Kearns’ hit in 11th gives Indians sweep of Tigers
CLEVELAND (AP)—Manager Manny Acta didn’t care that it took 11 hours. He was plenty proud of the Cleveland Indians’ doubleheader sweep.
Austin Kearns(notes) lined a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Cleveland a 2-1 win in the second game after Fausto Carmona(notes) (9-7) outlasted Justin Verlander(notes) in a matchup of All-Star right-handers to win the opener 4-3.
“It was the culmination of a long, long, but productive day,” Acta said. “It was all worth it.”
Jayson Nix(notes) singled off Robbie Weinhardt(notes) (0-1) to start Cleveland’s two-out rally. Weinhardt then walked Carlos Santana(notes) and Kearns, with the runners in motion on a 3-2 pitch, lined a single to left, easily scoring Nix.
Trevor Crowe’s(notes) RBI single off Phil Coke(notes) (5-1) broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning of the opener and Chris Perez(notes) worked a scoreless ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances. He closed in place of Kerry Wood(notes), put on the disabled list before the game with a blister on his right index finger.
“The bullpen did a fantastic job in both games,” Acta said.
Rick Porcello(notes), recalled from Triple-A Toledo by the Tigers between games, pitched eight solid innings. The right-hander struck out six without a walk and allowed six hits, including a sixth-inning homer by Santana.
Cleveland starter Mitch Talbot(notes) yielded a two-out RBI single to Ryan Raburn(notes) in the second. The right-hander worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first and went five innings. Jensen Lewis(notes), called up to take Wood’s roster spot, then worked two scoreless.
“We didn’t execute,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after Detroit was swept in a doubleheader in Cleveland for the first time since July 4, 2005. “We let them off the hook in the first inning. We didn’t do enough to win the game. We didn’t execute. We stunk the joint up, plain and simple.”
Nearly half a day earlier, Carmona started and walked six over seven innings, but was backed by superb defense. He fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but got stronger while Verlander faded.
“I tried too much and was overthrowing,” Carmona acknowledged. “The defense really helped me win.”
Third baseman Andy Marte(notes) started three around-the-horn double plays to thwart Tigers threats in the second, third and fifth innings. His backhand stop of a smash by Miguel Cabrera(notes) in the third helped halt the Detroit slugger’s hitting streak at 20 games. Cabrera went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Sixty-nine years ago to the day, fine fielding by Indians third baseman Ken Keltner snapped the all-time record hitting streak of 56 games by the New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio at old Cleveland Stadium.
“That was a huge swing inning,” Leyland said. “Cabrera hit a bullet down the third-base line with two guys on and it looked like it was going to bring another run in and we would have second and third with no out. Marte made a great play on it. Then they scored two in the bottom half.”
“Smitty was huge, fantastic,” Acta said.
Verlander fanned nine and walked five over six innings, allowing six hits and three runs. He also threw two wild pitches in the sixth, including one with the bases loaded that enabled Cleveland to tie the score at 3.
The hard-throwing right-hander struck out three over two hitless innings before the Indians cut it to 3-2 in the third. Jason Donald(notes) had an RBI double and scored on a single by Michael Brantley(notes). Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson(notes) preserved the lead with a running catch in right-center to take away Matt LaPorta’s(notes) bid for extra bases with two on and two outs.
NOTES: The Tigers optioned LHP Daniel Schlereth(notes) to Toledo when Porcello was recalled between games. … Wood’s trip to the DL is the 14th of his career and second this year. … It was a very long day for Lewis. “I left Norfolk (Va.) at 5:30 this morning and got the ballpark around nine,” he said. … Verlander, 9-10 in his career against the Indians, went 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA against them in 2009. … Acta said the Indians will call up RHP Jeanmar Gomez on Sunday to make his major league debut. Win or lose, it will only be a spot start. Gomez pitched a perfect game for Double-A Akron last year.