Indians 10, Tigers 3

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DETROIT (AP)—Jody Gerut seems to have found a home in the major leagues.

Unfortunately for the rookie, he only gets to play there 10 times a season.

Gerut kept tagging the Detroit Tigers, getting two hits and driving in three runs Thursday to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 10-3 rout.

Of Gerut’s 23 RBIs this season, 11 have come in 31 at-bats against Detroit.

“There’s a difference between playing a Detroit and playing a Boston,” he said. “They are doing the same thing we are—so it is kind of like the kids playing against the kids. I think we’ve just had a little more luck than they have.”

Gerut isn’t the only Indians player with a lot of success against Detroit this year. Casey Blake homered for the third time this year against Detroit, giving him as many as he has against the rest of baseball combined.

“I don’t know what the deal is with that,” he said. “Maybe we just have a lot of confidence against Detroit right now. They are kind of in a funk right now, especially at home.”

The win gave Cleveland their first sweep of a road series since they 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.”

Detroit has not won a home series this season, and has lost 12 of its last 13 games. In fact, the Indians have won five games at Comerica Park this season while the Tigers have only won six.

“This is as close to the bottom as it gets,” Shane Halter said. “We got swept by a team that should never sweep you, no matter how well or poorly you are playing. And before that, L.A. and Colorado kicked our butts here.”

The loss was so painful for manager Alan Trammell that he only answered two questions in his postgame press conference.

“We cracked today,” he said. “Games like this have been few and far between, but they don’t sit well with me. Today is not a good day for me.”

Brian Anderson (4-6) picked up the easy win, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk in six innings.

“It’s always tough to sweep a team, because they will be fighting so hard to avoid it,” he said. “I just went out there and tried to throw some zeros early and give us a chance to score some runs. You just can’t say enough about our offense today.”

Nate Cornejo (3-5) allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings to drop to 0-3 in his last seven starts.

“In the first few innings, I was fine—the ball was sinking and it felt good,” he said. “I just lost it a little in the fifth and left some pitches where they could hit them.”

The Indians took a 1-0 lead on Milton Bradley’s second-inning homer. In the fourth, Coco Crisp walked, stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Bradley’s groundout.

Cleveland broke open the game with four runs in the fifth, helped by poor Tigers fielding.

Blake led off with a long home run to left. Tim Laker followed with a liner and left fielder Dmitri Young took one step in, only to see the ball sail over his head for a double.

Brandon Phillips then singled off second baseman Warren Morris’ glove, and after Jhonny Peralta popped out, Lawton hit a liner to left that Young dropped as he stumbled. The play was ruled an RBI single.

Crisp added a run-scoring single to make it 5-0, but Young threw Lawton out at third.

Wil Ledezma replaced Cornejo and immediately allowed a sixth run on Gerut’s single. In all, Cleveland got seven hits in the inning.

The Tigers made it 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth when Shane Halter tripled and scored on A.J. Hinch’s sacrifice fly, but Laker’s RBI single moved the margin back to six in the sixth.

Young’s sixth-inning homer, his 14th, made it 7-2. Gerut added a two-run single off Gary Knotts in the seventh and Laker made it 10-2 with a double in the eighth.

Morris finished the scoring with an eighth-inning homer.

Notes

There was a moment of silence before the game in honor of Larry Doby, who died Wednesday. Doby became the first black player in American League history when he joined the Indians in 1947. He finished his career with the Tigers in 1959. … 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. … The Indiansare 8-2 against Detroit this season, and 21-39 against the rest of baseball.

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