|Indians beat up on Johan Santana, extend lead in AL Central to 4 1/2 games over Tigers|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 29 August 2007 23:00|
Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer and Victor Martinez's solo shot off Santana in a four-run first helped the first-place Indians win their fifth straight, 4-3 over the Twins.
``It feels good to sweep these guys and let them know we're for real,'' said starter C.C. Sabathia. ``We definitely have something to prove to everybody.''
The Indians' seventh win in eight games, coupled with Detroit's 5-0 loss in Kansas City, upped Cleveland's lead in the AL Central to 4 1/2 games over the second-place Tigers.
Sabathia (15-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings to win for the first time since Aug. 3.
Santana (14-10) dropped to 0-4 in five starts this season against the Indians, already the only team to beat the All-Star three times in the same year.
``Unbelievable,'' Sabathia said.
Santana gave up 10 hits, matching a career-high, but shook off a four-run, six-hit first and managed to stay in for six innings, as long as Sabathia.
In other AL games, it was: Los Angeles 8, Seattle 2; New York 4, Boston 3; Oakland 5, Toronto 4 in 11 innings; Tampa Bay 5, Baltimore 4 in 12 innings; and Texas 5, Chicago 4 in 11 innings.
Santana, who has pitched at least five innings in 119 straight games dating to May 29, 2004, was in danger of being chased in the first.
Grady Sizemore singled leading off and Cabrera hit his second homer, a liner to left that barely cleared the wall and clanged off a metal railing. One out later, Martinez connected for his 21st homer, another hard smash off the usually dominant Santana, who has given up an AL-leading 29 homers this season.
Santana can't figure out why the Indians have hit him.
``I feel like I've pitched well enough to win against them,'' he said. ``It takes a whole team to win a game. I feel like I've given my team a chance, but sometimes it just doesn't work out.''
Sabathia feels the Indians have established themselves as the team to beat in a division they haven't won since 2001.
``I definitely feel like people are still doubting us and not taking us serious,'' Sabathia said. ``I think we're here to stay.''
At Kansas City, Esteban German hit a go-ahead triple in a five-run first inning against rookie Andrew Miller and the Royals used four pitchers to hand the Tigers their second shutout of the year.
Miller (5-5) got only two outs in his 13th major league start, allowing five runs, five hits, two walks and two hit batters as Detroit has lost eight of its last 12 games. The left-hander could not readily recall a worse outing at any level.
``I'm sure I've had some bad ones,'' he said. ``I've never had any that are probably this bad and in this important a situation. It hurts.''
Manager Jim Leyland said he isn't as concerned about the Indians as he is about turning things around for his own team.
``I don't worry so much about Cleveland,'' Leyland said. ``We can make up four or five games in a hurry, but not if we're playing the way we're playing, pitching the way we're pitching. We've just got to keep battling, and we will.''
Detroit has lost two in a row at a stadium where they were on a 14-1 tear just two days earlier.
``This is a big man's game. These guys know what they need to do. When nobody's on, we get a hit. We get somebody on and we can't get a hit. Two days ago we scored 16 runs. It's a tough game to explain.''
Angels 8, Mariners 2
At Seattle, Jered Weaver (10-6) won for the fourth time in five decisions, Garret Anderson had four hits and Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep and open a five-game lead in the AL West.
Vladimir Guerrero homered and went 8-for-14 in the series as the Angels improved to 11-4 against Seattle this year. Jeff Mathis hit his third career home run, a fourth-inning drive off Felix Hernandez (10-7), who lost from the first time in seven starts since July 22.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 3
At New York, Roger Clemens (6-5) allowed only two hits and outpitched a much younger ace in leading the Yankees past Josh Beckett (16-6) and Boston.
Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 44th home run, and the Yankees got another big hit from Johnny Damon to earn their second consecutive win in the series. New York trimmed Boston's cushion to six games in the AL East and moved within a percentage point of Seattle for the wild-card lead.
Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4, 11 innings
At Oakland, Calif., Jack Hannahan hit a game-ending single with two outs in the 11th inning to help Oakland snap a five-game losing streak.
Hannahan's big hit came after Huston Street blew a 4-2 lead in the ninth by allowing solo homers to Lyle Overbay and pinch-hitter Matt Stairs - the first time the closer has allowed two homers in an outing in his career.
Devil Rays 5, Orioles 4, 12 innings
At Baltimore, Dioner Navarro singled in the tiebreaking run in the 12th inning, and Tampa Bay took advantage of another meltdown by the Baltimore bullpen in handing the Orioles their eighth straight loss.
Joel Guzman opened the 12th by hitting a chopper to third off Rob Bell (3-3) that Melvin Mora hurriedly grabbed before throwing wildly to first. Guzman ended up on second, and Navarro followed with a liner off the right-field scoreboard, producing Tampa Bay's third unearned run.
Rangers 5, White Sox 4
At Arlington, Texas, Sammy Sosa hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Texas.
Sosa hit a fly ball to center and Jerry Owens made a diving catch, but the fielder had no chance to get up and throw Ian Kinsler out at the plate. Sosa had tied the game with a pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh.