Indians Tug Win Away From Tigers

Jeremy Sowers ... winning form.

Pssst, Tribe fans ... want to know the secret to an Indians reliever pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning for a save? It's as simple as 130 tugs on a baseball cap. That did the trick Friday night as the Tribe defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-2. Down on the farm, Tribe affiliates combined to give up 59 runs and go 2-5. Akron swept a doubleheader, winning both with two outs in the bottom of the final inning.

At Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Rafael Betancourt (4.57) fussed and fidgeted to his first save of the season, preserving the win for Jeremy Sowers (6-3, 3.44 ERA).

He tugged at the bill of his ballcap an astounding 130 times while retiring the side on 21 pitches. The stalwart second row of statisticians in the press box counted each tug -- but did not note the numerous other gyrations by the reliever such as mopping his brow and rotating his right arm over his head.

Betancourt yanked at his cap an incredible 58 times before finally retiring a hitter when Ivan Rodriguez flew out to left on a 3-2 pitch for the first out.

Sowers was much more efficient as he worked six good innings. The left-hander fell behind, 2-0, in the second inning, but limited the damage enough that he led, 4-2, after three.

"He managed the trouble, made the pitches and took off from there," Indians manager Eric Wedge told reporters after Sowers won his third straight start.

Joe Inglett (.291) got Cleveland within 2-1 in the bottom of the second with an RBI single.

The Tribe scored three times in the third -- and could possibly have had more except for Shin-Soo Choo impersonating a runaway choo-choo on the basepaths.

Grady Sizemore (.294) doubled and with one out, Travis Hafner (.307) was intentionally walked. Victor Martinez (.312) singled on a 3-2 pitch to tie the score, then Choo (.277) grounded a ball just fair down the first-base line to score Hafner. Choo tore around the bases, head down, while the slow-footed Martinez pulled up at third. Choo was in high gear, about 20 feet from the third-base bag, when he realized his mistake.

He got an RBI double and a lot of strange looks on his way to the dugout after being tagged out.

Jhonny Peralta (.258) then singled home Martinez to make it 4-2.

Sizemore and Peralta each had two of Cleveland's nine hits. Hafner, who was later given another intentional walk, went 0-for-2 and had his 14-game hitting streak snapped.

Not to be overlooked was the exceptional relief work by Fernando Cabrera (5.24 ERA), who fanned four over two perfect innings.

Class AAA Buffalo (69-65) scored once in the top of the ninth to take the lead, then gave up two runs in the bottom half and lost at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7-6. A bases-loaded walk by Jake Gautreau put Buffalo ahead, 6-5. Then Edward Mujica (3-1, 2.48 ERA) gave up three singles and a run to tie it with one out, hit a batter with a pitch to load the bases and was replaced by Vic Darensbourg (3.93), who yielded a game-winning infield single. Starter Jason Stanford (4.08) allowed three runs over 4 1/3 innings, Danny Graves (4.02) gave up one run over 1 2/3, and Hyang-Nam Choi (2.46) yielded one run over two innings. Ben Francisco (.277) went 3-for-5 with a run, RBI and two stolen bases. Jason Cooper (.221), had two hits, including a solo homer, his 12th. Lou Merloni (.294) and Jon Van Every (.241) also had three hits apiece for the Bisons. The loss makes Buffalo 1-5 this week against the Red Barons with twogames remaining in their eight-game series over seven days in two cities.

Class AA Akron (81-51) swept a doubleheader from visiting Trenton, winning both games with two outs in the bottom of the last inning.

The Aeros won the first game, 10-9, on a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth by Jared Sandberg (.253), his second of the season. Pat Osborn (.247) went 3-for-3 with three runs, Ivan Ochoa (.251) was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, and Dave Wallace (.231) 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Trevor Crowe (.272) had two RBI, but made another error at second base. Jim Ed Warden (4-2, 2.95 ERA) worked a scoreless top of the ninth and got the win. Starter Jensen Lewis (4.18) gave up 12 hits and eight runs over five innings and Matt Davis, just promoted from Lake County, yielded one run over three innings.

A bases-loaded single by Ryan Mulhern (.268) with two outs in the bottom of the seventh won the second game, 1-0. Crowe (.282) was the DH and got two of the Aeros' seven hits. Starter Bear Bay (4.54 ERA) allowed two hits and two walks over five innings, fanning five. Bubbie Buzachero (8-3, 2.84) gave up one hit and fanned three over two innings for the win.

Class A Kinston (32-27, 47-23) gave up six runs in the top of the 10th inning and lost to Potomac, 9-3. Ryan Knippschild (6-4, 3.90 ERA) yielded all six runs (five earned) on five hits in the 10th. Starter J.D. Martin continued his excellent progress from last summer's Tommy John surgery, striking out four over 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits. Tom Cowley (5.85) gave up three runs over four innings and Randy Newsom (3.26) worked a scoreless 1 2/3. Jose Constanza (.336) had three of Kinston's 12 hits and scored twice. Argenis Reyes (.261), Rodney Choy Foo (.296) and Matt Whitney (.204) all had two hits.

