Lofton's Single, Westbrook's Pitching Lift Indians over Tigers in Extra Innings - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lofton's Single, Westbrook's Pitching Lift Indians over Tigers in Extra Innings

DETROIT (AP) - Jake Westbrook and Nate Robertson kept the game scoreless through eight innings. Then in a battle of the bullpens, the Cleveland Indians did better - barely.

Pinch-hitter Kenny Lofton's infield single off Joel Zumaya drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 10th inning, and the Indians beat Detroit 3-1 Thursday to open a 2½-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central.

Down 3-0, the Tigers still had a chance to win a series for the first time since mid-July. Marcus Thames hit an RBI double with two outs in the 10th off Joe Borowski, putting a pair of runners in scoring position, but Ivan Rodriguez popped up to end it.

With Seattle and New York playing well in the wild-card race, the Indians and Tigers might be competing for only one spot in the postseason. They're scheduled to play only one more series, a three-game set Sept. 17-19 in Cleveland.

Westbrook allowed five hits and two walks - one intentional - over eight innings. He seems to have turned his season around, winning three of his previous five outings after starting 1-6.

Robertson gave up four hits and no walks in a season-high 8 2-3 innings. A sold-out crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout after giving up a double to Grady Sizemore.

Zumaya (1-2) escaped that jam, but gave up a leadoff double to Victor Martinez and intentionally walked Travis Hafner in the 10th.

Zumaya had a shot at getting a key double play, but Ryan Garko beat the relay throw. After Jhonny Peralta drew a four-pitch walk, Franklin Gutierrez struck out.

Lofton batted for Jason Michaels and got the go-ahead hit. Chris Gomez followed with a two-run single.

Zumaya made his second appearance in three days since coming off the disabled list after a three-month absence because of a ruptured tendon in his right middle finger.

Borowski got his 36th save in 40 chances. He retired the first two Tigers in the 10th before Magglio Ordonez doubled, Carlos Guillen bunted for a single and Thames doubled.

Rafael Perez (1-1) got the win. He struck out the only batter he faced, fanning Curtis Granderson after the Tigers put two on with two outs in the ninth against Rafael Betancourt.

A day after Cleveland won 11-8, pitching again ruled at Comerica Park. Both teams had sensational performances from their starters in the series opener, too, as Detroit's Jair Jurrjens gave up only one hit and Fausto Carmona allowed just three.

Both pitchers had remarkable control, combining for only one walk through seven innings, making batters put the ball in play while relying on just three strikeouts apiece.

Good defense made that an even more effective strategy.

In the fifth inning, Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice. Franklin Gutierrez rescued Cleveland by sprinting to catch a liner against the right-field wall and throwing to second for an inning-ending double play.

The Tigers made several slick plays, including three in the eighth. Shortstop Ramon Santiago made a backhanded stop for the first out, second baseman Placido Polanco denied Hafner with a play from shallow right field and Guillen ended the inning with a snag on a foul pop that would've landed in Cleveland's first-base dugout. Notes: Detroit traded OF Craig Monroe and cash to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later by Oct. 15. ... Westbrook had struggled in his three previous starts at Detroit, losing each game with an 8.83 ERA. ... Guillen made his second start at first base. ... Tigers DH Gary Sheffield (shoulder) missed his second straight game and doesn't plan on facing one of his former teams, the New York Yankees, in the four-game series that starts Friday night in Detroit. ... Westbrook has lasted at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. ... Robertson was 1-4 with a 6.57 ERA in his previous six starts.

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