Rays
Indians
2 - 10 Final
  for this game

Indians pull away late in rout of Devil Rays

Jul 3, 2007 - 4:16 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Fausto Carmona picked up his first win in three starts with a big assist from Rafael Perez and Grady Sizemore.

Perez worked out of a bases loaded, no-one out jam in the seventh inning and Sizemore belted a grand slam in the eighth to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 10-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday.

Cleveland has now won five in a row and improved to 7-1 in its eight-game homestand as they head into a three-game series against Detroit with a two-game lead in the American League Central starting Tuesday night.

"Everybody is looking at this series because it's been a battle for first place," Indians catcher Victor Martinez said. "We're going to go up there and keep playing our game, play hard and see what happens."

Carmona looked unstoppable until running into some problems in the seventh. The righthander had already struck out a career-high eight batters and only allowed two hits through six innings.

With Cleveland leading, 3-0, Greg Norton drew a lead off walk and Carlos Pena followed with a single to left off Carmona. After Delmon Young's single, Jonny Gomes drove in the first run on a little dribbler to third that Casey Blake booted.

Carmona then hit pinch hitter Ty Wigginton in the back to make it 3-2, ending his night.

Indians manager Eric Wedge called on Perez to help minimize the damage, but the rookie lefthander did more than that.

Perez struck out pinch hitter Raul Casanova and then made a splendid play on Akinori Iwamura's grounder back to the mound.

Iwamura hit a tall chopper off the dirt in front of the plate. Perez made a leaping stab and threw home to get the force. Perez then got Harris to ground out to end the threat.

"It was a reaction play," Perez said through an interpreter. "I thought I wasn't going to catch it. I was lucky enough to catch the ball."

"He looked like Michael Jordan getting the ball there," Martinez said.

Perez retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth before walking Pena. Rafael Betancourt came in to get the final out of the eighth.

"To come in that situation and give up no runs was way beyond the call of duty there," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We were just trying to control some damage. That was the difference maker late in the ballgame."

Carmona allowed two runs - one earned - on four hits in six innings as he rebounded from his worst start of his career. In his last start against Oakland on Wednesday, Carmona allowed eight runs in one inning.

"I thought a lot about my last start," Carmona said through an interpreter. "I learned from the mistakes and tried to make sure they didn't happen again."

Cleveland broke open the close game with a seven-run eighth, highlighted by Sizemore's grand slam - was his 500th career hit - and three Tampa Bay errors.

"I wasn't really thinking about (the 500th hit)," Sizemore said. "It was an interesting way to do. It's exciting."

Victor Martinez led off the inning with a single off Gary Glover. Travis Hafner hit a grounder to second but Wigginton's throw went off the back of Martinez. After Glover's wild pitch moved the runners up, Ryan Garko hit a sacrifice fly. Glover intentionally walked Trot Nixon and was relieved by Al Reyes.

Ben Francisco greeted Reyes with an RBI single to give the Indians a 4-2 lead. Left fielder Carl Crawford bobbled the ball to allow pinch runner Franklin Gutierrez to go to third. Reyes then walked Mike Rouse, but Casanova threw the ball into center field, allowing Gutierrez, to score. Josh Barfield then drew a walk to set the stage for Sizemore.

Sizemore blasted Reyes' 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for his second career grand slam.

"Everything you saw that inning was from guys trying too hard," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It wasn't for lack of effort."

Francisco, who hit a walk-off home run in his first major league start on Friday, blasted Tampa Bay starter Andy Sonnanstine's 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.

Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the second on Francisco's RBI double and Rouse's sacrifice fly.

"I feel like I can play this game," said Francisco, who had three RBI. "You just have to slow the game down when you come up here and that's what I am trying to do."

It was a disappointing homecoming for Sonnanstine, who grew up 40 miles outside of Cleveland in Barberton and went to Kent State University, which is about 35 miles southeast of Jacobs Field. Sonnanstine allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.

"It was exciting," Sonnanstine said. "It was one of my biggest goals was to make it to the majors and pitch back at home."

The loss extended Tampa Bay's season-high losing streak to eight games. The Devil Rays have lost 15 of their last 19 games.

"(Cleveland) got everything done this series," Maddon said. "We blinked and they didn't."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 3
    CLEVELAND 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 7 x 10 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, JAY WITASICK (7TH), GARY GLOVER (8TH), GARY
    GLOVER (8TH), AL REYES (8TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO, RAUL CASANOVA
    (7TH)
    CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, RAFA

    Jul 2 10:15 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY GRADY SIZEMORE (14) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF AL REYES SCORED BEN FRANCISCO, MIKE ROUSE AND JOSH
    BARFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2, CLEVELAND 10
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.269, 0-FOR-4)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 10:01 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY RAUL CASANOVA ALLOWED FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M ROUSE ON FIRST, B FRANCISCO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    CLEVELAND 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J BARFIELD (.257, 0-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 9:58 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BEN FRANCISCO SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B FRANCISCO ON FIRST, F GUTIERREZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    CLEVELAND 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: M ROUSE (.132, 1-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 9:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN GARKO SCORED VICTOR MARTINEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T NIXON (.244, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TY WIGGINTON HIT BY FAUSTO CARMONA PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED CARLOS PENA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T WIGGINTON ON FIRST, J GOMES ON SECOND, D
    YOUNG ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 2
    CLEVELAND 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J WILSON (.278, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 9:06 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY CASEY BLAKE ALLOWED GREG NORTON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J GOMES ON FIRST, D YOUNG ON SECOND, C PENA
    ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    CLEVELAND 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: D NAVARRO (.182, 0-FOR-2)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BEN FRANCISCO (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ANDY SONNANSTINE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: M ROUSE (.118, 0-FOR-0, SF, RBI)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 8:11 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE ROUSE SCORED TROT NIXON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J BARFIELD (.260, 2 HR, 37 RBI)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 7:41 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BEN FRANCISCO SCORED RYAN GARKO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B FRANCISCO ON SECOND, T NIXON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: M ROUSE (.118, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Rays vs. IndiansJul 2 7:38 PM