DETROIT (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians were getting beaten so
badly Tuesday night that manager Eric Wedge took star hitter Travis
Hafner out in the sixth inning.
The Indians trailed 7-2 after five innings, but got five late
RBI from Broussard before Casey Blake's bloop single broke a
ninth-inning tie and led the Indians to an 8-7 victory.
"Benny had a great night for us -- he has more clutch hits than
anyone on the team this year," Wedge said. "These guys have
fought and come from behind quite a few times this year. They did a
hell of a job coming back this time."
Coco Crisp led off the ninth with a walk, and took second on a
sacrifice bunt. After Victor Martinez flew out, Esteban Yan (3-5)
intentionally walked Matt Lawton, but Blake looped a single into
shallow right field to give Cleveland the lead.
"He threw me four splits in that at-bat, and a guy who throws
96 -- it's tough to look for the splitty," Blake said. "I was just
trying to see the last one out of his hand, and I just fought it
The Tigers were stunned they wasted their big lead.
"They just kept coming and coming," said Carlos Pena. "And
they did it against our best relievers. Even in the ninth, Yan made
a perfect pitch to Blake, breaks his bat, and the ball bloops into
right field. It was a tough game to lose."
Bobby Howry (3-1) got the win in relief, and Bob Wickman pitched
the ninth for his 10th save.
Neither starter was involved in the decision. Detroit's Gary
Knotts allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, while
Francisco Cruceta gave up five runs -- four earned -- in four innings
of his major-league debut.
Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Grady
Sizemore and a sacrifice fly by Crisp, but the Tigers came back
with three runs in the bottom half.
Curtis Granderson led off with a double -- his first career
extra-base hit -- and moved to third on Omar Infante's single.
Cruceta then hit Brandon Inge to load the bases, and the runners
moved up on Martinez's passed ball.
Ivan Rodriguez then lined a double into the right-field corner,
putting Detroit up 3-2.
The Tigers extended the lead to 5-2 in the fourth. Marcus Thames
led off with his eighth homer, and Jason Smith followed with a
grounder that eluded second baseman Brandon Phillips for a two-base
error. Smith then scored on back-to-back groundouts by Granderson
Detroit made it 7-2 in the fifth on a two-run double by Thames,
but Cleveland got back into the game with three runs off Steve
Colyer in the sixth.
With two out, Lawton doubled off the right-center field
scoreboard, Blake walked and Broussard hit his 15th homer over the
bullpens in right.
"That was the matchup we wanted with Colyer," Tigers manager
Alan Trammell said. "That's his role, and he needs to be able to
do the job. Once they got it to 7-5, it was a ballgame again."
In the eighth, the trio teamed up to tie the game. Lawton led
off with a double off Jamie Walker, and took third when Tigers
shortstop Infante tried to throw him out on Blake's grounder.
Infante's wild throw allowed Blake to reach second, and Broussard
followed with a two-run double to match his career high of five
"You love to be in those situations," Broussard said. "That's
where I want to be. All the credit goes to the guys who are getting
to me in those situations. I couldn't drive anybody in with nobody
Tigers DH Dmitri Young was ejected in the fifth inning for
arguing a check-swing call by third base umpire Bill Hohn. Infante
was thrown out by plate umpire Mark Carlson in the ninth for
arguing a called third strike. ... Detroit Shock center Ruth Riley
attended the game. The defending WNBA champions open the playoffs
Friday against New York. ... Cruceta was 10-13 while splitting the
season between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Buffalo. ... Carlos Pena
was retired in embarrassing fashion to end the Tigers' 7th. He
stole second, sliding in as Phillips leaped for Martinez's high
throw. Pena, thinking the ball was in center field, broke for
third, and was easily tagged out by Phillips.