Aviles’ slam in 9th lifts Indians over Tigers 4-0

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Updated: September 1, 2013

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Mike Aviles’ grand slam in the ninth inning
lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 4-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in the
finale of a three-game series at Comerica Park.

Joaquin Benoit (4-1) issued back-to-back walks to open the inning. After
Asdrubal Cabrera’s bunt moved the runners to second and third, Benoit
intentionally walked Jason Kubel to load the bases.

Aviles then crushed a hanging slider over the wall in left field to give
Cleveland the lead.

“I was fortunate enough to get a ball that stayed in the middle. I think he
was trying to go away with it. I was able to get a good swing on it. I knew
off the bat it was at least a sac fly and I was praying it went over,” said
Aviles.

Joe Smith (6-2) earned the win despite putting two runners on base in the
eighth, and Chris Perez left a pair of runners on in the ninth to seal the
win.

The contest had all the makings of a pitchers duel, with both team’s starter
going at least six scoreless frames.

Detroit’s Justin Verlander, who was 0-2 over his previous four starts,
scattered four hits and two walks while striking out six over seven innings.

“Justin pitched a great game and I came in and gave up four runs. Obviously we
would love to have gotten the sweep, but they’re a big league team and got the
best of us in the last game,” said Benoit.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s Danny Salazar gave up six hits and struck out five
without issuing a walk over six innings.

The Tigers put runners on the corners in the fifth inning after Alex Avila and
Andy Dirks singled around a Ramon Santiago strikeout, but Salazar got Jose
Iglesias to pop out to end the frame.

Detroit threatened once again in the seventh after Omar Infante singled and
Avila walked with one out. Cody Allen, though, got Santiago to ground out and
Dirks to strike out to escape the inning.

Game Notes

Salazar hasn’t picked up a win since his MLB debut on July 11 … The Indians
won for just the fourth time in 19 matchups with Detroit … Cleveland had
dropped seven straight to Detroit entering the game … The Tigers lead
Cleveland by 7 1/2 games atop the AL Central standings … Detroit went 1-
for-7 with runners in scoring position.