Dellucci Delivers: Pinch HR Tops Yanks

David Dellucci's three-run homer as a pinch-hitter powered the Indians to a 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer for Cleveland. Before the game, as expected, the club designated for assignment outfielder Jason Michaels and recalled outfielder Ben Francisco from Buffalo. The Tribe also signed outfielder Bronson Sardinha to a minor-league contract.

"Dellucci's homer was big," manager Eric Wedge said. "We needed someone to step up there."

Cleveland's batting order, struggling to produce much offense for nearly two weeks, was without All-Star catcher Victor Martinez. The American League's leading hitter with a .347 average was scratched from the lineup during batting practice with a stiff neck. He is day to day.

Peralta (.219) hit a two-run homer off Yankees starter Andy Pettitte to put the Indians ahead, 2-1, but the but the Yankees went back in front 3-2 against Fausto Carmona (2.95 ERA) on two RBI from Jason Giambi and a go-ahead single by Robinson Cano.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi summoned big Joba Chamberlain out of the bullpen to protect the lead, but the young right-hander couldn't throw a good strike.

He walked Grady Sizemore (.270) to open the eighth. One out later, he walked Peralta. After Ryan Garko (.243) flied out, Dellucci (.274) batted for Franklin Gutierrez (.245) and turned on an 0-1 fastball, hitting it into the right-field seats for his 10th career pinch-hit homer and first since June 2006 for Philadelphia against the New York Mets.

"I'm not so sure that's a good thing," Dellucci told reporters. "You probably get a number like that because you're doing a lot of pinch-hitting."

Dellucci, sidelined much of last season with a torn hamstring, is eager to play regularly. He was in a platoon with Michaels and now will likely share the left-field position with Francisco, who started Tuesday against the lefty Pettitte.

Lefty Rafael Perez (1-1, 4.11 ERA) struck out three over two scoreless innings for the win. Right-hander Jensen Lewis (3.10 ERA)allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth and Rafael Betancourt (5.93 ERA) got three quick outs for his third save.

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