|Detroit (17-13) «||0||0||0||3||0||0||2||1||0||6||9||1|
CLEVELAND -- Miguel Cabrera wasn't exactly in his comfort zone as he batted with the bases loaded in a tie game and the wind swirling on a chilly, damp day.
"It was really tough and I had to try and stay focused," Cabrera said after his line drive off Kerry Wood (0-1) broke a 3-3 tie and helped Detroit to its 10th consecutive win over the Indians. The Tigers are 18-4 in the series the past two years, outscoring Cleveland 116-79.
"We've won a few against them, but they have some thump in their lineup and that could turn around in a hurry," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It was a good win on a miserable day."
Justin Verlander (3-2) gave up three runs over six innings, striking out nine. A year ago, the right-hander was 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA and three games of 11 strikeouts against Cleveland.
"We've been talking about those guys all year," Verlander said. "When you have the offense we have and a bullpen that shuts down the other team, you have the opportunity to get some wins."
Austin Kearns drove in three runs for Cleveland, which has lost five straight and nine of 11. The Tigers, meanwhile, avoided their first four-game losing streak since losing five straight from Sept. 8-12.
Wood got two quick outs in his first outing of the season. The right-hander, signed to a two-year, $20.5 million contract in December 2008, had been out since mid-March with a strained muscle in his upper back that put him on the disabled list for the 13th time in his career.
"Walking Damon killed me there," Wood said. "I felt fine. I didn't make that bad of a pitch to Cabrera. The ball was in, off the plate. That's why he's hitting. 340, .350 every year. He's one of the best hitters in the game."
Cabrera said it wasn't easy.
"The wind was in my face and he's such a tough pitcher," said the first baseman, hitting .371 with an AL-leading 32 RBI. "I just tried to put the bat on the ball."
Since joining Detroit in 2008, Cabrera has hit .331 (54 of 163) with 11 homers and 37 RBI in 40 games against the Indians.
"It's not just Cleveland," Leyland said. "Cabrera has games against everybody. He's just a great player."
Detroit added an eighth-inning run on a two-out error by Indians shortstop Luis Valbuena, his third in two games.
"That was a big hit because it looked like [Masterson] could get out of the jam," Leyland said. "Then Scottie hit in the gap and scored them all."
Travis Hafner poked a run-scoring single between third and short with one out in the bottom half, and the Indians had runners on second and third before Verlander fanned Kearns and got Jhonny Peralta to ground out and end the threat.
Kearns tied it at 3-3 in the sixth with a two-run single to center with the bases loaded. His sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 6-4.
Masterson allowed three runs and five hits over six innings. The right-hander walked three and fanned eight, remaining winless since Aug. 20. Masterson is 1-12 in 17 appearances (16 starts) since joining Cleveland in a trade from Boston on July 31.
|Miguel Cabrera hits a two-run bases-loaded single off Kerry Wood, who's making his season debut. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Austin Jackson, CF||5||1||2||0||0||1||0||.370|
|Johnny Damon, LF||2||1||0||0||3||2||3||.302|
|Don Kelly, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.172|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||0||1||0||1||0||0||.279|
|Miguel Cabrera, 1B||3||1||1||2||2||1||2||.371|
|Brennan Boesch, DH||5||1||2||0||0||1||2||.333|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||2||0||.252|
|Alex Avila, C||5||0||0||0||0||1||4||.178|
|Scott Sizemore, 2B||3||1||1||3||1||2||0||.241|
|Ramon Santiago, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.295|
|2B - Austin Jackson (9, Wood), Brennan Boesch (6, Ambriz), Scott Sizemore (5, Masterson)|
|RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (32), Scott Sizemore 3 (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera 2 (10), Scott Sizemore 3 (5)|
|SB - Austin Jackson (6, 2nd base off Masterson/Marson)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|E - Justin Verlander (1, Throwing)|
|Justin Verlander (W,3-2)||6||4||3||3||4||9||0||4.50|
|Joel Zumaya (H,5)||2||3||1||1||0||5||0||1.47|
|Jose Valverde (S,8)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.66|
|WP - Justin Verlander (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 118-75, Joel Zumaya 29-21, Jose Valverde 12-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 3-5, Jose Valverde 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 25, Joel Zumaya 9, Jose Valverde 3|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||0||0||.245|
|Grady Sizemore, CF||3||1||0||0||1||3||2||.214|
|Shin-Soo Choo, RF||2||2||1||0||2||1||0||.311|
|Travis Hafner, DH||4||0||3||1||0||1||0||.238|
|Austin Kearns, LF||3||0||1||3||0||2||2||.343|
|Jhonny Peralta, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.207|
|Luis Valbuena, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||3||.167|
|Matt LaPorta, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.203|
|Lou Marson, C||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.200|
|a- Russell Branyan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.206|
|a-struck out for Marson in the 9th|
|2B - Travis Hafner (4, Zumaya)|
|SF - Austin Kearns (1)|
|RBI - Travis Hafner (9), Austin Kearns 3 (15)|
|CS - Luis Valbuena (2, 2nd base by Verlander/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Valbuena-Grudzielanek-LaPorta, Grudzielanek-Valbuena-LaPorta|
|E - Luis Valbuena (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kerry Wood (L,0-1)||0.2||2||2||2||2||1||0||27.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 112-69, Kerry Wood 24-10, Tony Sipp 31-18, Hector Ambriz 21-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 4-5, Tony Sipp 2-1, Hector Ambriz 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 25, Kerry Wood 6, Tony Sipp 7, Hector Ambriz 5|
|Attendance - 18428|
|Game Time - 3:10|
|Temperature - 51|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Chad Fairchild|