Porcello beats Tribe for Tigers sweep

BY foxsports • May 11, 2009

The Cleveland Indians are digging themselves a deeper hole each day.

Detroit rookie Rick Porcello added to their mounting frustrations Sunday, combining with four relievers to beat the struggling Indians 5-3 and complete a three-game sweep for the Tigers.

"It's tough," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "You wear it here, you wear it at home. If you care, and I most certainly do about these players and our fans, it is very disappointing."

The Indians held a long players-only meeting Saturday night after Detroit's second consecutive shutout, but it didn't help. They lost for the seventh time in nine games Sunday to fall to 11-21, the worst record in the major leagues.

Cleveland turned four double plays but stranded 10, going 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position and striking out nine times.

"Strikeouts are a concern," said Wedge, whose team fanned 29 times in the series and has gone down on strikes 259 times this year, an average of eight per game. "But it is more than that and I take full responsibility."

Indians catcher Victor Martinez and third baseman Mark DeRosa said it isn't Wedge's fault.

"The players all take the blame. It's not Wedge up there not hitting," Martinez said. "Sometimes I think we get too down on ourselves, then try to do too much. You can't hit three homers in one at-bat."

DeRosa, acquired in an offseason trade, said he has never experienced such a losing trend.

"We had such high expectations, so it's more frustrating," DeRosa said. "We all feel it because we know we are better than this."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland praised his pitchers while admitting they might have caught Cleveland at just the right time.

"They all pitched very well," Leyland said. "Sometimes you're fortunate enough to catch an outstanding hitting team when they're not hitting. I'm sure they're not swinging the bats the way they will be. The next time we see them they might be hitting the ball all over the place."

Porcello (3-3) allowed one run over five innings to win his second consecutive start. He walked two, struck out five and used a better curveball to set up his good fastball.

"It was nice to be able to throw it for strikes," Porcello said. "I felt more comfortable with that than I did with my fastball. I threw it in some key spots and it was a good pitch for me."

Grady Sizemore's RBI single in the second snapped Cleveland's 22-inning scoreless streak and made it 4-1. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled home a run with two outs in the ninth and the Indians scored again on a wild pitch by Fernando Rodney.

In the first two games, the Tigers pitched consecutive shutouts in Cleveland for the first time in nearly 101 years. Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was 21 years old when the Tigers did it on July 3 and 4, 1908.

Curtis Granderson and Adam Everett had two RBIs apiece for Detroit.

Granderson's two-run single capped a four-run second against Anthony Reyes (1-1). Jeff Larish had a leadoff homer and Everett a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the rally. An overthrow by left fielder Ben Francisco put two runners in scoring position for Granderson.

"That's what I'm talking about," Wedge said. "Ben airmailed it. He's got to hit the cutoff man."

Everett added an RBI single in the fourth.

Granderson also made another spectacular catch in center, taking away Shin-Soo Choo's bid for extra bases with a running catch in front of the wall to open the eighth. On Friday night, Granderson leaped above the wall to take away Sizemore's bid for a game-winning, two-run homer.

"I had to go a lot farther for this one," Granderson said.


Detroit starters are 8-4 with a 2.77 ERA in the last 14 games after compiling a 4.64 ERA in their first 16 games. ... Tigers RF Magglio Ordonez broke a 7-for-52 (.135) slump by going 2 for 3. He hit his first double in his 106th at-bat this season. He totaled 118 doubles the past three years. ... Indians SS Jhonny Peralta, after two days off, went 3 for 4. He hit .127 (8-for-63) in his previous 15 games. ... Indians DH David Dellucci broke an 0-for-16 slide with a sixth-inning single.

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