Tribe Finally Gets Win On The Road
Shin-Soo Choo ... homer, three RBI.
Shin-Soo Choo ... homer, three RBI.
Indians Ink
Posted Jul 20, 2008

It had been nearly a month since the Indians won a road game. It had been more than a year since Jeremy Sowers won a big-league game anywhere. Shin-Soo Choo helped end both streaks Saturday, driving in three runs with three hits including a homer to help Cleveland to a 9-6 win over his former team, the Seattle Mariners. The Tribe took a 9-1 lead, then held on for its first road win since June 21.

The Indians took a 3-0 lead in a bizarre first inning. Grady Sizemore drew a leadoff walk, made it back to first on three pickoff attempts, then was forced at second base by Jamey Carroll.

Ben Francisco then hit what looked like a single to right field, but it turned into another fielder's choice when Carroll was forced at second.

Francisco moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Jhonny Peralta's single. Choo then hit his fourth homer of the year over the fence in right for a 3-0 lead.

Sowers (1-5, 7.33 ERA) yielded a run in the bottom of the second, but Cleveland came back with a six-run third to give the lefty a safe cushion.

Carroll started it with a single, avoided two pickoff attempts, then scored on a double by Francisco for a 4-1 lead. Peralta doubled home Francisco and in turn was doubled home by Choo to make it 6-1. Casey Blake singled in Choo, going to second on the throw.

When Andy Marte lined out to center, Blake took off for third and scored on a throwing error.

With two outs, Franklin Gutierrez double, Sizemore walked, and Carroll hit the Indians' fourth double of the inning to make it 9-1.

"They did a good job of stringing it together and found some gaps," Wedge said.

Sowers gave up four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings, striking out three.

"It could have been better, but it could have been a whole lot worse, too," Sowers said.

He got his first win since May 24, 2007, when he went seven innings in a 10-3 win at Kansas City. He had gone 0-7 in 13 starts for the Indians since.

Cleveland's previous win on the road came at Dodger Stadium when CC Sabathia struck out 10 over seven innings and hit a home run in a 7-2 triumph.

The Indians lost the next day in Los Angeles, 4-3, then went 0-8 on a trip to Chicago (0-3), Minnesota (0-3) and Detroit (0-2) from June 30 through July 9. They lost their 10th in a row on the road Friday night in Seattle, 8-2.

Saturday, Edward Mujica gave up one hit over two innings before Masahide Kobayashi had a strange ninth inning.

Cleveland's new closer got two outs on three pitches, then gave up three hits and two runs on five pitches -- including a two-run homer to Ichiro Suzuki that made it 9-6. It was Suzuki's first extra-base hit after 40 consecutive singles. He had gone 136 plate appearance since June 14 without getting more than a single.

Blake's diving stop of a ball laced down the first-base line by Raul Ibanez saved Kobayashi from further damage. Blake threw from hiw knees to the right-hander covering the bag for the final out.

Both teams wore throw-back uniforms from the 1989 season.

Related Stories
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 -by  Jul 27, 2008
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 -by  Jun 30, 2008
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 -by  Aug 17, 2008

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