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30-30 man Grady gives Cleveland lift

30-30 man Grady gives Cleveland lift

Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 7:14 pm
By: By The Associated Press

Grady Sizemore reached a lofty plateau, and he might not be finished.
Sizemore hit two home runs and joined the 30-30 club and Franklin Gutierrez had a 10th-inning solo shot to help the Cleveland Indians win their eighth straight, 4-3 over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
At Detroit, Sizemore homered on the game’s second pitch and became the 14th American League player — the second from the Indians — to have at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.
With 32 games remaining, Sizemore has 31 homers and 34 steals, giving him an outside chance of becoming the fifth player ever to reach 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the same season.
Not that he’s obsessed with getting there.
“I don’t try to hit homers. I try to just keep the ball in the gap and in the center of the field,” he said. “I’ve got a long way to go.”
In other AL games on Monday, it was: Oakland 2, Los Angeles 1; Baltimore 4, Chicago 3 in 14 innings in the completion of a suspended game; Chicago 4, Baltimore 3; Texas 9, Kansas City 4; and Seattle 4, Minnesota 2 in 11 innings.
The Indians, playing out a disappointing season, have won eight in a row.
Sizemore has been a lone bright spot, and after hitting No. 30 on the second pitch of the game, he trotted around the bases and stepped into the dugout as if it were no big deal.
“He’s unbelievable,” manager Eric Wedge said of the three-time All-Star. “You wouldn’t know if it was his first or his 30th. In a low-scoring ballgame, he set the tone. That’s what he does. He does it from a spot in the order that can give us a lot of energy.”
Meanwhile, the Red Sox were set for their last visit to Yankee Stadium. The three-game series, starting today, has big wild card ramifications.
Boston is currently leading Minnesota in the wild-card race, and New York is five games back.
Hank Steinbrenner said he thinks his Yankees can still put together a late surge and make the playoffs.
“If we put on a run here, there’s no question we can make it,” Steinbrenner, a Yankees’ co-chairman, said Monday night at the team’s spring training complex in Tampa, Fla. “There’s no question with the number of games we have left, it’s possible.”
The Indians are a full 12 games behind Boston and are essentially out of the playoff chase. Not that Sizemore is to blame.
Sizemore became the first AL player to join the 30-30 club since Alfonso Soriano did it for Texas in 2005. Joe Carter is the only other Indians player to accomplish the feat, in 1987.
With nine more home runs and six more steals, he’d join Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Soriano (2006) as the only players in baseball history to reach the 40-40 plateau.
Gutierrez, who singled in the game-winning run in the ninth inning of Sunday’s victory at Texas, hit the second pitch thrown by reliever Gary Glover (1-3) into the left-field stands to break a 3-3 tie.
Orioles 4-3, White Sox 3-4
At Baltimore, Jim Thome hit his 535th home run to gain sole possession of 15th place on the career list, and Chicago beat Baltimore after losing the completion of a game suspended by rain.
Thome’s 28th homer of the season gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead in the sixth.
The drive, off Baltimore rookie Chris Waters (2-1), moved Chicago’s designated hitter past Jimmie Foxx and put him within one of Mickey Mantle on baseball’s home run chart.
Earlier, Lou Montanez singled in the tiebreaking run in the 14th inning to give the Orioles a 4-3 victory in a game halted in Chicago after 11 innings on April 28.
Mariners 4, Twins 2 (11)
At Seattle, Adrian Beltre homered in the bottom of the 11th inning, and the Mariners kept Minnesota out of first place in the AL Central.
With one out in the 11th, Jesse Crain (5-4) walked Raul Ibanez on a full count. Then Beltre drilled a low, first-pitch fastball over the left-field fence to give Seattle the win.
After he rounded the bases, Beltre was swarmed by teammates at home plate.
Athletics 2, Angels 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Dallas Braden pitched seven masterful innings, Daric Barton homered and Oakland beat AL West-leading Los Angeles.
Braden (4-3) allowed a run and seven hits without recording a strikeout or walk. Brad Ziegler followed Joey Devine out of the bullpen and pitched a hitless ninth inning for his fifth save in five chances. The rookie right-hander has allowed only two runs in 45 innings.
Rangers 9, Royals 4
At Kansas City, Mo., Nelson Cruz had three hits including a three-run homer in his season debut, and Texas beat the Royals.
Cruz, promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, homered in the third with Josh Hamilton and Marlon Byrd aboard. Cruz hit .342 with 37 home runs at Oklahoma and led the minors with a .693 slugging percentage,
Last July 28, Cruz was recalled from the minors and had two homers and five RBI at Kansas City in his first game of the season for Texas.

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