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Tribe thriving in bigs and minors

I've been on vacation for a week and the Bisons have been on the road for six days but we're all back home tonight at Dunn Tire Park for the first of two key games with Rochester. The good times are flowing throughout the Cleveland Indians organization -- within the last week, the big leaguers and every one of the Tribe's minor-league affiliates have been in first place in their divisions.

The Bisons earned a huge 8-7 comeback win Sunday night in Rochester on Mike Rose's 10th-inning home run (but there's still no cure for Jeremy Sowers' woes). They've been in first place since May 5 despite the usual numbers of callups and some unsettling injuries.

Tribepic_2 The Indians, meanwhile, have provided some walkoff drama in recent days. Kelly Shoppach went deep in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday to beat the A's and old friend Ben Francisco hit his first big-league bomb in the bottom of the ninth Friday to beat the Devil Rays. Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez both were named to the All-Star team Sunday. And this looks more and more like Cleveland's first playoff team since 2001.

Starting with manager Eric Wedge, the ex-Bisons are everywhere in the Cleveland clubhouse and their success is certainly noticed at Dunn Tire Park. Check out this Cleveland Plain Dealer picture of the celebration of Shoppach's home run. Joining C.C. Sabathia at the plate are, from left, Ryan Garko, Francisco, Jhonny Peralta, Sizemore and Martinez. It's like a Bisons alumni gathering.

Check out the video of Shoppach's home run here.

Missed Francisco's jubilation at his big moment? Watch it here.

---Mike Harrington

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