for this game

Sizemore helps Indians rally past Devil Rays

Sep 29, 2006 - 2:10 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Grady Sizemore has a great opportunity to finish the season as the major league leader in several offensive categories.

Sizemore belted a two-run homer among his three hits as the Cleveland Indians rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The major league leader in extra-base hits (91) and runs (133), Sizemore also has 52 doubles, which trails Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez by just one. His production at the plate helped the Indians win for the fifth time in six games.

"As a leadoff guy, you want to get on base and score runs," Sizemore said. "I have spent a lot of time watching video and trying things out. There is still room for improvement, but it would mean a lot to me to finish at the top."

Trailing 4-0, Cleveland began its comeback in the fifth inning when Andy Marte smacked a two-run homer to left-center field - his fifth - off starter J.P. Howell.

Sizemore tied the score in the seventh with his 28th home run, a blast off reliever Jon Switzer.

"It was just one of those days," Sizemore said. "I felt comfortable at the plate and I got a pitch I could handle."

Moments later, Ryan Garko, who had five RBI on Wednesday, snapped a 4-4 tie with a run-scoring double off Ruddy Lugo (2-4) that plated Jason Michaels.

"It was a pretty good pitch," Garko said. "I was just trying to be aggressive and stay with the pitch."

Paul Byrd (10-9) snapped a personal three-game losing streak despite yielding four runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked two.

"It feels nice to finish the season off with a win," Byrd said. "However, I am very disappointed with my season as a whole. I didn't give the Indians the pitcher they signed in the off season."

After Matt Miller worked a scoreless eighth, Rafael Betancourt loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before striking out Ty Wigginton and Jorge Cantu on six pitches for his third save.

"(Betancourt) did it the long way, but finished it off," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "After the (intentional walk to Greg Norton) he took it from there. He finished the game off in exciting fashion."

Norton highlighted a three-run first inning with his 16th homer for the Devil Rays, who have dropped 21 of their last 23 road contests.

"It appeared to be a runaway early on," Norton said. "I'm not saying that's what we were thinking, but we were hitting some balls hard. Byrd locked us down the last three or four innings. He did a good job."

"I don't have the answer," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Tampa Bay's misfortune away from home. "I don't know why. I can't honestly explain why that happens. At home we make pitches and get big hits. We haven't done that on the road."

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