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Indians continue to feast on Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Cleveland manager Manny Acta watched his team pummel the Detroit Tigers once again -- then sounded a note of caution.

"The championship goes through Detroit," Acta said. "They beat us up pretty good last year, the whole division, and they're a very good ballclub. It's still very early."

Michael Brantley hit a three-run homer after a Detroit error kept a first-inning rally going, and Johnny Damon added a two-run single and an impressive catch in left field to help Cleveland to a 9-6 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night.

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Casey Kotchman hit a two-run shot for the Indians, who improved to 5-0 against Detroit this season after finishing 15 games behind the AL Central champion Tigers last year.

Jeanmar Gomez (4-4) allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings for Cleveland, but four relievers held Detroit to one hit the rest of the way, with Chris Perez pitching the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances.

"Our bullpen once again proved to be our strength, but our offense was big too today," Acta said.

The slumping, banged-up Tigers fell six games under .500 and 5½ behind second-place Cleveland, which trails only the Chicago White Sox at the top of the division.

Miguel Cabrera and Don Kelly hit solo homers for the Tigers. Max Scherzer (5-4) allowed five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings -- and three unearned runs in the first.

Brennan Boesch, Detroit's struggling right fielder, went hitless at the plate, but it was his dropped fly with two outs in the first that really cost the Tigers. Brantley hit a drive just inside the pole in right on the next pitch to give the Indians a 3-0 lead and extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

"We had a little miscue and we didn't pitch above it," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "When you are going good, you make an error and the guy pops up the next pitch. When you are going bad, the guy hits a three-run homer on the next pitch."

Damon, who had been on the paternity list to be with his wife and new twin daughters, was activated Wednesday. He robbed Prince Fielder of what might have been a homer in the second with a nice catch at the wall.

"That was a ball, when it first got up, I really had no idea how far it was going to go," Damon said. "Fortunately, I got back and I was able to make a great play."

After Kelly did homer in the third, Kotchman answered the following inning to make it 5-1.

Cabrera hit his 12th homer of the year in the fourth, but it was another solo shot. Jason Kipnis hit an RBI single in the fifth for the Indians, and Damon drove home two more runs later that inning with a bases-loaded single that made it 8-2 and chased Scherzer.

Damon also walked twice.

Detroit scored four runs in the fifth, including RBI doubles by Quintin Berry and Cabrera, and a run-scoring single by Fielder. The Cleveland bullpen retired the first 10 Tigers it faced and Perez finished the job.

Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI single in the sixth made it 9-6.

Notes

  • Berry, Detroit's center fielder, made a superb diving catch of Brantley's drive in the ninth.
  • Cleveland's Carlos Santana caught for the first time since returning from a concussion-related DL stint.
  • Fielder extended his hitting streak to 13.
  • The Indians optioned C Luke Carlin to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Damon.
  • Detroit C Bryan Holaday hit a single in the fifth for his first major league hit.
  • Cleveland will try for a three-game sweep Thursday, sending RHP Derek Lowe (7-3) to the mound against LHP Casey Crosby (0-1).
 
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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Johnny Damon robs Prince Fielder of a potential HR, and adds a two-run single as Cleveland improves to 5-0 vs. Detroit in 2012. (AP)
Johnny Damon robs Prince Fielder of a potential HR, and adds a two-run single as Cleveland improves to 5-0 vs. Detroit in 2012. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

S. Choo
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shin-Soo Choo, RF5330020 .278
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS5121011 .297
Jason Kipnis, 2B4111112 .275
Carlos Santana, C5100002 .232
Michael Brantley, CF4113110 .282
Johnny Damon, LF2112200 .187
    Aaron Cunningham, LF0000000 .200
Casey Kotchman, 1B4112013 .214
Matt LaPorta, DH4000013 .182
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B4000000 .231
Totals3799947  
Batting
2B - Shin-Soo Choo (15, Marte)
HR - Michael Brantley (1, Scherzer), Casey Kotchman (4, Scherzer)
RBI - Asdrubal Cabrera (23), Jason Kipnis (35), Michael Brantley 3 (28), Johnny Damon 2 (7), Casey Kotchman 2 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Brantley 3 (11)
SB - Johnny Damon (1, 2nd base off Scherzer/Holaday)
Team LOB - 5
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeanmar Gomez (W,4-4) 5766102 4.97
Tony Sipp (H,8) 1000010 6.53
Joe Smith (H,9) 1000010 3.38
Vinnie Pestano (H,15) 1000000 2.28
Chris Perez (S,19) 1100010 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Jeanmar Gomez 66-43, Tony Sipp 10-7, Joe Smith 14-9, Vinnie Pestano 8-5, Chris Perez 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeanmar Gomez 10-5, Tony Sipp 1-1, Joe Smith 2-0, Chris Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeanmar Gomez 23, Tony Sipp 3, Joe Smith 3, Vinnie Pestano 3, Chris Perez 4
Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Quintin Berry, CF4111010 .310
Ramon Santiago, 2B4001000 .193
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4222000 .325
Prince Fielder, 1B3011100 .318
Delmon Young, DH4000002 .261
Brennan Boesch, RF4000001 .222
Jhonny Peralta, SS4120010 .259
Don Kelly, LF4111012 .178
Bryan Holaday, C4110001 .250
Totals3568613  
Batting
2B - Quintin Berry (4, Gomez), Miguel Cabrera (17, Gomez), Jhonny Peralta (11, Gomez)
3B - Jhonny Peralta (1, Perez)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (12, Gomez), Don Kelly (1, Gomez)
RBI - Quintin Berry (5), Ramon Santiago (8), Miguel Cabrera 2 (47), Prince Fielder (36), Don Kelly (6)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Cabrera (14), Prince Fielder (12)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Brennan Boesch (1, Dropped fly)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Max Scherzer (L,5-4) 4.1785322 5.88
Duane Below 0.2000000 2.36
Luis Marte 1211010 2.35
Phil Coke 1000130 3.97
Joaquin Benoit 1000010 2.66
Jose Valverde 1000000 4.43
IBB - Brantley by Max Scherzer
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 92-57, Duane Below 3-2, Luis Marte 15-12, Phil Coke 24-14, Joaquin Benoit 13-10, Jose Valverde 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 6-6, Duane Below 1-1, Luis Marte 1-1, Jose Valverde 2-1
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 24, Duane Below 2, Luis Marte 5, Phil Coke 4, Joaquin Benoit 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31350
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez