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Detroit 6, Cleveland 5 (11 innings)

9/3/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- Shane Halter and Carlos Pena both thought they
were going to end up as the goats of yet another loss for the
Detroit Tigers.

Instead, they were the stars.

Pena struck out in his first three at-bats before hitting a
go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, while Halter made a defensive
mistake to let the Cleveland Indians tie the game, then hit a
game-winning home run in the 11th.

"We were both having rough nights, but we were able to make big
plays," Pena said. "I don't care what our record might be -- we're
going to enjoy nights like tonight."

Halter homered off Jose Santiago (1-2) on the second pitch of
the inning, making a winner of Jamie Walker (4-3), who got the
final two outs in the top of the inning. Detroit improved to 2-11
in extra innings.

"I was at the plate thinking that, if we lost, it was going to
be my fault," Halter said. "Instead, I hit a walk-off homer,
which is something you dream about. I don't think I've ever hit one
before, not at any level."

The Tigers (36-102) have won two straight and need seven wins in
their final 24 games to avoid matching the 1962 Mets' post-1900
record of 120 losses. Detroit improved to 6-12 against the Indians
this year.

"It's all good right now," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
"It's never easy here, but this is a big win. We've got two
straight and a chance to win three out of four in this series. It's
been a tough year, but games like this are a positive learning
experience for these guys."

Cleveland led 4-3 in the eighth when pinch-hitter Alex Sanchez
blooped a double down the left-field line against Danys Baez.
Dmitri Young popped out, and Pena hit his 18th homer.

Fernando Rodney, though, couldn't hold the lead. Coco Crisp led
off the inning with an infield single when second baseman Halter
couldn't get the ball out of his glove, took second on a groundout
and scored on Ben Broussard's pinch-hit single. Broussard was
hitting for Baez after the Indians lost their designated hitter in
the eighth inning when they moved Jody Gerut to left field.

"Benny came up there and hit a pretty good pitch," Cleveland
manager Eric Wedge said. "He gave us a chance to stay in the game,
and we pushed it a little further, but we could never get that last
extra hit to win it. This was a tough one."

Halter led off the bottom of the ninth with a single off David
Riske and took second on Brandon Inge's sacrifice. Warren Morris
was intentionally walked before Riske struck out Kevin Witt and
Danny Klassen.

Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia allowed three runs and five hits in
six innings, matching his season high with nine strikeouts. Six of
his strikeouts came between the third and fifth innings.

"C.C. really battled tonight," Wedge said. "He hit one
stretch in there where he was really in a groove."

Nate Robertson, who turned 26, gave up four runs and nine hits
in five innings.

Casey Blake's RBI single put Cleveland ahead in the first, but
Young hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half.

Brandon Phillips' RBI single put Cleveland ahead in the second,
Alex Escobar hit a solo homer in the fourth and Escobar walked with
the bases loaded in the fifth for a 4-1 lead.

Klassen got an RBI single in the fifth, and Ben Petrick homered
in the sixth.

"They just started putting the ball in play against me,"
Sabathia said. "I still felt good -- everything was working today --
but striking out guys takes a lot of pitches."

Game notes
Ryan Ludwick left in the fifth after jamming his right knee
during a play at first base and is expected to miss 3-5 days. ...
The Tigers called up CF Andres Torres from Triple-A Toledo after
Tuesday's knee injury to Cody Ross. Ross is expected to be ready
for spring training after tearing his right ACL on a play at first.
... The game drew just 10,234 on a 75-degree evening.