Indians 4, Tigers 3
CLEVELAND (AP) _ Wayne Kirby’s bases-loaded grounder in the eighth inning snapped a tie and boosted the Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers Tuesday.
The victory was the Indians’ ninth in their last 10 games.
Eddie Murray led off the inning with a single off Joe Boever (3-3). One out later, Manny Ramirez walked and Paul Sorrento then singled off reliever Buddy Groom to load the bases.
Brian Maxcy relieved Groom and got pinch-hitter Kirby to ground to second, pinch-runner Alvaro Espinoza scoring from third on the play with the winning run.
Julian Tavarez (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. Jose Mesa got the final three outs for his 12th save in 12 opportunities.
Starters Bud Black and Felipe Lira each left after six innings with the score tied 3-3.
Black yielded three hits, walked four and struck out five. Lira, making his second major-league start for the Tigers, allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out six.
Kenny Lofton twice beat out bunt singles and eventually scored. In the first inning, Lofton’s theft of second was disputed by Tigers shortstop Scott Fletcher and manager Sparky Anderson. Television replays showed Lofton was nearly a foot from the bag when he was tagged by Fletcher.
Detroit tied the score on Juan Samuel’s third homer in the second and went ahead in the third when Chad Curtis drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on Fletcher’s double.
Baerga singled in a run and Albert Belle had an RBI double as Cleveland regained the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Curtis tied the game 3-3 in the fifth when Danny Bautista led off with a single and Todd Steverson walked. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by John Flaherty and Bautista scored on Curtis’ grounder to shortstop.
Notes: Cleveland has signed 19 of its 55 picks in last weekend’s summer free agent draft, including seven of the first 10. ... Reserve infielder Alvaro Espinoza has the longest homerless streak of any Indian, dating to June 28, 1994, when he connected off current teammate Jim Poole, then with Baltimore ... Cecil Fielder has 13 homers and is seeking to become the first Tiger to hit 25 homers in six consecutive seasons ... Alan Trammell needs one homer to tie Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer for 12th on the all-time Tiger list with 184 ... The Indians said they will prosecute and seek the maximum penalty against two fans who disrupted play Monday night by running onto the field. Charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, the two spent Monday night in city jail and face a maximum penalty of $250 fine and 30 days in jail.