Cleveland at Detroit

W: P. Byrd (5-1) L: N. Robertson (4-4)
S: J. Borowski (15)
HR: CLE - C. Blake (6), V. Martinez (7), J. Barfield (2)   DET - C. Monroe (6)

Indians 7, Tigers 4

CBS wire reports

DETROIT -- Paul Byrd is throwing so well that he's worried he's getting too much of the plate.

Byrd won his fourth straight decision, Casey Blake and Victor Martinez hit first-inning homers and the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Friday night.

Byrd (5-1) threw 60 strikes in 73 pitches, a ratio that he thought was too good. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings to improve to 4-0 in his last six starts. He struck out four, and didn't issue a walk for the fifth straight start.

"Normally, throwing strikes isn't a problem," Byrd said. "But I was throwing hittable pitches when I was already ahead in the count. Against a team like Detroit, that's like flicking matches at gasoline. I wouldn't have slept 15 minutes if we had lost this one, as well as everyone else played."

The game was the first of seven between the AL Central's top teams in the next 10 days. The Indians' victory gave them a half-game lead over Detroit.

"This was a nice game," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We had a lot of good things happen tonight."

Blake hit a drive to left off Nate Robertson with one out in the first for his fifth homer in 26 career at-bats against the left-hander. It was Blake's sixth of the season.

Robertson (4-4) struck out Travis Hafner before Martinez homered into the tunnel beyond the right-field fence to make it 2-0.

Robertson went 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, 10 hits and three walks. He dropped to 1-3 in his last four starts.

"I don't know why I'm hittable like this right now," Robertson said. "I've just got to make some adjustments. That's what this game is about. I'm just going through a funk right now."

Josh Barfield hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Grady Sizemore singled in a run in the sixth to give Cleveland a 5-1 lead.

The Tigers put together a two-run rally in the bottom half of the sixth. Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen doubled with two outs. Ivan Rodriguez then hit a slow grounder that trickled into center field as Guillen easily scored to make it 5-3.

Craig Monroe, who was robbed of a three-run homer by Jason Michaels in the third, hit a ball just a little higher in the seventh for his sixth of the season to make it a one-run game.

"I thought I had a chance at that one, too," said Michaels, who reached well above the left-field fence to snag Monroe's first drive. "I take a lot of pride in my defense."

Monroe didn't take much consolation at getting the second one past Michaels, especially since his third-inning fly ball would have given Detroit a 4-2 lead.

"If he doesn't make that, we go ahead and the tables are kind of turning," he said. "But this is the big leagues, and guys will make those plays if you give them an opportunity."

Hafner tripled in Blake and Jhonny Peralta hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth to get some breathing room for Joe Borowski, who allowed a leadoff single to Sean Casey before retiring the next three hitters for his 15th save.


  • Ordonez has scored at least once in eight straight games.
  • Gary Sheffield went 0-for-3 against Byrd, lowering his career average to .095 (2-21) against him.
  • Tigers setup man Fernando Rodney is expected to miss the entire weekend series with tightness in his shoulder, but he said before the game that he does not consider it serious.
  • The game drew a sellout crowd of 40,074 on a 70-degree night.
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Josh Barfield leaps over Carlos Guillen on the basepaths and slams a two-run shot in the fourth.  (AP)
Josh Barfield leaps over Carlos Guillen on the basepaths and slams a two-run shot in the fourth. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Barfield
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1

I. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5021013 .274
Casey Blake, RF2211311 .268
Travis Hafner, DH5111014 .270
Victor Martinez, 1B5111012 .318
Jhonny Peralta, SS4021011 .280
Jason Michaels, LF5110002 .281
Josh Barfield, 2B3212100 .234
Kelly Shoppach, C3020101 .326
Andy Marte, 3B4010013 .180
3B - Travis Hafner (1, Byrdak)
HR - Casey Blake (6, Robertson), Victor Martinez (7, Robertson), Josh Barfield (2, Robertson)
SF - Jhonny Peralta (3)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (24), Casey Blake (24), Travis Hafner (32), Victor Martinez (36), Jhonny Peralta (33), Josh Barfield 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (13), Victor Martinez (15)
SB - Grady Sizemore (16, 3rd base off Ledezma/Rodriguez)
CS - Casey Blake (3, 2nd base by Robertson/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Peralta-Barfield-Martinez
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,5-1) 6.1944041 3.81
Rafael Betancourt (H,9) 1.2100010 1.83
Joe Borowski (S,15) 1100010 7.50
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 73-60, Rafael Betancourt 16-15, Joe Borowski 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 4-11, Rafael Betancourt 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 28, Rafael Betancourt 5, Joe Borowski 4
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5010021 .283
Placido Polanco, 2B4000021 .326
Gary Sheffield, DH4000011 .240
Magglio Ordonez, RF4110000 .358
Carlos Guillen, SS4231000 .337
Ivan Rodriguez, C4032001 .278
Sean Casey, 1B4020002 .262
Craig Monroe, LF4111003 .233
Brandon Inge, 3B4000013 .218
2B - Magglio Ordonez (24, Byrd), Carlos Guillen (14, Byrd)
3B - Carlos Guillen (4, Byrd)
HR - Craig Monroe (6, Byrd)
RBI - Carlos Guillen (36), Ivan Rodriguez 2 (23), Craig Monroe (27)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Guillen (13), Ivan Rodriguez (15)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Guillen-Polanco-Casey
E - Ivan Rodriguez (2, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson (L,4-4) 5.21055323 4.03
Wilfredo Ledezma 2100120 5.18
Tim Byrdak 0.2122120 4.26
Jose Mesa 0.2000000 11.57
WP - Nate Robertson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 107-63, Wilfredo Ledezma 38-25, Tim Byrdak 22-13, Jose Mesa 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 11-2, Wilfredo Ledezma 2-2, Jose Mesa 1-1
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 28, Wilfredo Ledezma 8, Tim Byrdak 4, Jose Mesa 2
Game Information
Attendance - 40074
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Bruce Froemming, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Mike Winters