Tigers 6

(12-14, 5-7 away)

Indians 7

(15-13, 8-5 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 31, 2005

    Chain of Lakes Park, Winter Haven, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 500000001 6 - -
    CLE 011202001 7 - -

    Cleveland 7, Detroit 6

    WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -- Jose Hernandez is ready for his role with the Cleveland Indians.

    Signed in the offseason to provide pop against left-handed pitchers, Hernandez hit three home runs off lefties Thursday in Cleveland's 7-6 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

    Hernandez hit a solo shot and a two-run homer off starter Mike Maroth, then led off the sixth by connecting against reliever Doug Creek.

    The power display was an encouraging sign for the Indians, who will start the season without two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez. Earlier in the day, the team placed Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and recalled Grady Sizemore from Triple-A Buffalo.

    The 22-year-old Sizemore played the final five innings in center field. He had been optioned to the minor leagues Sunday to make room for Gonzalez.

    "I wasn't ready to leave today," Sizemore said. "I was really racing around."

    He entered in the fifth inning, after returning to his apartment to pack his belongings. He grounded out and walked in two plate appearances.

    Indians manager Eric Wedge said Sizemore will start in center field against right-handed pitchers.

    Casey Blake, who is being switched from left field to right, was hit by a pitch and scored a run. The Indians moved Blake to the outfield from third base this spring.

    "I probably felt more comfortable in left, but hopefully I'll feel more comfortable in right the more I'm out there," Blake said. "It's something I kind of had in the back of my mind. I just hope Juan gets healthy so he can help this team."

    The Indians won on Jeff Liefer's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

    The Tigers scored five runs in the first inning off starter Steve Watkins. Four came on a grand slam by Marcus Thames, who has four homers and 14 RBI this spring. Creek allowed consecutive home runs to Hernandez and Ben Broussard in the sixth.

    Game notes

    Cleveland OF Coco Crisp left camp to attend to a family matter in California. Crisp is expected to rejoin the team Sunday in Chicago. ... Detroit OF Magglio Ordonez has an inflamed colon and will not play in the team's two remaining exhibition games. Ordonez said he expects to return for the season opener. ... The Tigers reassigned Creek and OF Alexis Gomez to their minor league camp and optioned outfielder Thames to Triple-A Toledo, cutting their big league roster to 28.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press