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Cleveland at Detroit

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Cleveland (70-56) «0000000003370
Detroit (68-59)0000000001190

Indians take down Tigers again, open 2 1/2-game division lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Jim Leyland doesn't want the Detroit Tigers to stare at the standings.

That's probably a good idea because the slumping Tigers are slipping behind Cleveland in the AL Central and losing ground in the wild-card race.

Pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton's infield single off Joel Zumaya broke a scoreless tie with two outs in the 10th inning, and the Indians went on to beat Detroit 3-1 Thursday.

Cleveland won the three-game series and lead the Tigers in the division by 2 ½ games, the biggest cushion since it was ahead by three games on July 3.

"These types of series really test you," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I'm really pleased with the way our guys competed."

Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and Detroit's Nate Robertson kept the game scoreless through eight innings.

Then in a battle of the bullpens, the Indians did better -- barely.

Down 3-0 in the 10th, the Tigers still had a chance to win a series for the first time since mid-July. Marcus Thames hit an RBI double with two outs off Joe Borowski, putting a pair of runners in scoring position, but Ivan Rodriguez popped up to end the game.

The Indians and Tigers are scheduled to play only one more series, a three-game set Sept. 17-19 in Cleveland. With Seattle and New York playing well in the wild-card race, they might be competing for only one spot in the postseason.

"I don't really worry about that," Leyland said. "The issue is to win games.

"If you sit around and stare at the standings and don't do anything about it, you've got problems."

The Tigers clearly have problems.

Since they had the best record in the majors and a two-game lead in the division on July 21, they are 10-22 and have lost five of their last six.

"We get the pitching one night, and we don't get the hitting. Then, we have the hitting and not the pitching," Curtis Granderson said. "We just have to put it together.

"Nate pitched well and all we had to do was score one run."

Westbrook and three relievers didn't let Detroit score until it was too late.

Seeming to turn his season around, Westbrook turned in another strong performance. He allowed five hits and two walks -- one intentional -- over eight innings. He is 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in August after starting the season 1-6.

Robertson gave up four hits and no walks in a season-high 8 2/3 innings.

"Robertson was as good as we've seen him and he's been good against us a few times. He took it to another level," Wedge said. "Jake was right there with him against that lineup and in their backyard."

A sold-out crowd gave Robertson a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout after giving up a double to Grady Sizemore.

Zumaya (1-2) left Sizemore stranded, but gave up a leadoff double to Victor Martinez and intentionally walked Travis Hafner in the 10th.

He had a shot at getting a key double play, but Ryan Garko beat the relay throw. After Jhonny Peralta drew a four-pitch walk, Franklin Gutierrez struck out.

Lofton batted for Jason Michaels and got the go-ahead hit. Chris Gomez followed with a two-run single.

"The killer was the Gomez hit," Leyland said.

Zumaya made his second appearance in three days since coming off the disabled list after a three-month absence because of a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger.

"He's not going to strike out everyone and throw 100 every time," Leyland said. "I'm not disappointed in him at all. I'm disappointed that we just couldn't get a big hit."

Borowski got his 36th save in 41 chances. He retired the first two Tigers in the 10th before Magglio Ordonez doubled, Carlos Guillen bunted for a single and Thames doubled.

Rafael Perez (1-1) got the win, his first in the majors. He struck out the only batter he faced, fanning Granderson after the Tigers put two on with two outs in the ninth against Rafael Betancourt.

Both teams made slick plays defensively, and the best perhaps came in the fifth inning with Detroit's Brandon Inge on second with one out. Gutierrez sprinted to catch a liner against the right-field wall, and threw to second for an inning-ending double play.

"I made a mistake with a cutter, but he made a great catch," Westbrook said. "It ended up being a big play."

Notes

  • Detroit traded OF Craig Monroe and cash to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named by Oct. 15.
  • The Tigers plan to option RHP Zach Miner to Triple-A Toledo to make room for LHP Andrew Miller, who will start Friday night against Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees.
  • Westbrook has lasted at least seven innings in five of his last six starts.
  • Tigers DH Gary Sheffield (shoulder) missed his second straight game and doesn't plan on facing one of his former teams, the Yankees.
 
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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Jake Westbrook struggled against Detroit, just not Thursday, giving up five hits in eight solid innings. (AP)
Jake Westbrook struggled against Detroit, just not Thursday, giving up five hits in eight solid innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

K. Lofton
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Detroit

N. Robertson
IP 8.2
H 4
ER 0
BB 0
K 3
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5020022 .276
Casey Blake, 3B4000002 .262
Victor Martinez, C4010000 .301
    Josh Barfield, PR0100000 .243
    Kelly Shoppach, C0000000 .260
Travis Hafner, DH3000100 .252
Ryan Garko, 1B4010011 .307
    Asdrubal Cabrera, PR-2B0100000 .290
Jhonny Peralta, SS3110101 .274
Franklin Gutierrez, RF4000024 .275
Jason Michaels, LF3000000 .262
   a- Kenny Lofton, PH-LF1011000 .297
Chris Gomez, 2B-1B4012000 .303
Totals3537325  
a-singled for Michaels in the 10th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (26, Robertson), Victor Martinez (33, Zumaya), Jhonny Peralta (21, Robertson)
RBI - Kenny Lofton (27), Chris Gomez 2 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Kenny Lofton (13), Chris Gomez 2 (6)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Franklin Gutierrez 1
DP - Gutierrez-Gomez-Peralta
Cleveland Indians
Jake Westbrook 8500230 4.40
Rafael Betancourt 0.2100100 1.50
Rafael Perez (W,1-1) 0.1000010 1.83
Joe Borowski (S,36) 1311000 5.51
IBB - Ordonez by Jake Westbrook
HBP - Rabelo (by Jake Westbrook), Inge (by Jake Westbrook)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 104-70, Rafael Betancourt 12-8, Rafael Perez 6-4, Joe Borowski 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 13-7, Joe Borowski 1-2
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 32, Rafael Betancourt 4, Rafael Perez 1, Joe Borowski 6
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5010014 .285
Placido Polanco, 2B4010000 .340
Sean Casey, DH5000013 .282
Magglio Ordonez, RF4120102 .353
Carlos Guillen, 1B4010112 .305
Marcus Thames, LF5021002 .251
    Cameron Maybin, PR0000000 .267
Mike Rabelo, C3010010 .283
    Ivan Rodriguez, PR-C1000002 .278
Brandon Inge, 3B2000102 .238
Ramon Santiago, SS3010002 .500
Totals3619134  
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (42, Borowski), Marcus Thames (10, Borowski)
SH - Placido Polanco (2), Ramon Santiago (1)
RBI - Marcus Thames (40)
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Thames (18)
SB - Magglio Ordonez (4, 2nd base off Westbrook/Martinez)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Santiago-Polanco-Guillen, Santiago-Polanco-Guillen
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson 8.2400030 4.80
Joel Zumaya (L,1-2) 1333210 4.82
Bobby Seay 0.1000010 3.06
IBB - Hafner by Joel Zumaya
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 91-64, Joel Zumaya 30-16, Bobby Seay 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 9-12, Joel Zumaya 2-0
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 28, Joel Zumaya 8, Bobby Seay 1
Game Information
Attendance - 40946
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Jim Reynolds