The Cleveland Indians Take Over AL Central Once Again

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Photo: Flickr/Keith Allison

DETROIT (AP) — Orlando Cabrera had three hits, including a go-ahead double in the fifth inning, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Wednesday night.Cleveland (36-30) pulled back ahead of Detroit (37-31) at the top of the AL Central by a percentage point.

The Indians entered having lost 15 of 20, but they broke through with four runs in the fourth inning after not scoring more than one in any of their previous four games.

Cabrera’s hit put Cleveland ahead 5-4.

Fausto Carmona (4-8) pitched five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. Cleveland’s bullpen then held Detroit hitless, and Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Reliever Charlie Furbush (1-1) took the loss.

Cabrera, who broke up Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid Tuesday night in the eighth inning, scored a run and drove in two Wednesday, helping Cleveland rally from an early 3-0 deficit. The teams finish the three-game series Thursday, again with first place on the line.

Cleveland’s bad breaks continued early in this one. Carlos Santana’s drive down the right-field line went foul in the first inning, narrowly missing a home run. He then grounded into a double play.

Brennan Boesch hit a solo homer for Detroit in the bottom half to open the scoring, and Miguel Cabrera followed with a two-out groundball that handcuffed third baseman Jack Hannahan for an infield single. The Tigers eventually loaded the bases, and Alex Avila drove home two more runs with a single.

But the Indians took advantage of an erratic start by Brad Penny. Asdrubal Cabrera led off the fourth with a single, and after a walk to Shin-Soo Choo, Matt LaPorta and Orlando Cabrera hit RBI singles. Following a sacrifice bunt by Hannahan, Lou Marson tied the game with a single.

Furbush relieved Penny, and Grady Sizemore’s sacrifice fly put the Indians ahead 4-3.

Penny allowed four runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. He walked two.

Detroit tied it in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout by Boesch, but Cleveland took the lead back in the fifth when Orlando Cabrera hit a run-scoring double down the left-field line.

LaPorta made it 6-4 with an RBI groundout in the seventh.

Carmona, who had lost five straight starts, struck out three and walked two.

Notes: Indians manager Manny Acta said DH Travis Hafner (right oblique strain) had treatment Wednesday at Progressive Field in Cleveland and did some sliding. … The Indians announced makeup dates for postponed games May 14-15 against Seattle. They’ll host a doubleheader against the Mariners on Aug. 23 and also host them Sept. 19. … Fans began heading for the concourse as rain fell during the sixth inning, but the game wasn’t delayed.

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