Indians 7, Tigers 6

Preview | Box Score | Recap

DETROIT (AP)—With a six-run lead in the first inning, the Cleveland Indians probably thought they were on their way to an easy victory.

It didn’t work out that way.

Cleveland closer Bob Wickman retired Ivan Rodriguez with the tying run on first base to give the Indians a hard-fought 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

“They came back, and we had some opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “Even the one run we did add a couple innings later turned out be significant for us.”

Jason Davis (1-0) pitched six innings in his season debut, giving up five runs—four earned—and eight hits. He walked one and matched a career best with seven strikeouts.

“I didn’t have my best stuff, but I made some big pitches,” Davis said. “The runs in the first were a huge boost for my confidence.”

Three Cleveland relievers finished, with Wickman giving up an RBI single to Carlos Guillen in the ninth before finishing for his second save. Before getting Rodriguez, Wickman started to think about his blown save Wednesday, when he wasted a three-run lead against the White Sox.

“I’m thinking, ‘Here we go again,’ just like everyone else,” he said. “I made a good pitch to Guillen and he got a base hit. Pudge was up swinging at the first pitch, and I threw a little two-seamer in on him. Maybe I outsmarted one of the best hitters. I don’t know.”

Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) allowed seven runs—only one after the first—on seven hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out four.

Bonderman showed none of the command he displayed in a dominant opening day performance against Kansas City. The Indians sent 10 batters to the plate in the first, scoring six times.

“I got behind guys, and when I did get ahead of someone, I left the ball over the middle of the plate, “ Bonderman said. “I just have to build on the last four or five innings for my next start.”

The Indians loaded the bases with none out on two walks and a single. Victor Martinez struck out, but Aaron Boone lined a two-run single to left and Broussard followed with a two-run double down the left-field line.

Casey Blake and Ronnie Belliard added RBI singles later in the inning, both to left as the Indians took advantage of Rondell White’s poor throwing arm.

“That’s just something you have to deal with,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “You try to teach guys like that to hit the cutoff man, but that’s not always easy.”

Detroit got on the board with two runs in the second on Craig Monroe’s RBI single and Marcus Thames’ sacrifice fly.

Both teams added a run in the third. Cleveland scored when Broussard tripled and came home on Blake’s groundout, and Detroit on White’s RBI single.

The Tigers pulled to 7-5 in the fifth. Dmitri Young hit a two-out triple to score Guillen, and Young scored when first baseman Broussard dropped Boone’s throw for an error on a grounder by White.

“After that first inning, Bondo kept us in the game,” Young said. “We’ve always had a lot of respect for him, and this is why. He faced adversity and did what he needed to after that.”


Guillen, who missed the end of last season with a torn ACL, stole his first base in the fifth inning. … The Indians have made at least one error in their first six games. … Magglio Ordonez (viral infection) missed his fourth straight game. He hopes to play in Tuesday’s series opener in Minnesota. … Davis has struck out seven on four other occasions, most recently on June 25, 2004, against Colorado.

Related Articles