Choo, Sowers lead Indians past Tigers, 6-3
With the exception of one hit batter that didn’t cause an incident, all was quiet one night after the teams were involved in a bench-clearing brawl Friday.
Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield, one of the main principals in the fight, was in the starting lineup. Booed during pregame introductions and in every at-bat, Sheffield was 2-for-4.
Choo, who is batting .448 (26-for-58) with 17 RBIs in 18 games this month, drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the fourth. He was 2-for-2 with two walks, raising his average to .310.
Sowers (4-8) gave up a first-inning run, but held the Tigers to two hits over his final five innings. Jensen Lewis pitched the ninth for his 11th save.
Asdrubal Cabrera added a two-run single in the seventh helping the Indians, who won the AL Central last season, move to .500 for the first time since May 18.
Justin Verlander (10-17) allowed four runs in four innings for the loss.
Friday night’s trouble started when Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona hit Sheffield with a pitch in the seventh inning. The two fought near the mound, prompting both dugouts and bullpens to empty. Four players, including Carmona and Sheffield, were ejected. Following the game, Sheffield criticized several Indians player, including catcher Victor Martinez, one of the ejected players.
Sheffield doubled in the first, bounced into a double play in the third, flied out in the sixth and singled in the eighth. Martinez, still recovering from surgery on his right elbow, didn’t play—a planned day off—according to Indians manager Eric Wedge. Martinez is scheduled to catch Sunday.
Verlander hit Jamey Carroll in the back with an 0-1 pitch with one out in the first. Carroll quickly went to first base. The hit batter eventually cost the Tigers a run. After a walk and a wild pitch, Carroll scored on Jhonny Peralta’s groundout.
Verlander balked in a run in the second. Kelly Shoppach led off with a double and took third on a groundout. After a walk, Verlander balked while attempting to throw to first.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth. Choo hit a hard ground past a diving Placido Polanco at second base and into right field.
Magglio Ordonez’s RBI groundout in the first gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer off Rafael Perez in the seventh. Cabrera responded with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland sat out the second of his three-game suspension for his actions toward the umpires during a series with Texas last week. Leyland also will sit out Sunday’s game.
1B Miguel Cabrera was 1-for-4 and is hitting .343 (25-for-73) against Cleveland this season. … Ordonez, who was second in the AL in batting going into the game, was 0-for-4 … Lewis is 11-for-12 in save opportunities. … Ryan Garko had three hits for Cleveland. … Sunday is the Indians’ last home game of the season. Cleveland begins a trip to Boston and Chicago on Monday.