Indians 5, Orioles 4
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
-- One swing, and Ben Broussard left to sing.
Broussard homered leading off the 10th inning as the Cleveland Indians kept pace in the AL wild-card chase by rallying for a 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Broussard's homer off Steve Kline (2-4) not only gave the Indians a crucial win, but it ended a personal slump for the struggling first baseman who was scheduled to perform after the game at the House of Blues to promote his self-titled CD.
It's unlikely he'd hit a note in his concert as high as the one he delivered at Jacobs Field.
"It was meant to be or something," Broussard said.
So, it seemed, was Cleveland's comeback. The Indians trailed, 4-1 in the eighth, and were on their way to another loss at home before Casey Blake hit a tying, three-run homer off Todd Williams.
After connecting for his 12th home run, Broussard, who came in batting .217 in his last 30 games and had been benched by Manager Eric Wedge, pumped his fists as he rounded the bases. He was mobbed at home plate by his teammates, who pounded him on the head all the way back to the dugout.
Once there, Broussard nearly did a little damage of his own, banging the wall in excitement before heading to the clubhouse.
"That was a big load off my shoulders," Broussard said. "I'm kind of a mellow person, but I was pretty fired up. That was a huge win for us. I've been working hard. I've got the blisters to prove it."
The Indians, who entered the weekend 21/2 games behind Oakland for the wild-card lead, are 14-6 since July 28.
Aaron Boone also homered for Cleveland.
Rookie Francisco Cabrera (1-0) allowed one hit in 21/3 innings for his first major league win.
The Orioles have lost 24 of their last 34 road games, and Kline was willing to accept the blame for this one.
"The team played hard and I went out and stunk it up on three pitches," Kline said. "The team fought hard for a win, and I cost us."
After giving up three runs in the eighth, the Indians tied it when Blake snapped an 0-for-10 slump by connecting for his 15th -- and most important -- homer this season.
Baltimore starter Erik Bedard entered the inning with a three-hitter, but left after giving up singles to Jose Hernandez and Boone. Williams quickly got ahead 1-2 in the count, but Blake battled back and drove a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left.