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Indians lose 4-2 in 10, fall further behind Tigers

Tuesday - 7/9/2013, 12:49am  ET

Former Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel, left, gets a hug from bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. after throwing out a ceremonial pitch before a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on Monday, July 8, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Nick Swisher rounded third, lost his footing in the soggy grass and fell flat on his face.

The Indians slipped some, too.

Unable to push across the winning run in the ninth inning, Cleveland lost 4-2 in 10 to Detroit on Monday night and fell another game behind the first-place Tigers in the AL Central.

The Indians dropped three of four to the defending division champions, who got a two-run double in the 10th from Victor Martinez off Matt Albers (1-2) and left town two games further ahead in the standings than when they arrived.

Detroit improved to 9-3 this season against Cleveland, which had some early scoring chances against unbeaten Max Scherzer and stranded 10 runners, including Drew Stubbs, who was left at second in the ninth.

"We left a small village on the sacks," said Swisher, who had two rough moments on the bases. "We've got to do a little better job there, but that's how baseball goes."

With the score tied 2-all, Mark Reynolds opened the ninth with a single off Bruce Rondon and Stubbs came in to pinch run. Drew Smyly (4-0) entered and his first pitch got by catcher Brayan Pena, allowing Stubbs to take second on the passed ball. Lonnie Chisenhall flied to center, but not deep enough to advance Stubbs.

Yan Gomes struck out and Michael Bourn flied out to end the inning and Cleveland's last chance to avoid extras.

Manager Terry Francona said he considered having Chisenhall bunt, and he was hoping Stubbs could steal third but said the speedy outfielder was having trouble getting traction on the wet dirt.

In the 10th, Albers got two quick outs before walking Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Martinez followed with a drive over Bourn's head that caromed off the wall, far enough away for two of Detroit's slowest runners to score. After Fielder slid across the plate, he popped up from the dirt and swung his arm in celebration.

The Indians had been 5-0 in extra-inning games.

"For us, it's a frustrating loss," Swisher said.

Cleveland threatened again in the 10th against closer Joaquin Benoit. With two outs, Swisher singled and moved up on defensive indifference. Michael Brantley followed with a single to right, and it appeared Swisher would score easily, but his feet went out from under him and he was forced to retreat to third.

It wasn't Swisher's only moment of embarrassment.

Leading off the eighth, he hit a squibber that hugged the third-base line and eventually rolled fair. However, Swisher never left the plate area and was tagged out by Pena.

"It's just a lesson learned the hard way," Francona said.

Swisher didn't offer any excuses.

"I thought it was going to go foul," he said. "In hindsight, I should have ran."

Benoit then struck out Mike Aviles for his seventh save.

Scherzer, attempting to become the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to open a season 14-0, finished with a no-decision. He allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. The presumed AL starter in next week's All-Star game will take his unblemished mark into a start on Saturday against Texas.

"I don't want to focus much on that (being 13-0)," he said. "This was our best win of the year, and I was proud to be a part of it. The Indians battled so hard tonight and brought their 'A' game, and we did, too.

"It was just a great team win, our best of the year."

Detroit widened its lead over Cleveland by two games on this visit, but manager Jim Leyland knows champions aren't crowned in July.

"We came in and had a very good series against a very good team, but I'm not really concerned about the standings," Leyland said. "Of course, I'd rather leave here up 3
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