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No Verlander, no problem as Tigers' Ledezma helps blank Indians

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Wilfredo Ledezma couldn't have done much better in place of Justin Verlander.

Ledezma struck out five in 5 2/3 innings, and the Detroit Tigers took advantage of an error by C.C. Sabathia to beat the Cleveland Indians 1-0 Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.

Making his first major league start since June 4, 2005, Ledezma (2-1) allowed six hits and two walks.

"This year, I think I've got more experience and more concentration," said Ledezma, who made 10 starts last season before being sent to Triple-A Toledo. "Always prepared for the first pitch, throwing a strike."

He used a fastball that reached 95 miles per hour and offspeed pitches to keep Cleveland off balance.

Detroit skipped Verlander (14-4) to give his tired arm a rest. He is scheduled to start Friday against the White Sox.

Jason Grilli, Jamie Walker, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones followed Ledezma, with Jones getting three outs for his 31st save in 34 chances.

With their major league-leading 13th shutout of the season, the Tigers completed their 11th series sweep of the year. Detroit, which was outhit 8-6, improved its major league-best record to 75-36.

Craig Monroe hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning off Sabathia (8-8), who allowed an unearned run and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two.

"We beat one of the best pitching performances I've seen against us all year," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

Brandon Inge led off the fifth with a bunt and reached when Sabathia couldn't handle it.

"I just tried to pick it up with my hand," said Sabathia, who was charged with an error. "I did the same thing in Boston (in his previous start)."

Inge advanced on Brent Clevlen's sacrifice and Placido Polanco's groundout, then scored on Monroe's single to left.

"Fastball down. I took a good swing," Monroe said.

Ledezma was replaced by Grilli after consecutive two-out singles by Jhonny Peralta and Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth. Following a wild pitch, Grilli retired Kelly Shoppach on a groundout.

Grilli walked No. 9 hitter Andy Marte with one out in the seventh, Grady Sizemore followed with a ground-rule double and Jason Michaels walked on a 3-2 pitch, loading the bases.

Walker relieved, struck out Travis Hafner and retired Victor Martinez on a forceout.

"We had the two guys up there we wanted with the bases loaded," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "Walker really stepped up."

Magglio Ordonez tripled to lead off the sixth for Detroit. But with one out and runners at the corners, Vance Wilson failed on an attempted squeeze bunt and Ordonez was tagged out in a rundown.

Notes

  • Cleveland 1B Casey Blake is day to day after spraining an ankle in Saturday night's game.
  • Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez started at first base for the fourth time this season and in his career.
  • Monroe was 2-for-4 and is batting .412 (21-for-51) in a 13-game hitting streak, the longest of his career.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Grady Sizemore comes up short on a ball hit by Brandon Inge in the second inning.  (AP)
Grady Sizemore comes up short on a ball hit by Brandon Inge in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

W. Ledezma
IP 5.2
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
Detroit

C. Monroe
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3010101 .299
Jason Michaels, LF4000113 .265
Travis Hafner, DH4000033 .302
Victor Martinez, 1B4020003 .313
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010012 .252
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4020022 .257
Kelly Shoppach, C3010112 .262
Joe Inglett, 2B3000012 .292
Andy Marte, 3B2010101 .150
   a- Todd Hollandsworth, PH1000000 .239
Totals320804919 
a-grounded out for Marte in the 9th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (37, Grilli), Victor Martinez (27, Ledezma), Kelly Shoppach (5, Ledezma)
SH - Joe Inglett (2)
CS - Shin-Soo Choo (1, 2nd base by Rodney/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - C.C. Sabathia (1, )
Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia (L,8-8) 7610260 3.43
Brian Sikorski 1000000 5.16
Pitches-Strikes - C.C. Sabathia 110-74, Brian Sikorski 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.C. Sabathia 8-7
Batters Faced - C.C. Sabathia 29, Brian Sikorski 3
Detroit Tigers
Placido Polanco, 2B4010001 .297
Craig Monroe, DH4021011 .271
Ivan Rodriguez, 1B4000013 .307
    Sean Casey, 1B0000000 .286
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010002 .296
Carlos Guillen, SS4010001 .306
Marcus Thames, LF2000111 .272
    Curtis Granderson, PR-CF0000000 .278
Vance Wilson, C2000121 .284
Brandon Inge, 3B3110002 .245
Brent Clevlen, CF-LF2000012 .500
Totals291612614 
Batting
3B - Magglio Ordonez (1, Sabathia)
SH - Brent Clevlen (1)
RBI - Craig Monroe (61)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Monroe (24)
CS - Magglio Ordonez (4, Home by Sabathia/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Guillen
Detroit Tigers
Wil Ledezma (W,2-1) 5.2600250 3.00
Jason Grilli (H,7) 0.2100210 3.89
Jamie Walker (H,10) 0.2000010 1.32
Fernando Rodney (H,15) 1100020 3.61
Todd Jones (S,31) 1000000 4.63
HBP - Sizemore (by Todd Jones)
WP - Jason Grilli (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Wil Ledezma 93-60, Jason Grilli 24-12, Jamie Walker 6-5, Fernando Rodney 15-10, Todd Jones 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wil Ledezma 7-4, Jason Grilli 1-0, Jamie Walker 1-0, Todd Jones 1-2
Batters Faced - Wil Ledezma 24, Jason Grilli 5, Jamie Walker 2, Fernando Rodney 3, Todd Jones 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39178
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Larry Poncino, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Gary Darling