The Indians completed a three-game sweep of the major league-worst Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park with Thursday’s 10-3 rout. Milton Bradley had three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs, and Jody Gerut had two hits and drove in three runs for the Indians.
The win gave Cleveland its first sweep of a road series since it won three in Toronto from May 24-26, 2002.
“This is the way we need to play—the way we need to approach every game,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “We had consistent at-bats throughout our lineup, we got starting pitching that took us deep into every game and we had defense making plays for us.”
However, though Cleveland is 8-2 this season against Detroit, it is just 21-39 against everyone else.
The Pirates host the Indians at PNC Park for the first time since the 2001 season when Pittsburgh, which went on to a 100-loss season, swept the three-game series from the eventual AL Central champs.
The Pirates, who have been more down than up this season, had their four-game win streak snapped with Thursday’s 5-2 setback to the Montreal Expos. Pittsburgh stranded eight runners in the first six innings and 11 overall in the loss.
However, with their doubleheader sweep Wednesday, the Bucs assured themselves of their first series victory at home this season.
“I’m sure we would have taken two of three when the series started,” Pirates starter Kip Wells said, “but, when you’ve got a chance to sweep, it would have been nice to capitalize on it.”
STANDINGS: Indians - 4th place, 9 1/2 GB, AL Central. Pirates - 5th place, 9 GB, NL Central.
INDIANS PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Tallet (0-1, 6.48 ERA). Tallet made two relief appearances before making his first start of the season—Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Los Angeles. The 25-year-old left-hander allowed three runs and six hits over five innings, while walking four and striking out three. Tallet, who has made just three career starts, will be making his first career appearance against Pittsburgh.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Josh Fogg (3-3, 4.56 ERA). Fogg comes in after notching his first win since May 26—Saturday’s 12-9 victory over Tampa Bay. The 26-year-old right-hander battled through an eventful outing, allowing seven runs and 12 hits over 8 1-3 innings. Fogg has allowed just one hit over 1 2-3 scoreless innings of relief in his career against Cleveland.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Indians - Bradley, .340 avg. and 9 SBs; Matt Lawton, 8 HRs and 33 RBIs; Omar Vizquel, 40 runs. Pirates - Aramis Ramirez, .295 avg.; Reggie Sanders, 9 HRs; Ramirez and Randall Simon, 39 RBIs; Kenny Lofton, 44 runs and 13 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Indians - 3-9; Pirates - 3-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Indians - OF Bradley’s homer extended his on-base streak to 23 games. He has only been kept off the bases once in 55 games this season. … OF Gerut is batting .333 (23-for-69) over his last 19 games with four homers and 13 RBIs. … The Indians are 5-24 against teams at or above .500 and 24-17 against everyone else. Pirates - The Pirates are 1-9-1 in home series this season. … Pittsburgh’s 11 home victories are the fewest in the NL. … The Pirates have gone a full season—162 games—without a complete game. Their last complete game was by Jimmy Anderson, now with the Reds, against Cincinnati on June 16, 2002. The streak is the longest in the majors since Tampa Bay went 194 games from April 14, 2001, to May 19, 2002.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Indians - 13-23 on the road; Pirates - 11-22 at home.
INJURIES: Indians - INF Vizquel (knee), 15-day DL; OF Ellis Burks (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Karim Garcia (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (triceps), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Bere (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dave Elder (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Bob Wickman (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Mark Wohlers (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Ricky Gutierrez (neck), 60-day DL. Pirates - INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; RHP Mike Lincoln (shoulder), 60-day DL.