DETROIT (AP)—Cody Ross hit a grand slam for his first major league home run then needed to be carted off the field with an apparent knee injury in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 8-6 Tuesday night.
Dmitri Young hit a tiebreaking homer in the fifth as the Tigers won their 35th game of the season. Detroit needs to need to go at least 8-17 the rest of the way to avoid matching the 1962 New York Mets’ record of 120 losses in a season.
Ross was injured when he tripped over first base in the eighth, beating out a sacrifice on Cleveland reliever Jack Cressend’s throwing error. Ross was writhing in pain, holding both knees while Tigers personnel attended to him. He was taken off the field on a flatbed cart.
The teams combined for six home runs.
Brian Schmack (1-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for his first big league win.
Fernando Rodney struck out four of the six batters he faced for his first career save.
Jody Gerut put Cleveland ahead 2-0 in the first with a two-run homer. His line drive just inside the right-field foul pole scored Coco Crisp, who led off with a single. It was the rookie’s 19th homer.
Detroit tied it with two outs in the second. Carlos Pena hit his 16th home run of the season, just inside the right-field foul pole to make it 2-1. Shane Halter followed with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch by Cliff Lee. Brandon Inge then looped a single to right to score Halter.
Ross gave the Tigers a 6-2 lead in the third with his grand slam. Detroit loaded the bases with two walks—one intentional—and two Cleveland errors.
Ben Petrick led off with a walk. Danny Klassen then attempted a sacrifice. Lee had a play on Petrick at second, but made a bad-hop throw to shortstop Omar Vizquel for an error. Craig Monroe then hit a routine double-play grounder to third baseman Casey Blake, who threw to second baseman Brandon Phillips. Phillips missed touching second for an error, but made the relay to first for an out. Young was intentionally walked and Ross followed with his drive into the right-field bullpen on an 0-2 pitch.
The Indians tied it 6-all in the fourth on two-run homers by Ben Broussard and Phillips.
The Indians had runners on first and third with none out in the eighth. But Rodney came in to strike out Phillips and Crisp and get Vizquel to pop to shortafter falling behind 3-0 to Phillips.
Detroit’s Bobby Higginson began his two-game suspension stemming from an Aug. 10 ejection against Minnesota. Higginson originally decided to appeal the suspension, but later dropped it. … Gerut has 27 RBIs in 16 games against Detroit this season. … Ross is the first Tigers player to hit a grand slam for his first major league homer since Milt Cuyler on May 19,1991. He’s the fifth in the majors this season. The last was Seattle’s Willie Bloomquist onJuly 13. … It was Broussard’s third home run in two games.