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Monroe's eighth-inning shot caps Tigers rally

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Craig Monroe was ready the second time he got a good pitch to hit in a crucial at-bat.

Monroe hit a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth inning after just missing one earlier to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Cleveland Indians 7-6 Friday night.

Monroe hit a long flyball foul before he connected on a 3-2 pitch for his 18th homer of the season.

"I just tried to refocus," Monroe said. "I got a good pitch, a fastball, and hit it real good."

The Indians led 6-4 after seven innings but the Tigers pushed across three in the eighth. Placido Polanco and Ivan Rodriguez singled off Rafael Betancourt with no outs to begin the rally. Magglio Ordonez then lined a pitch to right-center that looked like a game-tying extra-base hit, but Shin-Soo Choo raced into the gap to make a diving catch. Polanco tagged and went to third.

Betancourt was replaced by Fernando Cabrera (1-2), who surrendered a sacrifice fly to Carlos Guillen to deep center after Guillen hit a long drive down the right-field line that just went foul. Monroe followed with his third home run in three games.

"I made a mistake and I paid for that," said Cabrera, after sitting facing his locker with his face in his hands after the game. "I was aggressive with him and I didn't hit my location."

Travis Hafner homered and Choo drove in two runs for Cleveland.

"You make your own breaks," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "You have to look at it like you're getting a reprieve and make a pitch."

Ramon Colon (2-0) allowed a run in 2 1-3 innings to get the win and Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 33 chances.

Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked three.

"We just stayed with it and got the big blow to win the game," manager Jim Leyland said. "I didn't have a good feeling about this game. It was an easy one to just pack it in. But we didn't do that."

Cleveland starter Cliff Lee gave up four runs and six hits with two walks in 6 1-3 innings.

"I miss on a couple of pitches in the sixth inning and then in the seventh, I get a walk," Lee said. "With a lead like that, I can't be walking people."

He was chased by Sean Casey's two-run double with one out in the seventh and Betancourt struck out Brandon Inge and got Curtis Granderson to fly out to center to end the inning.

The Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Victor Martinez hit an RBI double, Casey Blake drove in a run with a groundout and Choo also doubled in a run.

Hafner's solo homer with one out in the fifth made it 4-0. He drove Bonderman's 0-1 pitch deep into the right-field stands for his 32nd of the season.

Andy Marte also singled in a run in the sixth for Cleveland to end an 0-for-14 slump since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Buffalo on July 28.

Notes

  • Detroit rookie RHP Justin Verlander will skip his scheduled start on Sunday because of fatigue in his right arm. He is 14-3 to lead the majors in wins and his 2.79 ERA is second in the American League and third in the majors. Reliever Wilfredo Ledezma will start on Sunday and Verlander is scheduled to start next Friday.
  • Hafner homered for the third consecutive game and his single in the seventh was the 500th hit of his career.
  • The Tigers agreed to terms with their 2006 first-round draft choice, LHP Andrew Miller, on a four-year deal. He pitched at North Carolina State and will be among the team's call-ups in September.
  • Actor Jeff Daniels attended the game. He lives in Chelsea, MI., which is about 50 miles west of Detroit.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brandon Inge goes the extra distance to haul in the foul ball as Detroit improves to 6-4 in its last 10.  (AP)
Brandon Inge goes the extra distance to haul in the foul ball as Detroit improves to 6-4 in its last 10. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

C. Monroe
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Cleveland

T. Hafner
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5110002 .300
Jason Michaels, LF4000011 .272
   a- Todd Hollandsworth, PH1000000 .240
Travis Hafner, DH4321120 .305
Victor Martinez, C4131100 .314
    Hector Luna, PR0000000 .283
Casey Blake, 1B4011101 .306
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4122002 .241
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000014 .254
Joe Inglett, 2B4000041 .309
Andy Marte, 3B4021000 .125
Totals3861163811 
a-grounded out for Michaels in the 9th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (35, Bonderman), Victor Martinez (26, Bonderman), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (3, Bonderman, Bonderman)
HR - Travis Hafner (32, Bonderman)
RBI - Travis Hafner (92), Victor Martinez (64), Casey Blake (50), Shin-Soo Choo 2 (7), Andy Marte (1)
2-OUT RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (2), Andy Marte (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Inglett-Blake
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee 6.1644230 4.75
Rafael Betancourt (H,5) 1222010 4.14
Fernando Cabrera (BS,4; L,1-2) 0.2111011 6.10
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 89-57, Rafael Betancourt 15-12, Fernando Cabrera 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 8-7
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 26, Rafael Betancourt 5, Fernando Cabrera 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000002 .280
Placido Polanco, 2B4221010 .299
Ivan Rodriguez, C3121100 .309
Magglio Ordonez, RF4000003 .297
Carlos Guillen, SS3111000 .305
Craig Monroe, DH3212100 .268
Marcus Thames, LF4010022 .275
    Brent Clevlen, LF0000000 .625
Sean Casey, 1B3012001 .291
Brandon Inge, 3B3110021 .241
Totals31797259 
Batting
2B - Carlos Guillen (30, Lee), Marcus Thames (18, Lee), Sean Casey (16, Lee)
3B - Placido Polanco (1, Lee)
HR - Craig Monroe (18, Cabrera)
SF - Carlos Guillen (4)
RBI - Placido Polanco (41), Ivan Rodriguez (48), Carlos Guillen (66), Craig Monroe 2 (60), Sean Casey 2 (33)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Monroe 2 (23)
Team LOB - 3
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman 5.2755361 3.81
Roman Colon (W,2-0) 2.1311010 4.86
Todd Jones (S,30) 1100010 4.74
WP - Jeremy Bonderman (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 112-69, Roman Colon 37-25, Todd Jones 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 6-5, Roman Colon 3-3, Todd Jones 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 27, Roman Colon 10, Todd Jones 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41502
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Larry Poncino