Inge’s homer helps Tigers to win over Indians
CLEVELAND (AP)—Jim Leyland may permanently ban batting practice for the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit’s manager let his team skip pregame workouts and the Tigers responded with 14 hits, including home runs by Brandon Inge and Miguel Cabrera, in an 8-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
Armando Gallaraga (9-4) retired the first nine Indians in order and gave up three runs over 5 1-3 innings to improve to 3-0 against Cleveland this year.
He again got good support: The Tigers have averaged 5.6 runs in his 18 starts.
“It probably had nothing to do with winning, but we won so we’ll do it again tomorrow,” Leyland said of canceling batting practice, adding that he used the strategy for nine straight days in the minors several years ago.
“We keep winning, we can come in at 6:15 (p.m.) every night for all I care. The guys liked it, so we’ll have a little fun with it and keep them fresh at the same time.”
Inge would prefer playing as much as possible after going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and hitting only his second homer of the year on the road, where he is batting just .200 (19-for-95) this season.
“This has been the most frustrating year for me, so it feels good whenever I get the call,” said Inge, who played 150 or more games the previous three seasons as the regular third baseman.
This year, Inge has only 176 at-bats in 61 games, splitting time at third, catcher and the outfield.
“I expect to be in the lineup every day,” Inge said. “It’s easier to turn off the switch than to turn it on.”
Inge caught Galarraga on Tuesday and said the right-hander wasn’t as sharp as his previous start, when he took a perfect game into the seventh inning against Kansas City.
“His slider wasn’t as good as it was then—when it was unstoppable,” Inge said.
Indians manager Eric Wedge was impressed, though.
“He has a pretty good fastball,” Wedge said. “He has various speeds with it, uses a cutter and a slider, and does a good job of mixing up his pitches.”
Joel Zumaya, who left Sunday’s game with what the Tigers said was a strained triceps, came on with runners on second and third and one out in the seventh. Throwing seven fastballs clocked at 96 to 99 mph, he got both Franklin Gutierrez and Ben Francisco to pop out to center.
“I told everybody not to make a big thing of me, that I just had a little soreness,” Zumaya said. “I came in, felt fine, and threw like I always do.”
Miguel Cabrera hit his 18th homer to start the Tigers’ second. Detroit’s other runs all came with two outs.
Sheffield, in a 16-for-87 (.184) slump, delivered off Rincon in the fifth, giving him 1,604 RBIs for his career—five behind Hall of Famer Goose Goslin for 28th place all-time.
“They’re a good hitting ballclub,” Wedge said. “They keep coming at you. It’s tough to hold them down. They got the big hits. Every time we got back in it, they separated.”
The Indians made it 6-3 in the sixth. Jhonny Peralta tripled home Francisco, who had walked. It gave Peralta seven RBIs in his last four games against the Tigers. Shin-Soo Choo doubled into the right-center gap to score Peralta.
Indians DH Travis Hafner will attend the funeral of his father on Wednesday. Hafner, out since May 30 with a shoulder injury, left the club Friday to return home to Sykeston, N.D., where his dad Terry died Saturday at age 64 after a long illness. … Cabrera is batting .395 (17-for-43) with five homers and 15 RBIs in 10 games against Cleveland. … Leyland said he will rest 3B Carlos Guillen on Wednesday, moving Inge from catcher to third. … Sizemore has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, going 22-for-64 (.344).
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