Class A Lake County (31-27, 29-41) allowed 20 hits, made two more errors and lost at home to Lakewood, 13-7. Roman Pena (.350), recently promoted from the Gulf Coast League, hit his first two homers for the Captains, both solo shots. Niuman Romero (.233) had one hit and three RBI, and Mike Butia (.290) was 2-for-4 with two runs. Ryan Edell (3.00 ERA), activated on Aug. 19 after being sidelined since April 18 with a strained left elbow, allowed one unearned run over two innings. Doodle Hicks (3-1, 4.71) gave up four runs over 4 2/3 innings and Jason Schutt (5.47) yielded five runs over just one-third of an inning. Julio Pinto (4.33) gave up three runs over two innings.

Class A Mahoning Valley (33-30) got only four hits and made four errors in a 3-0 loss at Batavia. Jason Denham (.312) went 2-for-4 to lead the meager offense. Shortstop Josh Rodriguez and catcher Matt McBride each made two errors. Josh Tomlin (6-2, 2.37 ERA) allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings, giving up five hits and getting one strikeout. Kyle Collina (3.24) and Michael Hernandez (3.38) each allowed one hit and got one strikeout over one scoreless inning.

Rookie League Burlington (32-31) lost at Pulaski, 18-7. Jerad Head (.240) hit a grand slam, his ninth homer of the season, and Corteze Armstrong (.262) went 3-for-5 with two runs and his 10th stolen base to lead Burlington's offense. Alexis De La Rosa (8.44 ERA) was the only one of six Burlington pitchers to emerge unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth. Rick Fairchild (5.74 ERA) allowed seven runs over the first 2 2/3 innings, Felix Heredia (1-2, 7.47) gave up two runs over 1 1/3 and Zachary Johnson (5.79) yielded five runs in just one-third of an inning. Ryan Morris gave up two runs over 1 2/3 innings and Chris Archer yielded two unearned runs in one inning.

GCL Indians (21-29) finished their season Monday and some of their players are now playing for Lake County, Mahoning Valley and Burlington.

TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (HITTING)

PLAYER

TEAM

AB

H

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB

SO

1. P. Osborn

Akron

6

4

0

4

0

0

1

0

2. B. Francisco

Buffalo

5

3

0

1

1

2

1

0

3a. R. Pena

Lake County

5

2

2

2

2

0

0

2

3b. C. Armstrong

Burlington

5

3

0

2

0

1

0

2


TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (PITCHING)

