Rain unable to stifle Cliff Lee in latest Indian triumph
By: By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Rain almost got in the way of Cliff Lee becoming the AL’s first 10-game winner. The skies cleared and the tarp came off the field just in time for Lee to get back on the mound. Lee allowed two runs and had plenty of support on homers from Ryan Garko and Kelly Shoppach in the Cleveland Indians’ 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night. “Ten wins is all good and everything, but I just want the team to win games,” he said. “I’m not going to be satisfied until we make the playoffs and win the World Series.” After a 57-minute rain delay in the fifth inning, Lee (10-1) returned to finish a game in which he gave up six hits and two walks while striking out five over five innings. “If it had been more than about an hour, it would have been tough,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “But we were able to keep him moving and keep him warm.” In other AL games Monday, it was: Kansas City 3, the New York Yankees 2; the Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 5; Seattle 3, Toronto 2, 10 innings and Tampa Bay 13, the Los Angeles Angels 4. The Tigers didn’t have to worry about the same issue with their starter because he was long gone. Garko’s two-run homer in the first and Shoppach’s three-run blast in the second along with five walks ended Willis’ outing after just 11/3 innings. Willis (0-1) gave up eight earned runs — matching a career high — and three hits. The left-hander became just the third pitcher since 1956 to give up eight earned runs on three or fewer hits, according to STATS. Willis was regarded as secondary player in a blockbuster trade last winter that added Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins, but Detroit was confident enough in the pitcher to give him a $29 million, three-year deal. So far, not so good. He is struggling with his control — walking 21 batters in 111/3 innings — just as he did in his last two seasons with the Marlins. Only 27 of his 64 pitches were strikes against Cleveland. “They did a good job of making me pay for my mistakes,” he said. Willis later walked consecutive batters to load the bases to end his night with only one out in the second. Fans cheered Leyland when he left to dugout to take out Willis, who was booed as he ran off the field. White Sox 7, Twins 5 Switch-hitter Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate and the host White Sox completed a dominant four-game sweep for their seventh straight victory. Paul Konerko hit a go-ahead home run as Chicago sent Minnesota to its fifth loss in a row. The White Sox trailed 5-4 when Cabrera doubled against Matt Guerrier (3-2) to start a three-run rally in the seventh. Matt Thornton (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning to get the win. Royals 3, Yankees 2 Jose Guillen finished off his big series against the New York Yankees in style, hitting a tiebreaking solo home run off Mariano Rivera (2-2) in the ninth inning to lift visiting Kansas City. It was Guillen’s 11th homer of the season and fourth in the last three games. He went 9-for-16 in the four-game series with four homers and 10 RBIs, and also scored six runs to help the Royals gain a split. Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-0) got Bobby Abreu to ground out with runners on first and second to end the eighth and earn his first major league win. Joakim Soria got his 14th save. Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2 Miguel Cairo’s safety squeeze after Jason Frasor walked the bases loaded in the 10th inning to lift visiting Seattle. Frasor (1-1) walked Raul Ibanez leading off the 10th. Pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist stole second and Adrian Beltre struck. Frasor then intentionally walked Jose Lopez and walked Wladimir Balentien to load the bases. Brian Wolfe came on to face Cairo, who bunted back to the mound, scoring Bloomquist. R.A. Dickey (1-1) worked two scoreless innings for the win and J.J. Putz twice loaded the bases with in the 10th before finishing for his seventh save in 10 chances. Rays 13, Angels 4 At Anaheim, Calif., Evan Longoria had a pair of solo homers and an RBI double, Dioner Navarro drove in four runs with four hits for Tampa Bay. Edwin Jackson (4-5) allowed four runs and 10 hits in seven innings, striking out two and walking one. Longoria, Willy Aybar and Navarro hit consecutive homers in the second inning off Joe Saunders (9-3).