Tampa Bay at Cleveland

Tampa Bay
W: S. Kazmir (10-9) L: S. Elarton (11-8)
S: D. Baez (40)
HR: TB - J. Lugo (6), A. Gonzalez (9)   CLE - None

Cleveland can't capitalize on yet another ChiSox loss

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

CLEVELAND -- The Indians lost the game, but didn't lose any ground.

Cleveland came up short of a comeback against Tampa Bay, losing 5-4 Tuesday night to remain two games behind first-place Chicago in the AL Central. The Indians lead the wild-card standings but have the same record as Boston and New York, who are tied atop the AL East.

The Indians, who trailed the White Sox by 15 games on Aug. 1, promised to do what they have done all year -- put the loss behind them and move on.

"We'll just come back tomorrow and go at it again," Indians outfielder Coco Crisp said.

Scott Kazmir (10-9) held Cleveland to one run in six innings and Julio Lugo hit a three-run homer as Tampa Bay built a five-run lead.

"We couldn't get to Kazmir. He was the story," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Former Indians pitcher Danys Baez got Ronnie Belliard to hit into a game-ending double play with the tying run on third, handing Cleveland consecutive losses for the first time since Sept. 3-4 at Minnesota.

"We knew Cleveland would come back at us. What a big double play at the end," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "This is a good win against a team that's really been playing great."

The announcement of Chicago's 3-2 loss drew one of the biggest cheers of the night. The Indians noticed as well, but downplayed their scoreboard watching.

"If we watched as much as you guys would like us to watch, we wouldn't have time to play the game," Wedge told reporters.

The Indians have struggled against Tampa Bay this season, getting swept in a three-game series at Jacobs Field in mid-August. They have two games remaining against the Devil Rays before a three-game home series against Chicago to finish the season.

"We need to remember the adversity that we overcame this year," Indians right fielder Casey Blake said. "Hopefully, that will help us the next five games."

Cleveland staged a comeback on RBI doubles by pinch-hitter Ben Broussard and Blake in the eighth inning off Joe Borowski. But Borowski struck out Grady Sizemore to end the threat.

Baez allowed Victor Martinez's RBI single to center in the ninth before earning his 40th save in 48 chances.

Kazmir walked five but worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and left another two stranded in the third.

He allowed one run and four hits to improve to 4-1 in September. He gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings in his last appearance against Cleveland on Aug. 25.

"We all know their situation," Kazmir said. "We came in here knowing we're facing a very hot team with a lot on the line. That's why this was a good win. But we've been playing all the contenders very tough for the last couple months."

Last-place Tampa Bay has a winning record against the Indians, Yankees, Angels and A's.

Scott Elarton (11-8) fell to 0-3 against the Devil Rays this season after allowing five runs and 10 hits in five innings. He had been Cleveland's top pitcher this month, going 4-0 in his last four starts with three earned runs.

"For whatever reason, I just had a hard time with these guys," Elarton said.

Lugo's homer in the fourth inning made it 4-0, and Alex Gonzalez hit his ninth home run in the sixth.

Aaron Boone's two-out RBI single in the sixth made it 5-1.

Kazmir, who leads the league in walks, walked the bases loaded with two outs in the second. But Joey Gathright made a leaping catch on Blake's liner to the warning track to end the inning.

Tampa Bay led off the game with three straight hits to take a 1-0 lead on Jorge Cantu's single. But Elarton got two groundouts and a popout to get out of the jam.


  • The Indians are 3-5 against Tampa Bay this season.
  • Kazmir's six strikeouts helped him surpass Tony Saunders' club record of 172 set in 1998.
  • Cleveland stranded 11 runners.
  • Kazmir and Elarton entered Tuesday night having allowed the fewest earned runs in the AL in September.
Copyright 2017 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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Ronnie Belliard and Co. can't regain their footing after falling behind early to the Devil Rays.  (AP)
Ronnie Belliard and Co. can't regain their footing after falling behind early to the Devil Rays. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

J. Lugo
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
Tampa Bay

A. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS4233110 .296
Carl Crawford, LF5010010 .301
Jorge Cantu, 2B4011013 .289
    Nick Green, 2B0000000 .241
Aubrey Huff, RF3010100 .263
    Damon Hollins, RF0000000 .249
Jonny Gomes, DH4000004 .288
Travis Lee, 1B4010002 .272
Alex Gonzalez, 3B4221000 .265
Toby Hall, C4120010 .286
Joey Gathright, CF3000002 .275
HR - Julio Lugo (6, Elarton), Alex Gonzalez (9, Elarton)
SH - Joey Gathright (3)
RBI - Julio Lugo 3 (56), Jorge Cantu (115), Alex Gonzalez (37)
CS - Julio Lugo (10, 2nd base by Betancourt/Martinez)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Green-Lugo-Lee
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Scott Kazmir (W,10-9) 6411570 3.77
Trever Miller 1000100 4.15
Joe Borowski 1322020 3.97
Danys Baez (S,40) 1211100 2.90
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 110-65, Trever Miller 21-9, Joe Borowski 30-19, Danys Baez 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 2-9, Danys Baez 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 27, Trever Miller 4, Joe Borowski 6, Danys Baez 5
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4000111 .294
Coco Crisp, LF4110111 .305
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010121 .293
Travis Hafner, DH4100124 .303
    Franklin Gutierrez, PR-DH0000000 .000
Victor Martinez, C5011013 .305
Ron Belliard, 2B4120101 .284
Jose Hernandez, 1B2000112 .234
   a- Ben Broussard, PH-1B1111000 .261
Aaron Boone, 3B3021101 .247
Casey Blake, RF4011016 .239
a-doubled for Hernandez in the 8th
2B - Coco Crisp (41, Baez), Ben Broussard (29, Borowski), Casey Blake (30, Borowski)
RBI - Victor Martinez (79), Ben Broussard (68), Aaron Boone (59), Casey Blake (56)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Boone (24), Casey Blake (13)
Team LOB - 11
Outfield Assists - Casey Blake 1
DP - A. Boone-Belliard-Hernandez, Peralta-Hernandez
E - Aaron Boone 2 (18, wild throw)
Cleveland Indians
Scott Elarton (L,11-8) 51055112 4.51
Fernando Cabrera 2000110 1.07
David Riske 1000010 3.21
Rafael Betancourt 1100010 2.88
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Elarton 90-58, Fernando Cabrera 22-14, David Riske 7-6, Rafael Betancourt 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Elarton 10-4, Fernando Cabrera 2-2, David Riske 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Elarton 26, Fernando Cabrera 6, David Riske 3, Rafael Betancourt 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23795
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Ted Barrett