INDIANS Elarton finally wins as Tribe tops Tigers
DETROIT (AP) -- Scott Elarton was able to throw his fastball where he wanted to, and that made all the difference.
He won for the first time in more than a month, allowing four hits in 6 1-3 innings as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 Monday and pulled within 11/2 games of the AL wild-card lead.
Jose Hernandez homered to help send Detroit to its fifth straight loss. The Tigers haven't scored in 19 innings.
Elarton (8-7) walked two and struck out six, combining with two relievers on an eight-hitter. He had been 0-2 in five starts since Aug. 2.
"I think the main thing is that I finally got my command back today," he said." I was able to locate my fastball."
Wickman gets 36th save
Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 41 opportunities, getting pinch-hitter Chris Shelton to ground into a game-ending double play with runners on first and second. Shelton nearly won the game on the previous pitch, hitting a foul ball into the seats near the pole in right field.
"It was a good pitch [fastball, low and away]," Wickman said. "That was the only thing. If I got beat on it, I would've just got beat."
Ivan Rodriguez had three hits, and Carlos Pena added two for the Tigers.
The only hits Elarton gave up were Rodriguez's two-out double in the first inning, Pena's infield single with one out in the fifth, Rodriguez's two-out single in the sixth and Pena's one-out single in the seventh.
"He [Elarton] pounded the strike zone consistently," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. " The last couple of days we've been trying as a team to work a little more. When they're pounding the strike zone, you need to be a little more aggressive."
Chased in seventh
The last hit chased Elarton in favor of Bob Howry, who got Placido Polanco to fly out. Curtis Granderson then singled off the right-field wall, moving Pena to third. But Omar Infante popped out to end the inning.
Howry allowed Rodriguez's third hit of the game and walked Dmitri Young in the eighth. He then allowed a two-out infield single to Craig Monroe, but Rodriguez rounded third base too far and was tagged out by first baseman Hernandez.
"Pudge was thinking I was going to first base and he kept running," Hernandez said. "That's how we got him at third base."
Maroth suffers loss
Mike Maroth (12-13) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, walking one and striking out six.
"I've been getting a lot of runs. They've been scoring a lot of runs for me. They picked me up several times," Maroth said. "This is just one game. Obviously the past two games we haven't scored any runs. But that's going to change.
"We've got a good offense. You can expect us to score runs. But there's going to be days where even the best hitting teams are going to get shut out."
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the first on consecutive singles by Grady Sizemore, Coco Crisp and Jhonny Peralta.
Hernandez led off the fifth with his sixth home run of the season to make it 2-0.
Peralta's first-inning RBI single broke an 0-for-16 slump. ... Rodriguez tumbled over the railing and into the Cleveland dugout while chasing a foul by Aaron Boone in the second inning and was caught by Indians' hitting coach Derek Shelton. ... Granderson, playing center field, robbed Peralta of a home run in the third by leaping above the left-center field fence and catching his drive.