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Published: Monday, 5/11/2009

Tigers complete sweep

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Detroit's Curtis Granderson stretches to take a hit away from Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo in the eighth inning. Detroit's Curtis Granderson stretches to take a hit away from Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo in the eighth inning.
TONY DEJAK / AP Enlarge

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians are digging themselves a deeper hole each day.

Detroit rookie Rick Porcello added to their mounting frustrations Sunday, combining with four relievers to beat the struggling Indians 5-3 and complete a three-game sweep for the Tigers.

"It's tough," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "You wear it here, you wear it at home. If you care, and I most certainly do about these players and our fans, it is very disappointing."

The Indians lost for the seventh time in nine games Sunday to fall to 11-21, the worst record in the major leagues.

Cleveland stranded 10 and struck out nine times.

"Strikeouts are a concern," said Wedge, whose team fanned 29 times in the series and has gone down on strikes 259 times this year, an average of eight per game. "But it is more than that, and I take full responsibility."

Indians catcher Victor Martinez and third baseman Mark DeRosa said it isn't Wedge's fault.

"The players all take the blame. It's not Wedge up there not hitting," Martinez said. "Sometimes I think we get too down on ourselves, then try to do too much. You can't hit three homers in one at-bat."

DeRosa, acquired in an offseason trade, said he has never experienced such a losing trend.

"We had such high expectations, so it's more frustrating," DeRosa said. "We all feel it because we know we are better than this."

Detroit manager Jim Leyland praised his pitchers while admitting they might have caught Cleveland at just the right time.

"They all pitched very well," Leyland said. "Sometimes you're fortunate enough to catch an outstanding hitting team when they're not hitting."

Porcello (3-3) allowed one run over five innings to win his second straight start. He walked two, struck out five, and used a better curveball to set up his good fastball.

"It was nice to be able to throw it for strikes," Porcello said. "I felt more comfortable with that than I did with my fastball. I threw it in some key spots, and it was a good pitch for me."

Grady Sizemore's RBI single in the second snapped Cleveland's 22-inning scoreless streak and made it 4-1. Asdrubal Cabrera doubled home a run in the ninth, and the Indians scored again on a wild pitch by Fernando Rodney.

Curtis Granderson's two-run single capped a four-run second against Anthony Reyes (1-1). Jeff Larish had a leadoff homer and Everett a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the rally. Everett added an RBI single in the fourth.

Granderson made another spectacular catch in center, taking away Shin-Soo Choo's bid for extra bases with a running catch in front of the wall to open the eighth.



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