08/28/2002 8:54 pm ET
Thome, Sabathia sink Tigers
By Justice B. Hill / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- C.C. Sabathia had an impressive start in his outing last weekend, but he may have bettered that performance Wednesday night.
Cleveland Indians 2, Detroit Tigers 1|
|1-Ran for Simon in the 9th.|
|2B: Pena (14, Sabathia).|
HR: Pena (15, 2nd inning off Sabathia, 0 on, 2 out).
RBI: Pena (41).
2-out RBI: Pena.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Halter 2, Higginson.
GIDP: Higginson, Easley, Simon, Fick.
Team LOB: 6.
|SB: Lombard (9, 2nd base off Baez/Bard).|
|Outfield assists: Higginson (Vizquel at home).|
|2B: Thome (17, Powell), Bard (3, Powell).|
HR: Thome 2 (41, 2nd inning off Powell, 0 on, 0 out; 6th inning off Powell, 0 on, 2 out).
RBI: Thome 2 (92).
2-out RBI: Thome.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lawton, McDonald, Garcia, K.
Team LOB: 6.
|SB: Vizquel (17, 2nd base off Henriquez/Inge).|
|DP: 4 (Fryman-McDonald-Thome, Sabathia-Vizquel-Thome, Thome-Vizquel, McDonald-Vizquel-Thome).|
|Powell (L, 1-4)
|Sabathia (W, 9-10)
|Wohlers (H, 6)
|Baez (S, 1)
|IBB: Thome (by Henriquez).|
Pitches-strikes: Powell 87-55, Paniagua 6-4, Henriquez 14-5, Walker 4-3, Sabathia 104-63, Wohlers 22-13, Baez 18-14.
Ground outs-fly outs: Powell 10-7, Paniagua 0-2, Henriquez 0-1, Walker 0-0, Sabathia 10-5, Wohlers 2-0, Baez 0-2.
Batters faced: Powell 25, Paniagua 2, Henriquez 4, Walker 1, Sabathia 25, Wohlers 5, Baez 4.
Umpires: HP: Mark Carlson. 1B: Justin Klemm. 2B: John Hirschbeck. 3B: Wally Bell.
Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 15 mph, R to L.
Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner
The 22-year-old left-hander enjoyed the fruits of his work this time.
Sabathia pitched the Tribe into the eighth inning and benefitted from a pair of Jim Thome home runs. He then turned a one-run lead over to the relief corps, which held on to give the Indians a 2-1 victory over the Tigers in front of 25,158 fans at Jacobs Field.
Before calling it a night, Sabathia had given the Tigers just four hits. Their lone run came in the second on Carlos Pena's solo homer. Sabathia settled into a groove after that and didn't allow another run.
By the time Sabathia left the game, the Indians had long ago given him a counter to Pena's homer. It came from the bat of Thome, whose 40th homer in the bottom of the second tied the game 1-1. The blast marked the third time in his career that Thome had reached the 40-home run plateau.
The Tribe, though, could do no great damage early beyond Thome's homer because Brian Powell was as dominating as Sabathia. The Tigers right-hander sailed into the sixth having given up just four hits and a run.
But in the sixth, Powell ran into a little problem. His situation was made less costly thanks to Hiram Bocachica's spectacular sliding catch in center field, a grab that robbed Omar Vizquel of a sure fire triple to start the inning.
But one out later, Powell (1-4, 4.75 ERA) again faced the dangerous Thome, who duplicated his at-bat in the second inning. His 41st homer gave Sabathia a narrow 2-1 lead.
The Tigers tried to prove how shaky that 2-1 lead was in the top of the seventh. Randall Simon opened the inning with a single to left, but John McDonald teamed with Vizquel to double up Simon and Robert Fick.
Sabathia (9-10, 4.85) needed that double play, because Pena's twisting drive to left field turned into an adventure for Matt Lawton, who misplayed it into a double. Sabathia stranded Pena there when he got Shane Halter to ground out to third.
As rare as scoring opportunities were, the Tigers could ill afford to squander this one. Not against Sabathia.
Their best chance of winning seemed to be to get Sabathia out of the game. The Indians obliged in the eighth when they brought in former closer Mark Wohlers and his 5.49 ERA.
But just as Sabathia had, Wohlers held up well, working out of a two-on, two-out jam in the eighth. Wohlers then handed the ninth over to newly-anointed closer Danys Baez, who got his first Major League save and the win for Sabathia.
Justice B. Hill, a senior writer, covers the Indians for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.