American League roundup
The AL roundup…
CLEVELAND ó For the first time this season, a national TV audience finally experienced the Indiansí late-inning karma.
Funny enough, Clevelandís manager watched it on the tube, too.
Asdrubal Cabreraís two-out RBI double in the eighth inning ó the latest big hit delivered by Clevelandís shortstop ó rallied the Indians to a slippery 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday night, another dramatic victory for a team that believes there is no deficit too big to overcome.
ěWeíre just going out and winning ballgames,î Indians starter Justin Masterson said. ěItís a different person every night. Itís been a lot of fun.î
With a steady rain falling, Cabrera, who went 5 for 5 with two homers and five RBIs on Sunday, drove his double off reliever Daniel Bard (1-4) to the wall in left field, scoring Michael Brantley and helping the Indians win their fourth straight and improve to 19-4 at home.
The win was the Indiansí eighth in their last at-bat at home this season.
Rangers 4, White Sox 0
ARLINGTON, Texas ó Josh Hamilton took off running, and kept up that pace even after his first swing in six weeks for the Texas Rangers sent the ball over the wall for his first homer this season.
ěIt was good to get it out of the way, good to get that nervousness over,î Hamilton said.
The Rangers have been waiting for their AL MVP and Nelson Cruz to get back in the lineup, and both delivered big blasts in a 4-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
Cruz and Hamilton homered to back up Alexi Ogandoís five-hitter for his first career shutout.
ěAn exciting moment for us to be back,î Cruz said.
Blue Jays 7, Yankees 3
NEW YORK ó Blue Jays manager John Farrell is constantly searching for nontraditional ways to make teams pay for pitching around Jose Bautista.
Having his cleanup hitter lay down a sacrifice Monday night was about as unconventional as Farrell could get.
Batting fourth for the first time this year, Yunel Escobar bunted after Corey Patterson doubled and Bautista was intentionally walked in the sixth. Bartolo Colon then intentionally walked Juan Rivera to load the bases and Toronto responded with a five-run inning capped by J.P Arencibiaís three-run double that helped the Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
Tigers 6, Rays 3
DETROIT ó The Detroit Tigers leaned on two of their newest players to win a second straight game.
Charlie Furbush won in his major league debut and Andy Dirks hit his first career homer, helping Detroit beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 Monday night.
ěThereís nothing like it in the world,î said Dirks, a week after making his big league debut. ěIíll remember it for the rest of my life.î
Furbush (1-0) pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings of relief, suddenly entering the game after Detroit starter Phil Coke injured his right ankle.
ěHe didnít have time to think about it, he just pitched,î Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
ěI didnít say anything to him. I just gave him the ball.î
Victor Martinez hit a two-run double and Jhonny Peralta had a two-run single in the eighth inning to turn a one-run lead into a five-run cushion.
ěThose add-on runs were huge,î Leyland said.
Jose Valverde gave up two runs in the ninth, but avoided a total collapse by getting ex-Tiger Johnny Damon to line out to Miguel Cabrera at first with two on for the final out.
ěThat game wasnít lost in the ninth,î Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ěIt was lost early on when we didnít take advantage of those scoring opportunities early in the game.î
Furbush had something to do with that.
He replaced Coke and took advantage of the chance, two days after the highly touted left-hander was called up from Triple-A Toledo. He started off by walking Sean Rodriguez to load the bases, then got out of the one-out jam by striking out Felipe Lopez and Kelly Shoppach to earn a standing ovation.
ěHe showed some great poise in that situation,î Maddon said. ěIím not saying we should have pounded him, but you have to at least get the ball moving and give yourself a chance.î
Jeremy Hellickson (5-3) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He had a shot to be the first Tampa Bay rookie to win five straight starts, but his light-hitting teammates werenít much help.
ěHelly pitched a great game, but we didnít get the runs we needed,î Maddon said.
The Tigers, meanwhile, scored more than three runs for the first time in nine games. In fact, they did that with two outs in the eighth inning alone after leading by only a run.
Detroit has won two straight after losing five in a row.
Tampa Bay has lost five of seven after building a season-high, three-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East.
After the start of the series opener was delayed 27 minutes by rain, Evan Longoriaís sacrifice fly gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Dirks made it 1-all in the fifth with his first homer in the majors.
Coke started strong, needing just nine pitches to retire the side in the first and keeping the Rays off the basepaths until B.J. Upton drew a leadoff walk in the fourth. Cokeís outing ended in that inning though, when Ben Zobrist laid down a perfect bunt on the left side of the infield and the pitcher injured his right ankle trying to field it.
ěWeíre waiting for test results,î Leyland said.
Coke said he has a bone bruise.
Rays shortstop Elliot Johnson left in the fifth with a sore left knee after being thrown out attempting to steal third. Johnson was limping badly after the game.
The Tigers went ahead in the sixth when Brennan Boesch hit a two-out double and scored ó getting around a throw up the third-base line from Matt Joyce in right ó on Cabreraís tiebreaking single.
Hellickson was removed with one out in the seventh after making 100 pitches. J.P. Howell made the move pay off, getting Alex Avila to ground into an inning-ending double play that kept Tampa Bay within a run. But the Rays are struggling on offense ó they have scored three runs or fewer in eight of the last 11 games.
Howell and Juan Cruz combined to give up four runs in the eighth.
NOTES: Tampa Bay and the 2010 Minnesota Twins are the only teams in major league history to avoid having more than one error in their first 48 games, according to statistics provided by the Rays from the Elias Sports Bureau. … Detroit OF Magglio Ordonez, who has been on the DL with an injured right ankle, is expected to work out on the field before Fridayís game against Boston. … Tampa Bay plans to stick with RHP Andy Sonnanstine in the series finale Wednesday despite his 0-1 record and 6.08 ERA in three starts this year. … Leyland downplayed the importance of the 10-game homestand against Tampa Bay, Boston and Minnesota because itís late May. ěWe havenít even started sweating yet,î Leyland said. … Rays OF Justin Ruggiano was taken out of the lineup with a stomach ailment.
The Associated Press