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Indians spot Tigers big lead, respond with bigger rally

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Once the Cleveland Indians came back, their
fans followed.

Jhonny Peralta, Coco Crisp and Ben Broussard drove in two runs
apiece as the never-give-in Indians kept up their late-season
playoff push by outslugging the Detroit Tigers 10-8 on Monday
night.

Down 5-0 before their first at-bat, the Indians rallied for six
runs in the bottom of the first, with Casey Blake's RBI double
capping the comeback. As the Indians took the field for the top of
the second, the small but appreciative crowd gave them a rousing
ovation that lasted more than a minute.

"We felt it," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of the warm
response. "Everyone felt it. It was almost a confirmation of what
these guys are doing."

The Indians, who went 9-14 in April, have won 10 of 12 and are a
league-best 19-7 in August. They've moved into a small group of
teams chasing the AL wild card heading into the season's final
month.

However, the turnaround hasn't seemed to capture the imagination
of Cleveland fans, who are staying away in large numbers.
Attendance was announced as 22,713, but 5,000 tickets were
giveaways.

Still, the ones that came to Jacobs Field made an impression on
the Indians, who rewarded them and moved within seven games of
first-place Chicago in the AL Central.

"I was proud of the way we came back," Blake said. "We could
have just said, 'Well, this one's over.' But the way this team has
been playing lately and the confidence we have, we refuse to give
in."

Rookie Fernando Cabrera (2-0) cleaned up after Indians starter
Scott Elarton, allowing one run in 2 2-3 innings. Rafael Betancourt
pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings and Bob Howry worked a perfect
eighth.

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his league-leading 35th save
in 40 attempts.

Wickman, who walks a tightrope almost every time out, gave up a
one-out single to Magglio Ordonez and walked Carlos Pena with two
outs. The right-hander got Craig Monroe to hit a grounder to third
baseman Aaron Boone, whose throw to second nipped pinch-runner Nook
Logan for the final out.

Broussard hit an RBI triple in the first off Jeremy Bonderman
(14-11) and Blake had three hits for Cleveland.

Dmitri Young hit a grand slam and Pena homered as the Tigers
took a 5-0 lead in the first before letting it slip away.

"A lot of things aren't going our way," Tigers manager Alan
Trammell said. "You score that many runs in the first inning and
then give up six, it's depleting and it takes its toll on you."

Crisp and Peralta hit RBI doubles and Victor Martinez's
sacrifice fly sparked Cleveland's first-inning rally, which was
helped by Detroit shortstop Omar Infante's fielding error.
Broussard followed the miscue with an RBI triple and Boone's
run-scoring infield single tied it at 5.

Blake then delivered a shot into the gap in right-center,
scoring Boone. Blake was thrown out in a rundown between second and
third, but by then the Indians had begun turning their night
around.

"I'm not getting the job done," said Bonderman, 1-5 in his
past six starts. "I get five runs and then give up six. It's
terrible."

Trailing 7-6, the Indians scored three times in the fourth to
chase Bonderman, who was making his first start since being struck
on the right wrist with a line drive hit by Oakland's Marco
Scutaro.

Cleveland loaded the bases and Crisp's sacrifice fly tied it
7-all. Peralta hit an RBI single and Travis Hafner, who has 19 RBI
in 24 games since coming off the DL, hit a sac fly to center.

Monroe's two-run single gave Detroit a 7-5 lead in the third.

Detroit closed within 9-8 in the fifth on Young's RBI double off
Cabrera, but Broussard restored Cleveland's two-run cushion off Vic
Darensbourg with his 11th homer, only his second off a left-hander.

Young's second slam in three days gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in
the first off Elarton, who hurt himself with two walks. Detroit's
dugout was still high-fiving Young when Pena hit Elarton's next
pitch over the wall in center for his 10th homer.

Game notes
Elarton has just one win in his last nine starts, and has
given up 14 runs in his last two. ... Hafner came in with a .317
average, eight points behind league leader Johnny Damon. The last
Cleveland player to win a batting title was Bobby Avila in 1954.
... Pena has 11 career homers in 26 games at Jacobs Field. ... The
Tigers have 22 homers in their past 12 games. ... The Indians have
had at least 10 hits in 19 of 31 games. ... Elarton has allowed 28
homers, the league's second-highest total behind New York's Randy
Johnson (29).