Indians 5, Tigers 3
CLEVELAND (AP)—Ben Broussard cleared his head, then cleared the bases.
“I just tried to clear my mind and go up there with a purpose,” said Broussard, who was mired in a 3-for-34 slump in September. “Thoughts shoot through your head, so the best thing to do is take a deep breath.”
Broussard pulled the first pitch he saw from Esteban Yan (2-4) just inside the first-base bag to put Cleveland ahead 4-3. Ryan Ludwick followed with an RBI double that was inches fair down the left-field line to make it 5-3.
Broussard came on as a defensive replacement in the seventh for the Indians, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the fourth time in 12 games.
“It says a lot about a young guy who gets so many big hits,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He probably has more big hits for us than anybody.”
It was the third homer allowed by Howry in a five-batter span. The right-hander gave up consecutive one-out homers to Oakland’s Bobby Crosby and Nick Swisher in the eighth inning Saturday that turned a 4-3 Cleveland lead into a 5-4 loss.
“Bobby has left a few fastballs up,” Wedge said. “He has to hit his spots.”
With Tigers closer Ugueth Urbina still in Venezuela, where his mother was kidnapped Sept. 1, Yan came on in the eighth and blew his eighth save in 11 chances.
Tigers starter Mike Maroth seldom threw a pitch that registered over 83 mph on the radar gun, but held Cleveland scoreless until Ronnie Belliard opened the sixth with his 10th homer, 410 feet into the Indians’ bullpen in center.
Casey Blake then grounded a single to center, but Logan threw out Martinez at the plate to keep the score tied at 2.
Maroth gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings and is now 0-4 in five starts since Aug. 17. He walked one and struck out five.
Tigers third baseman Eric Munson didn’t play, but was ejected in the first inning by first-base umpire Jim Reynolds for yelling from the dugout.
“I can tell you I didn’t use any profanity, I didn’t even raise my voice,” Munson said. “I was surprised he heard me.”
Munson and Detroit manager Alan Trammell both protested that Reynolds missed a call when Belliard grounded to shortstop Omar Infante.
Pena took Infante’s throw at first, and TV replays appeared to show that he kept his foot on the bag, then pulled it away, and stepped on the base again before Belliard did.
“I didn’t even have to look at the replay,” Trammell said. “He was out.”
Elarton gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out one.
Pena has hit 14 of his 61 career homers against Cleveland. … Belliard hit his 47th double in the eighth. He began the day tied for the major league lead. … Indians RHP Rafael Betancourt struck out all three men he faced in the seventh on 13 pitches.