Indians 4, Tigers 2

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DETROIT (AP)—Jake Westbrook wiped out his struggles against the Detroit Tigers with one impressive start.

Westbrook got his first win against the Tigers in four outings this season and won his fourth straight start overall, leading the Indians to a 4-2 victory Saturday night.

Westbrook was 0-3 with an 18.32 ERA against Detroit before giving up four hits and two runs in seven innings.

“Well, you try to forget them in one sense,” Westbrook said. “But you want to remember them because you don’t want them to happen again. They put it on me the first couple of times through, but tonight I felt good.”

Jhonny Peralta homered and Grady Sizemore had an RBI triple as the Indians won for the seventh time in nine games.

Westbrook (10-12) only blemish was Magglio Ordonez’s two-run homer. Westbrook walked one and struck out eight.

“Jake pitched real good,” said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge, who returned from a one-game suspension after being ejected from a July 29 game in Seattle. “He did a good job keeping the sinker down and was good at working it in and out. He was able to mix in some breaking pitches , but the sinker is his strength.”

But it was the slider, Westbrook said, that was working early.

He mixed sliders and changeups early, when he struck out five of the first seven Detroit batters.

“Sometimes when I’m striking out guys it’s like I’m not doing my job, because I’m a groundball guy,” Westbrook said.

Wedge was happy to get another strong performance from a Cleveland starter.

“It all starts with your starting pitcher,” Wedge said. “He gives you a chance to win or he doesn’t. Starters can’t control whether you win or lose a game, but they can control whether or not they give us a chance to win.”

The Indians helped themselves with clutch hitting; the first three runs came on hits with two outs.

“Two-out hits really help finish an inning,” Wedge said. “You take an inning where you’re looking at no runs and get one, or two, and it really helped us out tonight.”

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 30th save in 35 chances.

Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman (13-8) went six innings for the Tigers, who have dropped eight of 11. He walked two and struck out six.

“I thought I pitched not great, but I pitched well enough to keep us in the game and give us a shot down the stretch,” Bonderman said. “I wasn’t on my game. I hit a lot of 3-ball counts, 3-2 counts.”

The Indians scored their first three runs with two outs.

In the first, Coco Crisp and Travis Hafner scored on two-out singles by Victor Martinez and Ben Broussard to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.

Sizemore hit his RBI triple in the fourth, scoring Casey Blake, who had singled with two outs.

Peralta homered in the seventh for Cleveland to make it 4-2.

“That solo shot was big,” Wedge said. “For the last two weeks now, we’ve been seeing pitches and really working up there. They’ve made adjustments and stuck to the plan.”

The Tigers broke through in the sixth. Chris Shelton led off the inning with a walk and Ordonez followed with a two-run homer, his fifth.

Westbrook then retired the next six Detroit batters.

Notes

Westbrook’s eight strikeouts tied a career high. … Both teams wore Negro League uniforms. The Indians wore those of the Cleveland Buckeyes, the Tigers those of the Detroit Stars. … Indians bench coach Robby Thompson served a one-game suspension for being ejected in a game July 29 against Seattle.

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