CLEVELAND (AP) -- As the ball sliced through the thick summer
air, Ben Broussard's mind cleared. For a moment, he forgot about
his two errors and the batting slump that wouldn't go away.
And when Broussard's second homer of the game finally cleared
the right-field wall, landing in the first row of seats,
Cleveland's first baseman allowed himself a brief moment to
The Indians may remember it a lot longer.
Broussard's tiebreaking three-run shot in the eighth inning,
sent Cleveland to a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on
Tuesday night and kept the Indians in control of the AL wild-card
Cleveland was down 2-0 in the seventh when Broussard hit a
two-run shot, and it was 2-2 when he delivered the Indians' biggest
homer of a season that's getting more special by the day.
"I haven't had a lot of hits in September," said Broussard,
who was in a 1-for-23 slump before homering in the seventh. "But
right now, all I'm worried about is right now. I just want to get
to the postseason."
The comeback allowed the Indians to maintain their one-game lead
over the New York Yankees for the wild card, and Cleveland moved 2½
games ahead of the Athletics.
"It's probably our biggest win to date," Indians starter Kevin
Millwood said. "This is fun, man. Everybody around here is having
a good time."
Millwood (8-11), who hasn't gotten any run support all season,
didn't get any runs until the seventh. He allowed one run and seven
hits while lowering his league-leading ERA to 3.02.
The Indians turned a season-high five double plays, including a
comical one in the ninth when rotund closer Bob Wickman tumbled
over the bag while attempting to catch the return throw at first.
Wickman hit the ground, bounced and blocked the throw with his
body before alertly touching the base to get Oakland's Dan Johnson,
who had missed the base as he ran by.
"It didn't look too good," said Wickman, who finished for his
With the score tied 2-2 in the eighth, Travis Hafner singled
with one out off Justin Duchscherer (6-4) and Victor Martinez
singled. One out later, Broussard hit a towering shot to right that
didn't seem to want to come down.
Right fielder Nick Swisher parked under it on the warning track,
and leaped at the wall. But the ball barely cleared his glove,
landing in the first row.
"I didn't know if it was out," Broussard said. "I was looking
at the ball, and then watching him. He looked like he had it, but
I'm glad he didn't catch it. It was a wall scraper for sure. But at
this point in the season, who cares. Whatever it takes."
Duchscherer felt he made a quality pitch to Broussard.
"I went to the bread and butter, my cutter," he said. "He
didn't hit it as good as he can, but he got enough of it."
Broussard had tied it in the seventh with a shot to dead center
off reliever Jay Witasick.
The homer snapped a 17-inning scoreless drought for the Indians,
who were beaten 2-0 on four hits by Dan Haren and four Oakland
relievers in the series opener and couldn't do anything for six
innings against A's starter Kirk Saarloos.
The right-hander shut out the Indians on three hits and was
leading 2-0 when A's manager Ken Macha decided to go to his
"We got through last night 2-0, but we couldn't hold 2-0
tonight," Macha said.
The game was delayed for 21 minutes in the sixth when a computer
system shut down and caused several of the toothbrush-shaped light
towers above Jacobs Field to go dark.
With Oakland's Marco Scutaro at the plate, halogen bulbs in the
towers went black, darkening large areas of the ballpark. Umpire
crew chief Randy Marsh cleared the field until the lights warmed up
That wasn't the only blown fuse, either.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge was ejected in the fifth by plate
umpire Larry Vanover for arguing balls and strikes.
The Indians have won eight of nine and have won 19 of their
last 25. ... Broussard's errors snapped his streak of 65 straight
games without one. ... Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith
threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Before the game, Smith
visited with Swisher, the A's right fielder who played baseball for
the Buckeyes from 2000-02. ... While the crowd waited for the
lights to come on, fans watched other major league games on the
giant scoreboard as Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" and
The Doors' "Light My Fire" played through the ballpark's