CLEVELAND (AP) – Jhonny Peralta, Coco Crisp and Ben Broussard drove in two runs apiece as the Cleveland Indians kept up their late-season surge by outslugging the Detroit Tigers 10-8 on Monday night.

The Indians overcame a five-run deficit in the first inning by scoring six times in their first at-bat and improved to a major league-best 19-7 in August.

After finishing April at only 9-14 and in fourth place in its division, Cleveland has moved into a small group of teams chasing the AL wild card heading into the season’s final month.

However, the turnaround has not yet captivated the imagination of Cleveland fans, who are staying away in large numbers. Attendance was announced as 22,713, but 5,000 tickets were giveaways.

Rookie Fernando Cabrera (2-0) cleaned up after Indians starter Scott Elarton, allowing one run in 2 2-3 innings. Rafael Betancourt pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings and Bob Howry worked a perfect eighth.

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his league-leading 35th save in 40 attempts.

Wickman, who walks a tightrope almost every time out, gave up a one-out single to Magglio Ordonez and walked Carlos Pena with two outs. The right-hander got Craig Monroe to hit a grounder to third baseman Aaron Boone, whose throw to second nipped pinch-runner Nook Logan for the final out.

Broussard hit an RBI triple in the first off Jeremy Bonderman (14-11) and Casey Blake had three hits for Cleveland.

Dmitri Young had a grand slam and five RBIs, and Carlos Pena homered for Detroit.

Down by five before getting to bat, the Indians rallied for six runs in the bottom of the first, with Blake’s RBI double capping the early comeback. As the Indians took the field for the top of the second, the small but appreciative crowd gave them a rousing ovation that lasted more than a minute.

Crisp and Peralta hit RBI doubles and Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly sparked the rally, which was helped by Detroit shortstop Omar Infante’s fielding error. Broussard followed the miscue with an RBI triple and Boone’s run-scoring infield single tied it at 5.

Blake then delivered a shot into the gap in right-center, scoring Boone. Blake was thrown out in a rundown between second and third, but by then the Indians had begun turning their night around.

Trailing 7-6, the Indians scored three times in the fourth to chase Bonderman, who was making his first start since being struck on the right wrist with a line drive hit by Oakland’s Marco Scutaro.

Cleveland loaded the bases and Crisp’s sacrifice fly tied it 7-all. Peralta hit an RBI single and Travis Hafner, who has 19 RBIs in 24 games since coming off the DL, hit a sac fly to center.

Monroe’s two-run single gave Detroit a 7-5 lead in the third.

Detroit closed within 9-8 in the fifth on Young’s RBI double off Cabrera, but Broussard restored Cleveland’s two-run cushion off Vic Darensbourg with his 11th homer, only his second off a left-hander.

Young’s second slam in three days gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in the first off Elarton, who hurt himself with two walks. Detroit’s dugout was still high-fiving Young when Pena hit Elarton’s next pitch over the wall in center for his 10th homer.

Notes: Elarton has just one win in his last nine starts. … Hafner came in with a .317 average, eight points behind league leader Johnny Damon. The last Cleveland player to win a batting title was Bobby Avila in 1954. … Pena has 11 career homers in 26 games at Jacobs Field. … The Tigers have 22 homers in their past 12 games. … The Indians have had at least 10 hits in 19 of 31 games. … Elarton has allowed 28 homers, the league’s second-highest total behind New York’s Randy Johnson (29).

AP-ES-08-29-05 2219EDT


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