Indians 5, Orioles 4
CLEVELAND (AP)—Perhaps the only player in the ballpark that could have caught Grady Sizemore’s home-run ball was the guy who hit it.
Sizemore sped around the bases with an inside-the-park home run, Jake Westbrook got his first win in five starts and the Cleveland Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 Friday night for their sixth straight victory.
“I’d rather trot than run,” Sizemore said after his second career inside-the-park homer.
Westbrook (1-2) won for the first time since signing a three-year, $33 million contract extension April 13. He allowed three runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings, struck out five and walked one.
“It feels great to get a win,” Westbrook said. “Grady was fun to watch. He was running sideways. He was flying.”
Joe Borowski struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
The Indians scored all of their runs in the sixth. Steve Trachsel (1-2) got two quick outs before walking two and being replaced by Jeremy Guthrie. The former Indians right-hander hit pinch-hitter David Dellucci in the left foot with his first pitch to load the bases.
Josh Barfield then lined a two-run single to right and Sizemore followed with a drive over the head of Corey Patterson in center. Patterson fell awkwardly to the ground after leaping for the ball, which ricocheted off the wall toward left fielder Jay Payton.
Sizemore raced around the bases and slid in well ahead of the relay throw from shortstop Miguel Tejada for his fifth homer, giving Cleveland a 5-1 lead.
“I thought I popped it up,” said Sizemore, an All-Star center fielder in 2006. “When I saw it hit the wall, I was pretty sure I could score.”
Trachsel blamed himself for setting up the rally.
“I walked two guys with two outs in a 1-0 game,” he said. “That’s not going to get the job done.”
Guthrie was more upset.
“They scored five runs on four pitches,” Guthrie said. “I never got settled in. I threw eight pitches and only three were good.”
Tejada hit a two-out RBI single in the first for Baltimore, which has lost five straight. It was Tejada’s 1,103rd consecutive game, tying Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Sewell for the sixth-longest streak in history. Sewell did it for Cleveland from Sept. 13, 1922, through April 30, 1930.
“A day off with Miggy is usually when I ask him to DH,” manager Sam Perlozzo said before the game. “We haven’t reached that point yet. That usually comes later in the season.”
Former Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., who enters the Hall of Fame this summer, has the longest streak at 2,632 games.
Indians manager Eric Wedge was ejected in the bottom half of the first by plate umpire Bill Miller for arguing balls and strikes. It was Wedge’s first ejection of the season.
“We’re not going to talk about the umpires,” said bench coach Jeff Datz, who replaced Wedge.
“Josh did a great job in his at-bat, staying on a breaking ball and taking it to right field. That was a big hit for him. And Jake battled like he always does.”
The Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Westbrook got Jay Payton to foul out and Jay Gibbons to bounce into a fielder’s choice to get out of the inning.
The Indians have won seven of their last eight. … Sizemore’s first inside-the-park homer came Sept. 24 at Texas. … Tejada went 1-for-3 against Westbrook and is hitting .379 (11-for-29) in his career against the right-hander. … Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner went 0-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .048 (1-for-21) at Jacobs Field this season. … Indians LHP Cliff Lee allowed two hits over five scoreless innings in a rehab start at Double-A Akron. He walked one, struck out seven and is could come off the disabled list next week. He strained an abdominal muscle in late February.