Indians kick, toss away decent effort by Laffey


Tigers 4

Indians 2

Detroit - Jhonny Peralta was a no-show after Wednesday night's game against Detroit. If he had pulled his disappearing act a few hours earlier, the proceedings at Comerica Park may have gone a little better for the Indians .

Peralta, however, reported for duty at third base only to make a career-high three errors, two of which paved the way to Detroit's 4-2 victory over the Indians .

"It was an odd night for Jhonny," said manager Eric Wedge. "He's still learning the position. He made a couple of remarkable plays and he booted a couple of balls."

Peralta was charged with a double error in the fourth inning on Brandon Inge's bouncer. It broke a 1-1 tie and made a loser of Aaron Laffey (7-4, 3.36). The Tigers took advantage by scoring two runs and that was the only edge rookie right-hander Rick Porcello needed.

"I loved the way he was finishing pitches, the life he had in the zone," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "That's always a separator for him."

Pavano walked one and struck out four. He threw 69 of 100 pitches for strikes.

"I had them, for the most part, swinging at pitches I wanted them to swing at," he said. "I got into a good rhythm early. The guys made great plays behind me and they scored some runs - quite a bit of runs."

In his previous two starts, Pavano gave up 13 runs in 10 2/3 innings. He allowed four home runs in each of those starts.

The Tigers did not sniff a homer. All their hits were singles.

Pavano (9-8, 5.37 ERA) matched his victory total with the New York Yankees from 2005 through 2008, a span in which he threw 145 2/3 innings when not sidelined because of injury or on minor-league rehabs.

Pavano has thrown 125 2/3 in 21 starts this season.

"I feel good about it, but there's still a lot of season left, as far as I'm concerned," he said. "I know a lot of changes have been made with trades and stuff, but for me, my season's not over. We have two months left, and I need to finish what I started.

"I still have things I want to prove to myself."

Contenders want him to keep proving.

"I'm not worried about that," Pavano said. "I wasn't worried about it at the earlier deadline, and I'm not worried about it now. I'm keeping it simple. I don't get paid to make those decisions. My job is to take the ball every fifth day and execute pitches.

"If it does come down [to a trade], it means somebody wants you."

Pavano has been lethal against the Tigers in three starts (3-0, 1.93). He masterfully changed speeds Sunday and consistently ran his fastball in on the hands of right-handed batters.

Detroit did not notch two hits in an inning until the eighth, when Gerald Laird singled and advanced to third on a one-out single by Curtis Granderson.

Ramon Santiago's sacrifice fly ended Pavano's bid for his second shutout of the season. Pavano three-hit the White Sox in a 6-0 victory June 5 at Chicago.

Jensen Lewis, recalled from Class AAA Columbus over the weekend, worked the ninth. He had not pitched for the Tribe since June 26.

"If Carl had put up another zero, I probably would have sent him back out and given him a chance to finish it off," Wedge said. "I didn't want to get him up there in pitch count if we didn't need to, to help him later on, when he's approaching innings where he hasn't been in a while."

The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first. They effectively secured the outcome with a five-run fourth against right-hander Armando Galarraga.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland might have wanted to yank Galarraga, but Leyland knew his bullpen was taxed after Friday and Saturday. Detroit relievers worked 12-plus innings in those games.

Galarraga's end finally came in the sixth, when Cabrera ripped a two-run homer to right to make it 8-0. Galarraga allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-3 against the Indians this season after going 3-0 against them in 2008.

The Tribe, which has won eight of 12, capped the rout with three in the seventh.

Detroit slipped to 8-4 against Cleveland this season.

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Added: September 4, 2009