PLAYER

Team

W

L

SV

IP

ER

H

BB

SO

1. B. Bay

Akron

0

0

0

5.0

0

2

2

5

2. B. Buzachero

Akron

1

0

0

2.0

0

1

0

3

3. J. Martin

Kinston

0

0

0

3.1

0

3

0

4


Three-star points through Aug. 25
HITTER			1ST	2ND	3RD	TOTAL
Kevin Kouzmanoff		14	5	3	86
Brian Barton		8	5	9	64
Ben Francisco		6	6	3	51
Trevor Crowe		6	5	1	46
Brad Snyder		3	7	8	44
Jordan Brown		6	3	2	41
Ryan Mulhern		6	3	2	41
Jason Dubois		6	1	5	38
** Ryan Garko		5	3	4	38
** Joe Inglett		5	4		37
Jose Constanza		3	5	5	35
Ryan Goleski		3	4	7	34
** Franklin Gutierrez	3	4	3	33
Jon Van Every		4	4	1	33
Rodney Choy Foo		4	2	3	29
P.J. Hiser		4	2	2	28
** Andy Marte		2	4	3	25
Lou Merloni		3	3	1	25
Eider Torres		1	5	3	23
Argenis Reyes		3	1	4	22
Wyatt Toregas		1	5	1	21
Josh Noviskey		3	1	1	19
Pat Osborn		2	2	2	18
John Drennen		2	1	4	17
Chris Gimenez		2	2	1	17
Dave Wallace		2	1	2	15
Matt Fornasiere			4	2	14
Jerad Head		2	1	1	14
Josh Roberts		2	1	1	14
Einar Diaz		2		3	13
Lucas Montero		2	1		13
Mike Conroy		1	2	2	13
Matt McBride		1	2	2	13
Jason Cooper		2		2	12
Roman Pena			3	3	12
Matt Whitney			3	3	12
Juan Valdes		1	2		11
Jason Alfaro		1	1	1	9
Brian Finegan			1	6	9
Andy Lytle		1		4	9
Corteze Armstrong		1	1	1	9
Chris De La Cruz		1	1	1	9
Fernando Pacheco		1	1	1	9
Alfred Ard		1	1		8
Boodle Clark		1	1		8
Stephen Head			2	2	8
Javier Herrera		1		3	8
Nick Petrucci		1		3	8
Brandon Pinckney		1	1		8
Josh Rodriguez		1	1		8
** Kelly Shoppach		1	1		8
Felipe Garcia			1	4	7
Jake Gautreau			2	1	7
Shaun Larkin			2	1	7
Cristo Arnal		1		1	6
Mike Butia		1		1	6
Jay Nilsson		1		1	6
Max Ramirez			1	3	6
Dustin Realini		1		1	6
Ramon Alvarado		1			5
Ivan Ochoa			1	2	5
Nate Panther		1			5
Michael Aubrey			1	1	4
Jason Denham			1	1	4
Brett Kinning			1	1	4
Micah Schilling			1	1	4
* Marshall Szabo			1	1	4
Aregenis Tavarez			1	1	4
Ramon Vazquez			1	1	4
Jose Chavez			1		3
Kelly Edmundson			1		3
* Jose Flores			1		3
Jared Goedert				3	3
Daryl King			1		3
Collin Martin			1		3
Omar Casillas				2	2
Ramon Hernandez				2	2
Carlos Rivero				2	2
Niuman Romero				2	2
Janel Arias				1	1
Adam Davis				1	1
Jansy Infante				1	1
Luis Rincon				1	1
PITCHER			1ST	2ND	3RD	TOTAL
Adam Miller		12	2		66
Sean Smith		10	2		56
Scott Lewis		7	5	4	54
** Jeremy Guthrie		7	3	1	45
Aaron Laffey		7	1	2	40
Chuck Lofgren		5	4		37
** Jeremy Sowers		6	2	1	37
Reid Santos		4	3	3	32
Jensen Lewis		5	1		28
Hyang-Nam Choi		2	4	6	28
Tom Cowley		3	3	3	27
Kevin Dixon		3	2	4	25
Edward Mujica		2	4	3	25
Brian Slocum		4	1	2	25
** Tom Mastny		2	3	5	24
Josh Tomlin		4	1	1	24
Luis Valdez		3	3		24
Matt Davis		1	4	5	22
Rafael Perez		3	2	1	22
Nick Pesco		3	2	1	22
Jason Stanford		1	5	2	22
Joe Ness			1	4	4	21
Bear Bay			3	1	2	20
Frank Herrmann		3	1	2	20
Tony Sipp			1	4	3	20
Rick Fairchild		3	1	1	19
Osiris Perez		2	3		19
Scott Roehl			5	1	16
Julio Pinto		3			15
Jim Deters		1	1	7	15
Matt Loberg		1	3	1	15
Mark Jecmen			4	2	14
Carlton Smith		1	3		14
Jeff Stevens		1	3		14
Albert Vargas			4	1	13
Andrew Brown		1		7	12
Bubbie Buzachero		1	2	1	12
* Ben Howard		1	2	1	12
Jim Ed Warden			3	3	12
Alan Brech			3	2	11
Jake Dittler		1	2		11
Travis Foley			3	2	11
Erik Stiller		2		1	11
Dan Denham		1	1	2	10
Jeanmar Gomez		2			10
Scott Sumner		1	1	2	10
Rob Bell			1		4	9
Doodle Hicks		1	1	1	9
J.D. Martin			2	3	9
Brandt Sanders			2	3	9
Cody Bunkelman			2	2	8
Ryan Knippschild			1	5	8
Joanniel Montero		1	1		8
** Jason Davis		1		2	7
Chris Niesel			2	1	7
Jorge Riera		1		2	7
** Fernando Cabrera	1		1	6
Mike Eisenberg		1		1	6
Dan Frega			1		1	6
Derrick Loop		1		1	6
Matt Meyer			1	3	6
Matt Robinson			2		6
Michael Storey			2		6
Michael Finocchi			1	2	5
Jimmy Brettl			1	2	5
William Delage		1			5
Brady Halverson		1			5
Ryan Morris		1			5
Hector Rondon		1			5
Neil Wagner			1	2	5
T.J. Burton			1	1	4
Vic Darensbourg			1	1	4
Mariano Gomez			1	1	4
Angel Claudio			1		3
Kyle Collina			1		3
Kyle Collins				3	3
Chris Cooper			1		3
Kelvin N. Diaz			1		3
Jason Schutt			1		3
Jesus Soto			1		3
Nate Bunton				2	2
Danny Graves				2	2
Hart Hering				2	2
Juan Lara					2	2
Dustin Roddy				2	2
* Mike Adams				1	1
* Wyatt Allen				1	1
Brett Andrade				1	1
Brett Carlin				1	1
** Fausto Carmona				1	1
Ryan Edell				1	1
Dan Eisentrager				1	1
Felix Heredia				1	1
* Steve Karsay				1	1
Tim Laker					1	1
Luis Perdomo				1	1
* - no longer in organization
** - promoted to majors

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