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Blake, Westbrook lift Indians over Devil Rays

Oct 1, 2006 - 3:11 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Like their club, Casey Blake and Jake Westbrook are finishing the season strong.

Blake homered twice and Westbrook pitched seven strong innings to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Shin-Soo Choo hit his third homer and Ryan Garko had two RBI for the Indians, who have won seven of their last eight games.

Blake's first homer provided a 3-0 lead in the fourth and his 19th, a solo shot, gave the Indians a 6-1 lead in the eighth.

"I wanted to do something positive before the season ended," Blake said. "I've been scuffling as bad as you can."

After hitting over .300 for much of the year, Blake has struggled since coming off the disabled list on August 25, batting only .198 with three home runs since his activation.

"September hasn't been a good month for me," he said. "I haven't done much, so I am glad I can finish with some positives."

Westbrook (15-10) allowed only one run and five hits with six strikeouts and one walk, while inducing the Devil Rays to ground into three double plays.

"I felt strong the whole time," Westbrook said. "The defense helped me out with the double plays. I had a little trouble in the seventh, but I regrouped and got through it."

"(Westbrook) had a sinker, slider and moved in and out," Devil Rays third baseman B.J. Upton said. "He kept the hitters off-balance and it showed."

Westbrook, who won his last three starts of the season, equaled a career high with 15 wins.

"He had another fantastic season," said Indians manager Eric Wedge about Westbrook. "He's about as consistent as you can get. He's done an excellent job for us this year and the last three years. It's tough to put a value on how consistent he's been."

The Devil Rays scored their only run in the seventh on Ty Wigginton's RBI double.

Tampa Bay starter Jae Seo (1-8) allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings. In his last two starts, Seo has surrendered 13 runs in 6 2/3 innings.

"This year has been up-and-down for me," said Seo, who won his only game of the season on July 29. "Hopefully next year will be better."

The Devil Rays became the second team in the majors to lose 100 games, joining the Kansas City Royals.

"To me it's just a number," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Nobody likes losing 100 games, but it is what you make it to be. There isn't much difference between 98, 99, or 100 losses in a season. My focus is on the big picture."

The start of the game was delayed by 90 minutes due to rain.






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