<
>

Ledezma dazzles Indians in place of Verlander

DETROIT (AP) -- Wilfredo Ledezma couldn't have done much better
in place of Justin Verlander.

Ledezma struck out five in 5 2/3 innings, and the Detroit Tigers
took advantage of an error by C.C. Sabathia to beat the Cleveland
Indians 1-0 Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.

Making his first major league start since June 4, 2005, Ledezma
(2-1) allowed six hits and two walks.

"This year, I think I've got more experience and more
concentration," said Ledezma, who made 10 starts last season
before being sent to Triple-A Toledo. "Always prepared for the
first pitch, throwing a strike."

He used a fastball that reached 95 miles per hour and offspeed
pitches to keep Cleveland off balance.

Detroit skipped Verlander (14-4) to give his tired arm a rest.
He is scheduled to start Friday against the White Sox.

Jason Grilli, Jamie Walker, Fernando Rodney and Todd Jones
followed Ledezma, with Jones getting three outs for his 31st save
in 34 chances.

With their major league-leading 13th shutout of the season, the
Tigers completed their 11th series sweep of the year. Detroit,
which was outhit 8-6, improved its major league-best record to
75-36.

Craig Monroe hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning off
Sabathia (8-8), who allowed an unearned run and six hits in seven
innings, striking out six and walking two.

"We beat one of the best pitching performances I've seen
against us all year," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

Brandon Inge led off the fifth with a bunt and reached when
Sabathia couldn't handle it.

"I just tried to pick it up with my hand," said Sabathia, who
was charged with an error. "I did the same thing in Boston [in his
previous start]."

Inge advanced on Brent Clevlen's sacrifice and Placido Polanco's
groundout, then scored on Monroe's single to left.

"Fastball down. I took a good swing," Monroe said.

Ledezma was replaced by Grilli after consecutive two-out singles
by Jhonny Peralta and Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth. Following a wild
pitch, Grilli retired Kelly Shoppach on a groundout.

Grilli walked No. 9 hitter Andy Marte with one out in the
seventh, Grady Sizemore followed with a ground-rule double and
Jason Michaels walked on a 3-2 pitch, loading the bases.

Walker relieved, struck out Travis Hafner and retired Victor
Martinez on a forceout.

"We had the two guys up there we wanted with the bases
loaded," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "Walker really
stepped up."

Magglio Ordonez tripled to lead off the sixth for Detroit. But
with one out and runners at the corners, Vance Wilson failed on an
attempted squeeze bunt and Ordonez was tagged out in a rundown.

Game notes
Cleveland 1B Casey Blake is day to day after spraining an
ankle in Saturday night's game. ... Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez
started at first base for the fourth time this season and in his
career. ... Monroe was 2-for-4 and is batting .412 (21-for-51) in a
13-game hitting streak, the longest of his career.