Saturday, July 12, 2008
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Lee wins 12th, Indians hand Rays fifth loss in row

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[July 12, 2008]  CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cliff Lee pitched six stellar innings in a warmup for a possible All-Star game start, and the Cleveland Indians defeated Tampa Bay 5-0 on Friday night to extend the Rays' season-high losing streak to five games.

CivicJhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer and RBI double off James Shields (7-6) as the Indians beat the Rays in Cleveland for the 11th consecutive time since Sept. 29, 2005.

The Indians entered the four-game series on a 10-game losing streak - their longest in 29 years - but have claimed consecutive wins for the first time since June 26-27.

Tampa Bay had won seven a row to open a five-game lead in the AL East on July 6. A 10-inning loss Monday to Kansas City started the Rays on their current slide, in which they've been outscored 32-7.

Lee (12-2) matched Joe Saunders of the Los Angeles Angels for the AL lead in wins and lowered his ERA to 2.31. The left-hander allowed five hits and struck out seven as he improved to 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA in seven home starts.


His only walk was to Akinori Iwamura to start the game - his second to a left-hand batter in 124 2-3 innings this season. Lee then struck out the next three batters.

Shields, seeking to win his fourth straight start, gave up five runs and 10 hits over six innings.

Ben Francisco singled off the right-hander with two outs in the first and was running on a 3-2 pitch to Peralta, who lined it over the head of right fielder Jonny Gomes for an RBI double.

In the third, Francisco, who had a career-high four RBIs in Cleveland's 13-2 win Thursday, hit a two-out double. Peralta then drove a 2-0 pitch the opposite way into the Rays' bullpen in right for his 15th homer and 3-0 lead.

Peralta is 5-for-11 with three homers and seven RBIs in his career against Shields.

Francisco made it 4-0 in the fifth with a double high off the wall in center, scoring Jamey Carroll, who had singled.

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Grady Sizemore, who will join Lee in the All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, doubled to lead off the seventh for his first hit in 12 career at-bats against Shields. Sizemore scored on Carroll's single up the middle.

Tampa Bay has hit .192 (33-for-172) with 48 strikeouts during its losing streak. Iwamura and Carl Crawford, the top two hitters in the order, are a combined 5-for-50 (.100).

Notes:@ Rays rookie 3B Evan Longoria, who has 16 homerss, will participate in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium on Monday night. ... Indians RHP Fausto Carmona, out since May 24 with a strained left hip, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Monday at Class A Lake County. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon said RHP Troy Percival will test his strained left hamstring by throwing off the mound Saturday. ... Rays RHP Al Reyes (shoulder tendinitis) pitched one scoreless rehab inning for Class A Vero Beach on Thursday. ... Rays SS Jason Bartlett (sprained right knee) swung a bat and fielded grounders Friday, but his lateral movement still isn't 100 percent, Maddon said.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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