Indians 7, Tigers 6, 10 innings
Gerut’s home run in the 10th inning sent the Cleveland Indians to a 7-6 victory Thursday over Detroit, ending the Tigers’ six-game winning streak.
“I swear I don’t come in here thinking that I’m going to be padding anything,” said Gerut, who went 4-of-5 with two doubles. “It’s just one of those things.”
Gerut has hit three of his seven homers this season against the Tigers, and 10 of his 31 RBIs have come against them. In April, he had a career-high five hits against Detroit.
Gerut, in his second major league season, has 10 of his 29 career home runs and 37 of 106 RBIs against the Tigers.
“They should be used to it for sure because he’s definitely got their number,” said teammate Matt Lawton, who hit a three-run homer in the third.
The Tigers then looked as though they might win another game in dramatic fashion when Ivan Rodriguez doubled and Young was walked intentionally.
“Somebody’s got to grab the bull by the horns and finish these games off,” said Indians manager Eric Wedge, clearly frustrated with his bullpen’s problems.
The Tigers won three straight on game-winning home runs before coasting to a 12-5 win over the Indians on Wednesday for their longest winning streak in two years.
“The feeling is there when you do it three games in a row, but it’s not going to happen all the time,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
Detroit had a chance to win seven straight for the first time since 1993, the last season it had a winning record.
Ronnie Belliard’s go-ahead single in the sixth helped Cleveland avoid a three-game sweep.
Young’s third career slam in the fifth gave the Tigers a 5-3 lead, but it wasn’t enough.
Cleveland went back ahead with a three-run sixth.
“What these guys have done with what we’re going through in the bullpen, it’s pretty special,” Wedge said.
Both starters were far from special.
Detroit’s Jason Johnson, who allowed only one run and one hit in his last start, gave up six runs and nine hits in 7 1-3 innings this time.
“It’s frustrating,” said Johnson, one of his many short answers.
After two hitless innings, Johnson gave up two singles before Lawton hit his 12th homer in the third.
Higginson had an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
Omar Infante and Higginson singled in the fifth, and Rodriguez walked to load the bases, setting up Young’s 374-foot slam to left.
Infante and Higginson singled again in the seventh, but Detroit’s top three hitters—Rodriguez, Young and Guillen—couldn’t get on base against Matt Miller.
Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two walks, one game after becoming the first major leaguer to hit .500 in a month since Colorado’s Todd Helton in May 2000. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and has a hit in his last 25 starts.
A season after leading Florida to a World Series title, Rodriguez leads the majors with a .384 batting average.
“I had a very good month, but I need another one,” he said.
Higginson was 4-for-5. … Lee was acquired two years ago from Montreal in the Bartolo Colon trade. His only loss this season was on June 3. … Young hit his first grand slam with the Tigers, and his first since he hit one three years ago with Cincinnati. … The game was not televised in the Detroit orCleveland area.