The Korea Herald


Sizemore homers as Tribe sweep

By 로컬편집기사

Published : April 18, 2011 - 19:06

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CLEVELAND (AP) ― Grady Sizemore never heard the crowd’s roar.

Striding to the plate for his first at-bat in 11 months on a surgically repaired left knee, Sizemore’s mind raced. His thoughts drowned out a welcoming ovation from fans who couldn’t wait to see him back in Cleveland’s leadoff spot and roaming center field.

As he stepped into the box, the noisy ballpark went silent.

“There was a lot going on right there,” he said.

The grueling rehab. The hours of practice. The wait.

All of it was over.

Sizemore homered and doubled in his first game back after major knee surgery last year, and the off-and-running Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game series sweep. Baltimore has lost seven straight.

Cleveland’s hustling All-Star center fielder and leadoff man, Sizemore hadn’t played since last May, when he was forced to have microfracture surgery on his left knee. Finally healthy, he homered in his second at-bat off Brad Bergesen (0-2) and doubled in the fifth.

“I just wanted to go up there, have good at-bats, help the team and get a win,” Sizemore said. “I was definitely nervous.”

It hardly showed.

Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner also homered for the first-place Indians, who have won seven in a row at home and 11 of 13. Fausto Carmona (1-2) worked seven strong innings, allowing one earned run and five hits. Chris Perez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

Brian Roberts went 3 for 4 for the Orioles, who have lost eight of 10, effectively erasing their 4-0 start. Baltimore has scored just 17 runs in its slide.

“We didn’t think scoring runs would be an issues with this team but it is,” said first baseman Derrek Lee, who grounded into a double play to damage a potentially big inning in the fourth. “We need to put up better quality at-bats.
Cleveland Indians right fielder Choo Shin-soo (left) gets back into second base ahead of a pickoff throw in the eighth inning. (AP-Yonhap News) Cleveland Indians right fielder Choo Shin-soo (left) gets back into second base ahead of a pickoff throw in the eighth inning. (AP-Yonhap News)

This was the day Sizemore had been building toward for months. He hoped to be back in time for opening day, but wasn’t quite ready when the Indians broke training camp. He started the season on the disabled list and playing in the minors to build strength and confidence.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Sizemore said before the game. “It’s finally here.”

He got a standing ovation when he came up in the first by Cleveland fans, many of whom have been diligently tracking the popular player’s progress for months. Sizemore grounded out to second, but he busted down the first-base line like always before being thrown out.

In the third, Sizemore didn’t have to run as hard.

He drove a 2-0 pitch from Bergesen over the wall in right for his first homer since Aug. 27, 2009, at Baltimore, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Sizemore doubled into the right-field corner in the fifth, coasting into second base without having to slide.

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5

Padres 8, Astros 6

Phillies 3, Marlins 2

Pirates 7, Reds 6

Rockies 9, Cubs 5

Nationals 8, Brewers 4 Gm. 1

Nationals 5, Brewers 1 Gm. 2

Mets 3, Braves 2

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1

Twins 4, Rays 2

Angels 4, White Sox 2

Mariners 3, Royals 2

Athletics 5, Tigers 1

Yankees 6, Rangers 5