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Early flurry is just enough

Early flurry is just enough
Indians 6, Tigers 5


What: Indians at Detroit Tigers.

When: 3:40 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park.

TV/radio: WJW Channel 8; WTAM AM/1100.

Pitchers: LHP Aaron Laffey (2-0, 2.41 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Miner (2-1, 6.00).

Detroit - The Indians did most of their scoring early, but Carl Pavano pitched early and late Friday night to win his first game of the season.

Pavano, facing Detroit for the first time in his career, pitched into the eighth inning as the Indians beat the Tigers, 6-5, at Comerica Park to open a seven-game trip. Pavano allowed two runs on five hits in 7 1/3 innings.

It was Pavano's first win since he beat Baltimore on Sept. 19, while pitching for the Yankees. It was his longest start since he shut out Seattle for the Yankees on May 17, 2005.

"It felt great," said Pavano. "It was a big win for the Tribe."

Win or lose, it wouldn't have been an Indians' game without a bullpen collapse. Pavano left with one out and a 6-1 lead in the eighth after giving up an RBI double to Adam Everett. Rafael Perez relieved and allowed consecutive hits to Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco as Everett scored on Polanco's single to make it 6-2.

Jensen Lewis relieved and retired Magglio Ordonez for the second out, but then he did it again. Yes, Lewis gave up another home run.

Miguel Cabrera turned his 3-1 pitch into a three-run homer to left to make it 6-5. It was the sixth homer Lewis has allowed this year, including Jon Van Every's game-winning 10th-inning homer for Boston on Wednesday night.

It was Cabrera's 11th career homer against the Tribe. He hit eight of them last year, his first year with the Tigers.

"I'll take Jensen Lewis in that situation anytime," said Pavano. "More often than not, he's going to get the job done.

"From where I was it looked like a good pitch. They pay Cabrera a lot of money to do that."

Rafael Betancourt relieved Lewis and retired Carlos Guillen on a grounder to short.

"Raffie got the big out for us," said manager Eric Wedge.

Kerry Wood worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

"That's the way you want to see Kerry close out the game," said Wedge.

The Indians led, 5-0, after three innings. Kelly Shoppach drove in the critical sixth run with a two-out single off Nate Robertson in the seventh.

Armando Galarraga (3-1) went five innings in the loss. Pavano (1-3) struck out three and didn't walk a batter in 97 pitches.

"I wanted to finish that game off," said Pavano. "If I keep pitching like this, I should be able to do that later in the season."

It was the first time the Indians have beaten Galarraga.

"He's given us fits," said Wedge. "He gives a lot of people fits."

The Indians took a 4-0 lead in the second on five hits and an error. Jhonny Peralta made it 1-0 as he singled home Mark DeRosa, who opened with a double.

David Dellucci, who had four hits after being activated before the game, bounced a single over the mound. Cabrera grabbed it, thought about going to second for the force, then whirled and made a bad throw to first as Peralta went to third and Dellucci to second.

Shoppach drew a one-out walk, just his second this season, to load the bases.

Grady Sizemore (sacrifice fly), Asdrubal Cabrera (single) and Victor Martinez (single) completed the scoring.

Peralta made it 5-0 with a homer in the third. It was his 86th career homer, the most ever by a Tribe shortstop. He had been tied with Woodie Held. Peralta had gone homerless in April.

"Good for Jhonny," said Wedge. "That was a big hit for him."

Pavano breezed through the first five innings.

"When I got that early lead, I could be a lot more aggressive," said Pavano. "But you don't want to be too aggressive. That's a very good lineup. You still have to make your pitches."

In five career starts against the Tribe before Friday, Galarraga had allowed 13 runs in 32 1/3 innings. In other words, he owned them.

Rain delayed the start of the game for 43 minutes.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-5158

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 5, 2009

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