Cleveland at Detroit

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Cleveland (64-67) «00620020010100
Detroit (64-68)000020002482

Lee makes it 19, Indians dump Tigers for ninth victory in a row

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Cliff Lee has been pitching well all season. Now the rest of the Cleveland Indians are performing as well as their ace.

Lee earned his American League-leading 19th win and Ben Francisco hit two home runs in the Cleveland Indians' ninth consecutive victory, 10-4 against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

Jamey Carroll and Kelly Shoppach hit back-to-back homers for Cleveland, which overtook Detroit for third place in the AL Central. The Indians are three games under .500 for the first time since May 24.

"I just feel like we're finding different ways to win ballgames," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Edgar Renteria hit a home run for the Tigers, who have dropped three straight.

Lee (19-2) allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings to tie Brandon Webb of Arizona for the major league lead in wins. It's also a career-high; Lee won 18 games in 2005. Lee has won five consecutive starts, and eight of nine. The Cy Young contender is 5-0 with a 1.86 ERA in August.

"We're kind of spoiled by now. It's been like that since April," Francisco said.

Lee became the eighth pitcher since 1920 to win 19 of his first 21 decisions in a season, according to Stats LLC. The last to do it was Roger Clemens, who was 20-1 after beating the White Sox on Sept. 19, 2001, while with the Yankees.

Lee said he doesn't think about the looming 20-victory plateau or winning the Cy Young Award.

"I just want to get as deep in the game as I can," he said. "Give the team a chance to win and put up as many zeros as I can."

Carroll said it's fun playing behind Lee.

"The way he takes the mound sets the tone for the game," he said. "Playing defense behind him when he's pounding the strike zone like that, it keeps you on your toes."

Chris Lambert (0-1) gave up six runs -- two earned -- and five hits in 2 2/3 innings in his major league debut for the Tigers. Lambert's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo earlier on Tuesday.

"I felt good for the first two innings and then I just got away from my game plan," he said. "I tried to battle through it, but it just didn't work out. A bounce here and a bounce there and that was it."

The Indians used the longball and two Tigers errors to score six in the third. Carroll and Shoppach led off with back-to-back home runs. Carroll's was his first since last Aug. 11.

Lambert then hit Orlando Cabrera with a pitch. Cabrera stole second and came home on third baseman Ryan Raburn's error on a groundball by Franklin Gutierrez. One out later, Jhonny Peralta singled and Gutierez scored when the ball skipped past left fielder Marcus Thames for an error and rolled to the fence.

Peralta later scored on David Dellucci's double, and Carroll chased Lambert with an RBI single.

"It shouldn't have been as bad as it looked," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "We just didn't make plays that we should have. We just couldn't stop the bleeding."

Francisco's first two-run homer, in the fourth, made it 8-0. He added a second in the seventh inning and has 14 on the season.

The Tigers got on the board in the fifth on Raburn's run-scoring double and Brandon Inge's RBI single, and scored two more on Renteria's ninth-inning home run.

Grady Sizemore, a night after becoming the 14th American League player to join the 30-30 club, went 0-for-4.

"Just hopefully, we'll continue to win the way we are as a team and finish strong," Lee said.

Notes

  • Detroit veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers isn't a fan of the limited replay for home runs, which was announced on Tuesday. "I don't like it. I think that it overshot the mark by far just because, what, in a Yankee game someone didn't get a homer? Please," said Rogers before Tuesday night's game. "It's happened thousands of times. That's part of the game."
  • Cleveland 1B Ryan Garko was 0-for-4 to snap his 11-game hitting streak.
 
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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Backed with plenty of run support, Cliff Lee sets a career high in victories in a stress-free effort.  (AP)
Backed with plenty of run support, Cliff Lee sets a career high in victories in a stress-free effort. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Lee
IP 7.2
H 6
ER 2
BB 1
K 4
Detroit

E. Renteria
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4000111 .269
Franklin Gutierrez, LF4310001 .238
Ben Francisco, RF5234001 .288
Jhonny Peralta, SS5120021 .279
David Dellucci, DH5111012 .247
Ryan Garko, 1B4000102 .255
Jamey Carroll, 3B4122011 .271
Kelly Shoppach, C4111002 .257
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B3100000 .219
Totals381010825  
Batting
2B - David Dellucci (18, Lambert)
HR - Ben Francisco 2 (14, Lopez, Lopez), Jamey Carroll (1, Lambert), Kelly Shoppach (16, Lambert)
RBI - Ben Francisco 4 (50), David Dellucci (45), Jamey Carroll 2 (27), Kelly Shoppach (43)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Francisco 2 (20), David Dellucci (18), Jamey Carroll (10)
SB - Asdrubal Cabrera (4, 2nd base off Lambert/Inge)
Team LOB - 5
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,19-2) 7.2622140 2.43
Rafael Betancourt 0.1000000 5.30
Edward Mujica 1222011 7.48
HBP - Granderson (by Cliff Lee)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 105-72, Rafael Betancourt 3-2, Edward Mujica 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 10-9
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 31, Rafael Betancourt 1, Edward Mujica 5
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000001 .295
Placido Polanco, 2B4000012 .312
Magglio Ordonez, RF3010002 .307
    Matt Joyce, RF0000100 .266
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010001 .291
    Ramon Santiago, PR-3B0000000 .321
Gary Sheffield, DH4000002 .227
Marcus Thames, LF-1B4220020 .248
Edgar Renteria, SS4112001 .266
Ryan Raburn, 3B-LF4111020 .252
Brandon Inge, C4021000 .218
Totals3548415  
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (25, Lee), Ryan Raburn (10, Lee)
HR - Edgar Renteria (9, Mujica)
RBI - Edgar Renteria 2 (47), Ryan Raburn (16), Brandon Inge (41)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Ryan Raburn (8, Misplayed grounder), Marcus Thames (4, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Chris Lambert (L,0-1) 2.2562122 6.75
Aquilino Lopez 3.1444012 3.86
Casey Fossum 3100120 5.34
HBP - A. Cabrera (by Chris Lambert), Gutierrez (by Aquilino Lopez)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Lambert 67-41, Aquilino Lopez 51-32, Casey Fossum 47-30
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Lambert 1-6, Aquilino Lopez 4-5, Casey Fossum 3-4
Batters Faced - Chris Lambert 16, Aquilino Lopez 15, Casey Fossum 11
Game Information
Attendance - 38774
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Kevin Causey, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Greg Gibson