The Indians crawled to within one game on Friday night in a wild win, beating Detroit 6-5. Shin-Soo Choo smacked a pair of home runs, one opening the score, the other tying it at five in the bottom of the eighth, and after a combination bullpen hold in the ninth, Jamey Carroll to right with Barfield on third scored the winning run.
The Indians will be going for .500 Saturday, and distancing themselves from the Tigers for third place.
Choo put up the only run in the first with his 12th home run of the season.
In the top of the fourth, the Tigers took the lead. Curtis Granderson opened the inning with a lead-off double. After a Placido Polanco strikeout and a Magglio Ordonez groundout that moved Granderson to third, Miguel Cabrera powered a two-run home run to right field, his 35thof the year, and first of his multi-homer night, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The Indians tied up the game on Grady Sizemore’s 33rd home run of the season.
Cabrera opened the lead back up to 4-2 with his 36th homer and second two run shot of the night, just after Ordonez singled to right. Fausto Carmona hit Gary Sheffield with a pitch, getting just one out in the seventh, ending his night at six and a third.
Edward Mujica came on in relief, getting the last two outs of the seventh.
In the top of the eighth, Ramon Santiago opened the inning with a triple, and scored one batter later when Dusty Ryan delivered a sacrifice fly. 5-2 Tigers.
Indians faithful put on their rally caps in the bottom of the eighth and it worked. With two outs, Sizemore doubled, Ben Francisco walked, and Choo hit his 13th homer of the season a long way, tying the game at five all.
Rafael Betancourt came on in the ninth, got a pair of outs, and yielded to Rafael Perez for a strikeout of Joyce to end the Tigers half of the inning.
The Indians Kelly Shoippach was hit by a pitch, and Barfield came on as a pinch runner. Travis Hafner struck out, and Ryan Garko, pinch hitting for Aubrey, singled, moving Barfield to third. That set the table for Jamey Carroll’s game winning single, scoring Barfield and propelling the Indians to within one game of .500, a place they haven’t been since May 24th.
Saturday nights 7:05 start time pits Justin Verlander (10-16, 4.78 ERA) against Jeremy Sowers (3-8, 5.70 ERA).