Johnson pitched six shutout innings, Jason Michaels hit a grand
slam and Travis Hafner homered to help Cleveland snap the Detroit Tigers' eight-game winning streak with a 9-0 victory on Sunday.
Travis Hafner's home run against Kenny Rogers was Hafner's seventh against left-handed pitching this season, tying him with five other players -- all of whom are right-handed batters -- for the major league lead in that category. No other left-handed batter has more than five home runs against southpaws this season. Hafner had seven homers against left-handers in all of 2005.• For more Elias Says, Click here
Aaron Boone was also 3-for-4 with two runs scored as Cleveland
avoided a sweep in the three-game, weekend series."This was a big win for us today. With the way we played the
last couple of nights, playing the team leading our division that
we had lost a bunch in a row to [five straight]," said Indians'
manager Eric Wedge. "Certain points in time during the season when
wins mean a little more and I think that was one of them."Johnson (3-4) allowed six hits, didn't walk a batter and struck
out two in six innings against his former teammates in his first
win since April 18. He had lost four decisions in a row."Just kept the ball down. The ball's been up a lot lately,"
said Johnson, who threw mostly a sinker and a slider. "Keeping the
sinker down in the zone."Five relievers helped finish off the seven-hit shutout.Detroit had runners on first and third with one out in the third
after a leadoff double by Marcus Thames and an error by Indians'
first baseman Eduardo Perez. But Johnson got Placido Polanco to
foul out and Ivan Rodriguez to ground out to end the threat.The Tigers threatened again with runners on first and third with
two out in the fourth after singles by Chris Shelton and Craig
Monroe. But Thames popped to short to end the inning."He threw good pitches. He was hitting the corners all day long
and you're going to win a lot of games if you hit the corners every
time," said Detroit's Brandon Inge. "We just didn't hit the ball
so you've got to tip your hat to him."Tigers' starter Kenny Rogers (7-3) took the loss, his first
since April 24, to break his four-decision winning streak. He
allowed five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, walking three and
striking out two."I threw sinkers that weren't sinking," said Rogers. "I threw
some change-ups that were supposed to go down and away and they
were going middle in."The Indians got to him right away in the first inning, taking a
3-0 lead. Jhonny Peralta looped an RBI single to left with one out
to score Grady Sizemore, who had led off with a double and moved to
third on a groundout. Hafner followed with his 14th homer of the
season, lining a 2-0 pitch over the fence in the right-field
corner."It was great how we came out today, it really was," said
Michaels. "They were playing well and we go out and get three runs
... it kind of set the tone."The Indians made it 5-0 in the fourth on Tim Laker's two-run
double.Michaels hit his second career grand slam in the eighth, off
reliever Bobby Seay.
Sizemore went 1-for-4 to stretch his hitting streak to nine
games (12-for-39). ... Rogers has allowed five home runs in his
last two games. He's given up nine for the season.