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Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 08/10/2011

Kosuke Fukudome helps Cleveland Indians beat Detroit Tigers in 14th inning

Kosuke Fukudome’s walk-off hit (by pitch). (Amy Sancetta - AP)
Despite diminished power numbers and paltry RBI totals, a discernible eye at the plate is one thing that hasn’t faded with age for new Cleveland Indians outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.

Tuesday night in a critical AL Central matchup with Detroit, Fukudome validated the Indians’ trade for him with a 14th inning, bases-loaded walk-off...hit by pitch.

Well, that’s one way to inch closer to the first-place Tigers (61-54).

With one out in a 2-2 ballgame, Detroit reliever David Pauley intentionally walked Carlos Santana to pitch to Fukudome with the bases loaded. The choice made sense — loading the bases set up a double-play opportunity and Fukudome had struck out in four consecutive at-bats.

But it was Fukudome’s left arm that did the damage after Pauley drilled him to bring home the winning run.

The Indians (57-56) have now won 13 home games in their last at-bat this season and, more importantly, Tuesday’s win pulled them to within three games of the Tigers to begin a critical three-game series.

The game lasted 4 hours, 43 minutes and ended at nearly 2 a.m.

By  |  11:07 AM ET, 08/10/2011

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