Dramatic home runs are becoming quite the habit for the Cleveland Indians.
After winning their last two games with late-inning homers, the Indians shoot for their third straight win as they continue a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
The Indians got three home runs in the ninth inning Thursday before pulling out their first win of the season 11-5 in 11 innings. One day later, Aaron Boone hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Detroit closer Ugueth Urbina in the eighth inning, leading Cleveland to a 4-3 win in the series opener.
Boone, best known for his pennant-winning homer off Boston’s Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 AL championship series, also homered for the Yankees in Game 3 of that year’s World Series.
But a knee injury sustained in a pickup basketball game caused him to miss 2004 and led the Yankees to release him. He signed with the Indians last June, but wasn’t able to make his Cleveland debut until this week.
He was 1-for-16 before his homer off Urbina.
“I knew I was going to be able to contribute to our offense,” Boone said. “I wasn’t even worried about the slow start. To be honest, I always start like this.”
Detroit has alternated wins and loses in its first four games. Left-hander Wilfredo Ledezma will try to get the Tigers back on track.
Ledezma spent the first half of 2004 with Double-A Erie where he went 10-3 with a 2.42 ERA. He was called up on July 30 and went 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA in eight starts for the Tigers.
A strong spring won him the fifth starter’s role, and Ledezma feels he’s better prepared for pitching in the major leagues after getting the chance to pitch for Detroit last season.
“Oh, much, much better,” said Ledezma. “I have much more confidence. I feel very good.”