CLEVELAND (AP) -- The more Ben Broussard relaxes, the better he
Broussard hit his second grand slam in four days, this time as a
pinch-hitter in sending the Cleveland Indians over the Toronto Blue
Jays 6-2 Thursday night.
"I said to myself, 'Just try to get a big hit.' I wasn't
thinking home run," Broussard said. "I just relaxed and tried not
to swing too hard.
"The pressure is on the pitcher. He's got to throw strikes. He
challenged me with a fastball and I just hit it and ran," he said.
Broussard has three slams overall this season, including a shot
Monday against the White Sox. He is the fourth player in major
league history with two pinch-hit slams in one season, joining Dave
Johnson (1978), Mike Ivie (1978) and Darryl Strawberry (1998).
The Indians won for the seventh time in eight games and stayed
three games behind Minnesota in the AL Central. The Twins start a
three-game series at Jacobs Field on Friday night.
"We play them 13 times and this is the start of it," Indians
manager Eric Wedge said. "But this was a good win. That was as big
as anything Ben has done this year."
Toronto got only three hits in losing for the eighth time in
"You battle and battle and it gets away from you," said John
Gibbons, who is 1-3 as the Blue Jays' interim manager. "I like the
way we played. We battled, but it has been a tough year for all of
Broussard is 6-for-9 with three grand slams and 21 RBI with the
bases loaded this season.
"What a difference a year makes," said Broussard, who entered
this season hitting .083 (1-for-12) with the bases loaded. "Back
then, it was, 'Oh, man, I've got to drive this guy in.' Now, I look
at getting to pinch-hit with the bases loaded as a great situation.
Broussard's biggest problem was getting back out of the dugout
for a curtain call.
"That was my first one and it was awesome," he said. "But I
had a tough time getting out there. The guys were all pounding me
and I tripped."
David Riske (6-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and Rafael
Betancourt finished with two hitless innings.
"The first two guys, I was trying to be too fine," said
Ligtenberg. "After I got behind to Blake, I tried to throw it down
the middle. It was one of those nights."
Chulk, who had not allowed a run in his previous seven
appearances, then gave up Broussard's slam.
Lilly gave up two runs and five hits, striking out four. He is
1-4 in eight starts since June 28 -- the win coming against the
Indians on Aug. 2 in Toronto.
The left-hander tied a season high with five walks and went to a
three-ball count on 11 batters, including six of the first seven he
Orlando Hudson made it 2-0 in the fifth with his eighth homer.
Crisp hit his ninth home run in the bottom half.
Lee allowed two runs and three hits over six innings. He walked
three and tied a career high with eight strikeouts. That was a
significant improvement over his previous four starts, in which he
had allowed 20 earned runs and 30 hits over 15 innings.
Broussard's first slam this year came as a pinch-hitter
June 23 at Chicago. ... Phelps, acquired from Toronto on Aug. 6,
went 1-for-3 in his first game for the Indians. ... Indians OF Alex
Escobar, designated for assignment Sunday when Phelps was added to
the active roster, was released. ... Delgado went 1-for-1 with two
walks against Lee and is 4-for-5 with a homer and six RBI in his
career against the lefty. ... Crisp is hitting .447 (17-for-38)
when used in the No. 2 spot in the batting order.