for this game

Lee excels in cold as Indians end slide

Apr 13, 2008 - 10:13 PM By Todd Krepop PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Cliff Lee's 2008 season is off to a considerably better start than his 2007 campaign.

Lee pitched eight solid innings and Grady Sizemore drove in three runs Sunday as the Cleveland Indians snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Lee (2-0) allowed just one run and two hits, walking none and striking out eight as he shut down the A's for the second time in a week.

After a 48-minute delay to start the game because of the threat of inclement weather, the game-time temperature was a frigid 38 degrees. And with a 20 mile-per-hour wind blowing in from Lake Erie, the wind chill was 28 degrees.

While it was dry to start the game, by the third inning the snow started to fall and by the sixth the temperature had dropped to 34 degrees at Progressive Field.

"It was a factor," Indians manger Eric Wedge said. "It was one of the coldest days we have had here if you factor in the wind and all the elements."

While the weather was miserable for most, Lee turned it into an advantage.

"It gave me advantage with the way the wind was blowing in so hard," Lee said. "I wouldn't want to be a hitter today. Any ball that was hit hard was held up by the wind and being caught by the outfielders.

"I could see that early. If I fell behind in the count, I was trying to throw a strike and have them try to hit a home run because nothing was going out today."

Unfazed by the conditions, Lee continued his strong start this season and continued to put least year behind him. The lefthander has allowed just one earned run in 14 2/3 innings.

"I was anxious to redeem myself," Lee said. "Last year was a bad year for me. I feel like I have done what I am supposed to so far. It's still early. We have a long way to go. Hopefully, I can pitch the way I have these last two."

Lee started the 2007 season on the disabled list and never got on track as he ended up being sent down to Class AAA Buffalo before ending the year in the bullpen. He finished 2007 with a 6.29 ERA and was left off the Indians' postseason roster.

"(Lee) has been throwing the ball great," Indians catcher Victor Martinez said. "He has been aggressive this year and getting ahead of hitters. That allows him to use all of his pitches."

Lee started Sunday's game by retiring the first nine batters he faced, and Cleveland gave its starter a 2-0 lead on Travis Hafner's two-run single in third.

Oakland cut into the Indians' lead in half in the fourth but Cleveland added another run on Sizemore's RBI single in the fifth to make it 3-1 lead.

Lee took over from there, retiring the final 14 batters he faced. Only the Indians' four-run eighth prevented him from going out in the ninth in a bid for his fourth career complete game.

"(Wedge) didn't tell me anything until we scored all those runs in the eighth," Lee said. "I could have gone back out there. I felt like I finished the game stronger than I started."

"(Lee) threw strikes and just came right at us," said Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis, who drove in the A's only run with an RBI single. "He was very effective early, and it was good day to pitch."

Cleveland broke open a 3-1 contest in the eighth on two-run singles by Sizemore and David Dellucci.

"Grady did a great job today," Wedge said. "He had some good at-bats."

Chad Gaudin (0-1) wasn't as sharp for Oakland, giving up three runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked four.

"It was cold," Gaudin said. "I was a little erratic, but all right for the most part. Lee just pitched one heck of a game."

Travis Buck's triple in the fourth was the only other hit for the A's, who saw their five-game winning streak snapped.

"I don't think it was the cold," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We can't use that as an excuse, but the wind was definitely knocking the ball down."








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

    BATTERIES: OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, FERNANDO HERNANDEZ (7TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    CLE - CLIFF LEE, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (9TH) AND VICTOR
    MARTINEZ

    HOME RUNS: OAK - NONE
    CLE - NONE

    Apr 13 4:25 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID DELLUCCI SCORED JAMEY CARROLL AND GRADY
    SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D DELLUCCI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.267, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Athletics 1, Indians 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 13 4:13 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED RYAN GARKO AND FRANKLIN
    GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G SIZEMORE ON SECOND, J CARROLL ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: D DELLUCCI (.238, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Athletics 1, Indians 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 13 4:12 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GRADY SIZEMORE SCORED JAMEY CARROLL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON FIRST, A MARTE ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: D DELLUCCI (.263, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics 1, Indians 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 13 3:12 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED TRAVIS BUCK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D BARTON (.234, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 1, Indians 2  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 13 2:46 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED JAMEY CARROLL AND GRADY
    SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HAFNER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (.300, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics 0, Indians 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsApr 13 2:39 PM