part of the July 7 trade that sent CC Sabathia to Milwaukee, matched his career-best six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings but lost his bid at his first victory with the club when he left the tying run aboard in the seventh.
"He's progressed in each outing," Wedge said of the left-hander, who made his third start for the club. "He was very good today and put us in a good position to win the ballgame."
Brandon Inge singled off reliever Masa Kobayashi later in the seventh to tie the score.
Detroit's Armando Galarraga pitched the first seven innings and gave up both Sizemore homers. The no-decision ended his three-start winning streak.
Marcus Thames and Edgar Renteria each hit solo homers for the Tigers. Thames singled in the seventh but left the game when he suffered a cramp in his left calf while running to third base. Matt Joyce replaced him at third and scored the tying run on Inge's single.
"What hurt us was not enough offense," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We got hits but didn't do much with it. We didn't swing the bats well enough to score runs."
The Indians improved to 63-67 and moved a half-game behind the Tigers for third place in the AL Central. They haven't been this close to the .500 mark since mid-June.
"We just want to win as many games as we can and finish as well as we can," Wedge said.
Cleveland's Ryan Garko extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the fourth.
Notes:@ Sizemore's solo shot was his 18th career leadoff homer, matching Kenny Lofton's club record. His seven leadoff homers this season extended his team record. ... Detroit 3B Carlos Guillen left the game in the fourth with lower-back spasms. Leyland said it's likely Guillen will be out of the lineup for at least a couple of days. ... The Indians activated RHP Matt Ginter from the disabled list and outrighted him to Triple-A Buffalo before the game. ... Kevin Causey replaced Brian Runge in the game's umpiring crew.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus