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Sizemore And Santana Homer; Indians Four Innings From Another Sweep, Leading 3-1

Grady Sizemore returned to the Indians’ lineup for the first time in a game that counts since last May this afternoon, and after being retired in his first plate appearance, Grady showed a resourceful method of avoiding strain on his surgically-repaired knee in his second at-bat…when in doubt, hit it out.

Carlos Santana led off the second inning with a homer to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead, and Sizemore’s blast in the third put the Indians up by a pair.

The fourth inning was a crucial inning and Fausto Carmona handled it like — well, like an ace.

After Brian Roberts led off with a single and moved to third on a hit by Nick Markakis, Carmona induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Derrek Lee, which scored a run but at the same time made sure that any damage in the inning would be minimal. Lee does not get credit for an RBI, as one is not awarded on a GIDP.

Then, in the Indians’ fourth, Orlando Cabrera reached on a two-out single and when to second on an error on the play by third baseman Mark Reynolds. Travis Buck then singled, and although he was thrown out at second, Cabrera scored, giving The Good Guys a 3-1 lead.

Carmona then cruised through the fifth. In those five innings, Carmona has allowed only those back-to-back hits in the fourth, with four strikeouts and no walks on only 64 pitches.

For the Orioles, Brad Bergesen is still out there, but his pitch-count is getting high and it won’t be long until the Indians see the Baltimore pen in the game.

Twelve more outs to the third sweep of the season in five series. That, my friends, is championship-caliber baseball.

Can we get that sweep today? Check back later for a full recap of the last game of this abbreviated homestand.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.