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Indians win on bases-loaded walk

Sep 30, 2006 - 2:46 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Indians didn't put a ball in play in the ninth inning and still found a way to win.

Jhonny Peralta had two hits and was credited with the game-winning RBI on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth as the Indians posted a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Peralta plated Jason Michaels when he was walked by reliever Seth McClung. Cleveland, which has won six of its last seven, did not have a hit in the frame, as McClung and Dan Miceli walked the bases full.

"That's never happened to me before," Peralta said. "I was looking for a fastball every pitch, but it was never close to the plate. It felt pretty good to take a walk right there."

Brian Sikorski (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing no hits with one strikeout to earn the win. He was one of three Cleveland relievers to hold Tampa Bay to one hit in the final three frames.

"Our bullpen pitched well," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Different guys stepped up at different times."

The Devil Rays (61-99) became the first team in major league history to have a winning home record and still lose 99 games in a season.

The Devil Rays are 20-59 on the road this year and, with just two games left to play here, could join the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics as the only teams to have as few as three victories away from home after the All-Star break.

"It's frustrating," Rocco Baldelli said. "The difference (between home and away) is drastic. It's a question we have been getting peppered with for quite a while. We can't come up with a reason."

Miceli (1-2) started the ninth by walking Michaels and Victor Martinez. McClung replaced him and struck out Ryan Garko before issuing passes to Shin-Soo Choo and Peralta.

"When you come into a situation like that you have to make perfect pitches," McClung said. "When the game is tight, every mistake is big. I tried to make a good pitch (to Peralta), but I missed."

Choo also scored Cleveland's first run when he led off the second with a double against rookie Brian Stokes and was plated by Peralta's single for a 1-0 lead. Peralta had two hits and reached base four times.

"It's been a tough year for RBIs for me, among other things," Peralta said.

With two outs in the fifth, Baldelli tied the game at 1-1 when he lined the first pitch by Slocum over the center field wall for his 16th homer of the season.

The Devil Rays went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

"It's hard to imagine being that bad," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We haven't been good all year, but it has gotten worse recently."

Baldelli, Delmon Young and Carl Crawford each had two hits for Tampa Bay.

Slocum allowed one run and eight hits in his second career start. He struck out five and walked one.

Stokes went seven innings, allowing a run and five hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

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