Brantley hammers late blows to help Indians tame Tigers
(The Sports Xchange) - Michael Brantley blasted home runs in the seventh and eighth innings to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
"He's just such an intelligent hitter. Having him up there in those situations, I'm glad he's on our side. He's something to watch," Cleveland manager Terry Francona told reporters.
The left fielder broke a 3-3 tie with his first blast, leading off the seventh inning, as the Indians opened a two-run advantage.
Detroit scored twice in the top of the eighth to get back on level terms before Brantley went deep again in the bottom of the eighth, a two-run shot off left-hander Blaine Hardy (4-3), to give Cleveland their winning margin.
"The first homer was a fastball in that I finally caught up to and the second homer was just a reaction swing on a slider," Brantley said.
Right-hander Cody Allen (2-4) pitched the last 1 2/3 innings to get the win.
Cleveland broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the sixth inning off right-hander Alfredo Simon.
Center fielder Abraham Almonte led off with a bunt single and a steal of second base. After catcher Yan Gomes flied out, second baseman Jose Ramirez walked, putting runners at first and second with one out.
Third baseman Giovanny Urshela lined a double into the gap in left-center field, scoring Almonte and Ramirez, and giving the Indians a 3-1 lead. Continued...