Indians win 10th straight behind Shoppach, Choo
DETROIT (AP)—It’s been a schizophrenic season for the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians also lost 10 in a row earlier this season, becoming the first team with such double-digit streaks since Tampa Bay won and lost 12 in a row in 2004.
“The makeup of the guys in this clubhouse is that they can have a 10-game losing streak and put it all behind them,” said Shoppach.
Cleveland’s team record is 13 consecutive wins, accomplished twice, the last time in 1951.
“You can’t come off a 4-2 road trip and get swept at home. That’s not a good thing,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “We are just not playing very good.”
Fausto Carmona (7-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings.
“I thought Fausto got better as the game wore on,” said Indians manager Eric Wedge. “He did a very good job of settling down.”
Carmona beat Justin Verlander (10-14), who gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings, walking three and striking out eight.
“I felt the best that I have all year tonight. I had good stuff,” Verlander said. “It’s funny. I had nothing in Kansas City in my last start and won and tonight I lost.”
Cleveland had high expectations this year. The Indians lost in the ALCS to Boston last year, but got off to a slow start and was beset by injuries that have kept Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez out of the lineup. After falling so far back in the AL Central, Cleveland dealt staff ace and Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia and clubhouse leader Casey Blake before the trading deadline.
“I’m pleased with the way their guys fought through things … with all the adversity and trades and things,” Wedge said.
The Indians had surrendered a two-run lead and trailed 4-3 in the fourth when Shoppach put them ahead for good with his 17th homer, a two-run shot to left off Verlander. It also scored Ryan Garko, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
“The homer to Shoppach was a good pitch,” said Verlander.
Shoo made it 7-4 in the seventh with a two-run homer, his seventh of the year.
Ordonez kept the Tigers close in the late innings. He had an RBI double in the seventh and a two-run homer, his 16th of the season, in the ninth.
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead on Jhonny Peralta’s two-out RBI single in the first. It scored Dave Dellucci, who hit a one-out double and moved to third on a groundout.
Granderson tied it by leading off the game for Detroit with his 16th homer. Granderson lined Carmona’s 2-2 pitch to the opposite field in left.
Grady Sizemore’s two-out, two-run single gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the second. It scored Garko, who led off with a walk, and Shoppach, who singled. They moved up on a sacrifice.
Garko and Shoppach added run-scoring singles in the ninth.
OF Matt Laporta, who was hit in the head with a ball playing for the U.S. Olympic Team, was cleared for baseball activities and is expected to play Friday for Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate in Akron. He was acquired in the trade that sent Sabathia to Milwaukee. … Detroit optioned RHP Chris Lambert to Triple-A Toledo and recalled IF Jeff Larish from the same team. … Leyland said he didn’t expect RHP Todd Jones to pitch again this season. Jones, on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, went home to Pell City, Ala., to continue his rehabilitation. He is expected to return to the team before the end of the season. … The Indians pulled within two games of .500 for the first time since May 21.