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Published: Thursday, 7/31/2008

Tigers score twice in 13th to top Indians 14-12

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, from Korea, makes a sliding attempt but can't catch a sinking fly ball by Detroit Tigers' Placido Polanco in the 11th inning Wednesday. Choo did recover to force Curtis Granderson at second base. Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, from Korea, makes a sliding attempt but can't catch a sinking fly ball by Detroit Tigers' Placido Polanco in the 11th inning Wednesday. Choo did recover to force Curtis Granderson at second base.
MARK DUNCAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CLEVELAND Kelly Shoppach had already made history last night, but the Indians catcher failed in his chance to rewrite the record book and end a wild one at Progressive Field.

The Tigers, who had blown a few chances of their own, found a way to win 14-12 in 13 innings early this morning, about nine hours after they traded Pudge Rodriguez to the New York Yankees.

The Tribe and Tigers combined for 41 hits and six errors in a game that included seven homers and 15 extra-base hits and ended at 12:42 a.m.

The two teams will be back for a game today at 12:05 p.m.

Shoppach, who had already tied a major league record with five extra-base hits on two homers and three doubles, strolled to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 12th inning. Tigers reliever Casey Fossum struck him out on a 3-2 pitch, then got Andy Marte to ground into aninning-ending double play.

Detroit Tigers' Carlos Guillen celebrates after sliding home to score on Placido Polanco's ground out in the 13th inning early Thursday morning. The run broke a 12-12 tie and the Tigers went on to win 14-12. Detroit Tigers' Carlos Guillen celebrates after sliding home to score on Placido Polanco's ground out in the 13th inning early Thursday morning. The run broke a 12-12 tie and the Tigers went on to win 14-12.
MARK DUNCAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Carlos Guillen laced a one-out single off Cleveland reliever Juan Rincon in the 13th and scored the go-ahead run when Placido Polanco s soft grounder to Marte at third base was too slow for Marte to get Guillen at the plate.

Detroit added an insurance run when Andy Gonzalez made a diving stop on a ball at first but threw wide to Rincon covering the bag, allowing Guillen to score.

Fossum pitched around a leadoff walk to retire the Indians in the 13th for his second win this season.

With the win, the Tigers are 5 games behind the White Sox and trail the Twins by four games in the American League Central.

Shoppach, 28, became the first major leaguer to record five extra-base hits since Shawn Green did it for the Dodgers on May 23, 2002. He is only the second AL player ever to get that many extra-base hits in a game, and the first since Cleveland s Lou Boudreau on July 14, 1946.

The Indians regular catcher since Victor Martinez went on the disabled list June 12, Shoppach has had 25 of his last 39 hits go for extra bases.

And it s apparent why the Tigers were willing to trade Rodriguez for late-inning reliever Kyle Farnsworth thanks in part to Shoppach.

He crushed two pitchers who currently handle that role for Detroit.

Fernando Rodney, who was named the Tigers new closer last weekend, entered the game with a 12-11 lead in the ninth. He struck out Shin-Soo Choo, but Shoppach s solo homer ended any hopes of a save.

Todd Jones was victimized by Shoppach s two-run homer in the sixth.

Jones hadn t pitched since Friday, when he blew a save against the White Sox by allowing a two-out, two-run homer to Jermaine Dye. He was removed as Detroit s regular closer the next day.

Brandon Inge, who is now the Tigers regular catcher thanks to the trade, homered for the second straight night. But Rafael Betancourt struck him out with two on and two out in the top of the 10th.

Betancourt, who was victimized by an Inge homer Tuesday night, pitched two scoreless innings.

Tigers reliever Bobby Seay also pitched two scoreless innings, but had to strike out Gonzalez with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th.

Shoppach s homer off Jones made the score 11-7. Tribe reliever Eddie Mujica gave all those runs back in the eighth on run-scoring doubles by Marcus Thames and Miguel Cabrera and an RBI single from Magglio Ordonez.

Those runs snapped Mujica s 12-inning scoreless streak, which was the longest for a Cleveland reliever this year.

The Indians had five homers and 10 extra-base hits. Ben Francisco had two solo homers and Grady Sizemore added a three-run shot.

Curtis Granderson had five hits for the Tigers. Cabrera went 3-for-5 with a homer, double and four RBIs.



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