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Tigers get rare three-game sweep in Cleveland

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Mike Maroth can't explain why he is so
successful against the Cleveland Indians.

Maroth (5-2) allowed one unearned run over six innings and the
Detroit Tigers completed their first three-game sweep in Cleveland
in nearly 16 years with a 3-2 victory over the Indians on Sunday.

"I do well here," said Maroth, who is 6-0 with a 2.30 earned-run average in
seven career starts in Cleveland. "Why, I don't know. I just do. I
don't know what else to say."

Aaron Boone, who had one of the seven hits allowed by the
left-hander, offered a theory.

"He's a good pitcher. It's more than what you see on radar
guns. Good pitching is hitting spots and changing speeds. He sure
does that well," Boone said.

Detroit won its fourth straight to improve the best road record
in baseball to 16-7. The Indians lost their sixth straight for the
first time since a six-game skid Aug. 9-14, 2004.

"We're in one of those funks," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said.

The Tigers last swept a series in Cleveland on June 5-7, 1990.

"You're not supposed to win on the road," Maroth said.
"You're supposed to lose a series or maybe get swept. The skipper
(Jim Leyland) keeps us focused. He has us ready to play every
day."

Maroth hasn't allowed an earned run to the Indians in 13 innings
this season and is 8-3 in his career against them. He walked one
and struck out two, leaving after the Tigers scored three runs in
the top of the seventh and a 59-minute rain delay to start the
bottom half.

The Indians put runners on second and third with no outs in the
eighth, but Joel Zumaya came on and struck out Victor Martinez
before yielding a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to Ben Broussard that
made it 3-2.

"I thought it might go out, but it was raining again and the
wind was coming in pretty hard," Broussard said. "Guys in the
dugout said the ball took off and then just died."

Casey Blake was intentionally walked before Ronnie Belliard
lined out to end the rally.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his sixth save, walking
two before getting Travis Hafner on fly to the warning track in
left-center for the final out. Hafner leaped up in disgust before
splashing his way through the mud near first base.

"That one looked like it might be off the wall," Broussard
said. "That's just the way things are right now."

Jason Johnson (2-3), in his first outing against the Tigers
since leaving them as a free agent in December, held a 1-0 lead
after six.

Carlos Guillen poked a single just past diving second baseman
Belliard to open the seventh. He went to third on Chris Shelton's
line single to right and Craig Monroe followed with an RBI double
to tie it 1-1.

Reliever Fernando Cabrera got Vance Wilson to top a bouncer that
first baseman Eduardo Perez misplayed for an error, allowing both
runners to score.

"He hit it off the end of the bat and it had spin on it,"
Perez said. "Sometimes those are as tough to catch as a
knuckleball. I said, 'Oh boy, hope for the best.'

"With nobody on, you can just knock it down, but with a runner
on third, I had to try and catch it and make a play. I didn't."

Cleveland used three singles and a misplay by Tigers right
fielder Magglio Ordonez to take a 1-0 lead in the fifth.

Blake singled with one out and went to second on a two-out
single by Boone. Grady Sizemore then singled to right, but Blake
was held up by third-base coach Jeff Datz -- until Ordonez had the
ball pop out of his glove for an error, enabling the runner to
score.

Johnson allowed two earned runs and eight hits over six-plus
innings. He fell to 0-3 with an 8.28 ERA in five starts since
opening 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA through April 18.

Game notes
During the game, the Indians announced they had sold RHP
Steve Karsay to Oakland. The 34-year-old right-hander had been
pitching at Triple-A Buffalo. ... Seven Tigers and four Indians
used pink bats to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Indians OF
Jason Michaels switched to his regular model after grounding out in
the first. ... Blake extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying
a career high. ... Johnson had a 16-28 record and 4.82 ERA in 66
starts over two seasons in Detroit.