Former Tribe manager picks up victory from visiting dugout
CLEVELAND — Charlie Manuel is well-known for his humorous baseball anecdotes and side-splitting stories. Now he can tell the one about how he won games at Jacobs Field as a manager in both dugouts.
Manuel’s Phillies evened their interleague series with the Indians at a game apiece Tuesday night, outslugging Cleveland 9-6 in Manuel’s first trip back to the park he managed in from 2000-02.
Scoring early against Indians starter Jason Stanford, Philadelphia did not trail throughout its second win in five games, handing Cleveland its third defeat in five games, which dropped the Wahoos into a first-place tie with Detroit atop the Central Division standings.
The Indians also lost outfielder David Dellucci, who is expected to be placed on the disabled list after straining a hamstring while running to first in the fourth inning.
“I thought we swung the bats well,” said Manuel, the last manager to lead the Indians to a postseason appearance (2001). “The Indians have a good ballclub.”
Stanford made what figures to be his final start in place of an injured Jake Westbrook, working an up-and-down outing that shed little light on where he might be heading.
The Indians are expected to decide Stanford’s fate soon, with Westbrook set to leave the disabled list Sunday. They can move him to the bullpen or designate him for assignment, running the risk of losing him on waivers.
Stanford, a member of Cleveland’s rotation in 2004 before Tommy John surgery sidetracked the 30-year-old left-hander, took a shutout into the seventh inning of his season debut last Thursday against the Marlins.
This time around, the runs came quicker.
“There were three pitches tonight that I wanted back,” said Stanford, who was referring to a two-run double he allowed to Pat Burrell on an 0-2 pitch in the opening inning, the 451-foot solo homer he surrendered to Ryan Howard in the third and the pitch he hit Shane Victorino with to load the bases in the Phillies’ two-run seventh.
After the Phillies scored three times in the first, Stanford steadied himself to allow just one more until the seventh. He allowed six runs on six hits through 6 2/3 innings, making him 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA in the two outings.
“He should feel real good about the way he competed up here,” said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. “About all you ask from your starter is to give you a chance to win the game, and he’s done that both times.”
Stanford, who said he would be open to relocating to the pen, took his manager’s advice.
“I’ve shown that I’m healthy again,” he said, “that I’m able to make my pitches, go deep into the game and compete with anybody up here.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I knew that I was going to get two starts. I excelled in the first one and had a little bump in the second.”
Cleveland’s offense managed just three runs off Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, who was making his second big league start. Kendrick, who beat the White Sox in his debut last Wednesday, allowed just a run on two hits through the first three innings, retiring the last seven hitters he faced in a six-inning effort.
The Indians rallied against Philadelphia’s depleted bullpen, scoring twice in the eighth to pull within a run at 6-5, but were halted from tying the game by former Cleveland closer Jose Mesa.
Mesa, who entered to loud boos from the Jacobs Field crowd, which still hasn’t forgiven him for blowing a save in a Game 7 World Series loss to the Marlins in 1997, retired pinch hitter Casey Blake on a grounder to second with runners on first and third to end the inning.
“Jose’s popularity is good with me, as long as he gets people out,” said Manuel, who was Cleveland’s hitting coach for the bulk of Mesa’s seven-year tenure with the Indians.
Philadelphia put the game away with three runs off veteran reliever Roberto Hernandez in the ninth.
Hernandez was a likely target, struggling for much of the year after signing a one-year, $3 million contract in the offseason. In 28 games, he has posted a 6.23 ERA, allowing 18 earned runs in 26 innings.
“He’s gotta keep us in the ballgame, he has to,” Wedge said.
Cleveland scored once in the ninth on a double from Jhonny Peralta but left runners on second and third against Antonio Alfonseca.
Peralta and Ryan Garko had three hits apiece for the Indians, with Garko emerging from a mini-slump to hit his ninth homer of the season and drive in two runs.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO: Clevelandvs. Philadelphia
WHERE: Jacobs Field
PITCHERS: Sabathia (9-2, 3.19 ERA) vs. Lieber (3-5, 4.21)
TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM