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Lee continues roll as streaking Indians rock Twins

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Hitting for the cycle on the first nine pitches they saw, the Cleveland Indians finished an emphatic three-game sweep of the rival Minnesota Twins.

Cliff Lee won his seventh straight decision and the Indians had 17 hits in a 12-4 rout of the reeling Twins on Sunday night, stretching their winning streak to seven games.

Cleveland maintained its 1½-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race by winning for the 18th time in 23 games. The Indians also pulled within 5½ games of first-place Chicago in the Central.

"We don't worry about catching (Chicago), we just go out to win our game," said Coco Crisp, who tied a career high with four hits. "We respect other teams, but we're only concerned with what we do."

Cleveland is the closest it has been to the White Sox since April 20. The Indians have gained 9½ games on the leaders since being 15 back on July 25, going 31-12 during that stretch.

Ronnie Belliard hit a three-run homer, Victor Martinez added a two-run shot, and Grady Sizemore had a solo homer among his three hits, three runs and three RBI.

Lee (16-4), unbeaten in his last 11 starts, allowed two runs and four hits over six innings. He is 10-1 in 18 starts since June 6 and his .800 overall winning percentage trails only St. Louis' Chris Carpenter (21-4, .840) in the majors.

"I'm just part of a very good team," said Lee. "I think we've got what it takes to make the playoffs. Once we get there, we can be a force.

"The fans tonight were great. They're starting to realize what's going on here."

Sizemore brought the crowd of 38,564 to its feet, chanting "Grady, Grady," with a leaping catch against the wall in center to rob pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez of extra bases in the eighth.

"Grady's a fantastic young player," manager Eric Wedge said.

Sizemore held his left shoulder after crashing into the wall, but waved off assistance.

"It's a little sore, but we won and that's all that matters," Sizemore said.

Carlos Silva (9-8) left after one inning with a sore right knee, a condition he has battled all season and put him on the disabled list in April. He made only 18 pitches, yielding four hits and four runs in the shortest of his 61 career starts for Minnesota.

Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Silva's season could be over.

"We're looking at the possibility of getting this thing cleaned up," he said. "He's pitched on it long enough."

Sizemore tripled to center on Silva's second pitch and Crisp lined the next one into the right-field corner for an RBI double. Crisp took third on a second-pitch single by Jhonny Peralta and scored on a sacrifice fly by Travis Hafner.

Martinez then lined a 1-1 pitch from Silva over the wall in center for his 19th homer and 4-0 lead.

"It just happened," Crisp said of the outburst. "We didn't collectively sit down and say we were going to hit the first pitch we saw or anything."

Joe Mays fared worse in one inning of relief, giving up six runs in the second as the Indians took a 10- lead. Sizemore hit a two-run homer, his 19th, Hafner had an RBI single and Belliard capped the rally with a three-run shot, his 13th.

"They came out and smoked the baseball," Gardenhire said. "Every pitch we threw that was up, they whacked it."

Peralta's RBI single off Matt Guerrier made it 11-0 in the third.

Jacque Jones' two-run homer in the fourth, his 20th, got the Twins within 11-2.

Sizemore singled home a run in the sixth and the Twins got two unearned runs in the seventh off Fernando Cabrera.

The three-game sweep sent the reeling Twins to their fifth loss in six games and dropped the three-time defending AL Central champions 15 games behind Chicago.

Notes

  • Indians starters are 7-1 with a 1.81 ERA over the last 11 games.
  • Cleveland won the season series, 10-9, including a 5-4 mark in one-run games.
  • Crisp's four-hit game was his third this season and sixth of his career.
  • Twins C Chris Heintz made his first career start and got his first hit, a fifth-inning single.
  • A $5 ticket promotion swelled the crowd to more than 10,000 above average for the Indians, who rank 28th of 30 in major-league attendance.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Cliff Lee improves to 16-4 after yielding just two runs on four hits and one walk over six innings.  (AP)
Cliff Lee improves to 16-4 after yielding just two runs on four hits and one walk over six innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Crisp
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Cleveland

G. Sizemore
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Minnesota Twins
Shannon Stewart, LF3010021 .278
    Michael Ryan, LF1011000 .243
Juan Castro, 2B2000001 .273
   a- Luis Rivas, PH-2B1000102 .245
Lew Ford, CF3000002 .263
    Jason Tyner, CF1010000 .250
Matthew LeCroy, DH3110002 .266
   b- Luis Rodriguez, PH-DH1000001 .255
Jacque Jones, RF2112000 .254
    Terry Tiffee, 3B2000001 .206
Michael Cuddyer, 3B-RF4110001 .253
Justin Morneau, 1B4120000 .240
Chris Heintz, C4010012 .250
Jason Bartlett, SS4000002 .260
Totals354931315 
a-walked for Castro in the 6th
b-flied out for LeCroy in the 8th
Batting
HR - Jacque Jones (20, Lee)
RBI - Michael Ryan (11), Jacque Jones 2 (64)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Ryan (5), Jacque Jones 2 (16)
Team LOB - 5
Minnesota Twins
Carlos Silva (L,9-8) 1444001 3.44
Joe Mays 1566102 5.33
Matt Guerrier 3511330 3.70
Travis Bowyer 2311010 3.86
Terry Mulholland 1000000 4.64
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 18-13, Joe Mays 35-20, Matt Guerrier 73-41, Travis Bowyer 44-27, Terry Mulholland 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Mays 2-1, Matt Guerrier 2-4, Travis Bowyer 3-2, Terry Mulholland 2-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 7, Joe Mays 9, Matt Guerrier 17, Travis Bowyer 9, Terry Mulholland 3
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4333100 .289
    Franklin Gutierrez, CF0000000 .000
Coco Crisp, LF5241001 .306
Jhonny Peralta, SS5131012 .288
Travis Hafner, DH3112123 .304
Victor Martinez, C3222100 .293
   a- Josh Bard, PH-C1000001 .183
Ron Belliard, 2B4123003 .286
   b- Ramon Vazquez, PH-2B1000001 .218
Ben Broussard, 1B5110011 .251
Aaron Boone, 3B4010000 .240
    Jose Hernandez, 3B1000000 .229
Casey Blake, RF4100103 .249
Totals401217124415 
a-flied out for Martinez in the 7th
b-grounded out for Belliard in the 7th
Batting
2B - Coco Crisp 2 (38, Silva, Mays)
3B - Grady Sizemore (11, Silva)
HR - Grady Sizemore (19, Mays), Victor Martinez (19, Silva), Ron Belliard (13, Mays)
SF - Travis Hafner (4)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 3 (76), Coco Crisp (61), Jhonny Peralta (70), Travis Hafner 2 (88), Victor Martinez 2 (72), Ron Belliard 3 (66)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore (34), Jhonny Peralta (34), Travis Hafner (40), Ron Belliard 3 (26)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Peralta-Belliard-Broussard, Peralta-Broussard, Peralta-Broussard
E - Aaron Boone (15, misplayed grounder), Jhonny Peralta (16, misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,16-4) 6422121 3.69
Fernando Cabrera 1320000 1.33
David Riske 1100000 3.24
Rafael Betancourt 1100010 3.10
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 71-49, Fernando Cabrera 14-10, David Riske 13-8, Rafael Betancourt 7-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 7-8, Fernando Cabrera 2-2, David Riske 1-1
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 22, Fernando Cabrera 7, David Riske 3, Rafael Betancourt 4
Game Information
Attendance - 38564
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg