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Lee bounces back to help Indians snap skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Cliff Lee would rather extend winning streaks than stop a string of losses.

Lee bounced back from his only poor outing this season and Ben Francisco hit a three-run homer to help Cleveland snap its seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.

"I would like for us to win the game before I pitched, too," said Lee (7-1), who earlier this year broke a trio of three-game losing streaks. "I don't give much thought to streaks."

The left-hander was not as sharp as he when he compiled an 0.67 ERA and 6-0 record in his first seven starts. He gave up two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight with a season-high three walks.

"Other than walking (Chris) Shelton three times, I'm pretty happy," Lee said. "They've got a good lineup, a lot of good hitters, and I gave my team a chance to win. That's my goal."

Texas failed to get at least 10 hits for the first time in six games as Lee was better than his previous start. Sunday in Cincinnati, the Reds tagged him for five earned runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.

"I didn't think about that game," Lee said. "What I did tonight is over, too. I have to focus on my next start and just keep going."

Francisco, robbed of a three-run homer by an umpire's blown call Friday night, left nothing to chance by hitting a 2-2 pitch from Scott Feldman (1-2) well over the wall in left for his second homer to put Cleveland ahead 4-2 in the third inning. On Friday, he hit a ball that TV replays showed cleared the wall, but the umpires ruled it in play and Francisco got only an RBI double.

"It was nice to get it over the rail and make it no doubt," said Francisco, who has hit safely in 14 of his past 18 games, going 23-for-62 (.371) with 11 RBI.

"We definitely needed a win," Francisco continued. "They got the lead on us, but Cliff pitched great, we got some hits and came back."

Feldman was upset at giving up the homer.

"I completely missed my spot," the right-hander said. "It was supposed to be down and away and it was middle in.

"I'm really disappointed. When you're going against a pitcher like Cliff Lee, you can't give up five runs and expect to win."

Rafael Perez pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief and Joe Borowski worked the ninth for his third save. Borowski, activated Friday after spending five weeks on the disabled list with a strained right triceps, gave up a two-out single to Michael Young and got Josh Hamilton on a long flyout to left to end the game.

"I've been doing this since 1989, but still felt butterflies on the first batter," said Borowski, whose 45 saves a year ago led the AL. "I felt good and my location was very good. The big thing was being able to throw without having to worry in the back of my mind about pain."

Lee yielded single runs in each of the first two innings.

He struck out Ian Kinsler to open the game, yielded singles to Young and Hamilton, then fanned Milton Bradley. David Murphy singled home Young before Lee came back to strike out Gerald Laird, too.

In the second, Marlon Byrd doubled and Chris Shelton drew a walk. Lee struck out German Duran, yielded an RBI single to Kinsler, then fanned Young and got Hamilton to line out to short.

"Cliff was up early and started working back down in the zone," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Where he was working early just wasn't going to make it, but I love the fact that he got better as the game went on."

Francisco doubled and scored on an error in the bottom half to get Cleveland within 2-1.

Jhonny Peralta hit his ninth homer in the Cleveland sixth off Feldman, who allowed five runs and six hits over six innings.

Notes

  • Indians 2B Asdrubal Cabrera snapped an 0-for-20 slump with a fourth-inning single.
  • Hamilton went 2-for-5 for his eighth straight multihit game, most by a Texas player since Rusty Greer's nine-game streak in 2000.
  • Cleveland put RHP Fausto Carmona on the disabled list with a left hip injury, sent RHP Jensen Lewis to Triple-A Buffalo and added RHPs Scott Elarton and Edward Mujica from Buffalo.
  • Texas RHP Kevin Millwood, on the DL since May 11 with a strained right groin, is scheduled to start Friday against Oakland. He threw 45 pitches in a simulated game and 20 more in the bullpen Saturday. "He was good," manager Ron Washington said. "It didn't look like anything was wrong."
  • Rangers RHP Luis Mendoza (sore shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A Oklahoma.
  • Rangers RHP John Rheinecker, sidelined all season, had arthroscopic surgery to clean up his right shoulder.
  • The crowd of 40,504 was Cleveland's first sellout since opening day.
 
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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The Indians are relieved to see their seven-game losing streak come to an end.  (AP)
The Indians are relieved to see their seven-game losing streak come to an end. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Lee
IP 6.2
H 7
ER 2
BB 4
K 8
Cleveland

B. Francisco
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5011011 .294
Michael Young, SS5120023 .282
Josh Hamilton, CF5020003 .337
Milton Bradley, DH2010212 .329
David Murphy, LF4011014 .296
Gerald Laird, C4000023 .273
Marlon Byrd, RF4110001 .218
Chris Shelton, 1B1000310 .240
German Duran, 3B3000014 .182
   a- Ramon Vazquez, PH1000000 .352
Totals3428259  
a-flied out for Duran in the 9th
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (3, Lee)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (27), David Murphy (35)
2-OUT RBI - David Murphy (15)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
E - Marlon Byrd (2, Throwing), Ian Kinsler (9, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Scott Feldman (L,1-2) 6655132 4.57
Eddie Guardado 1000000 3.46
Joaquin Benoit 1100020 4.94
HBP - Hafner (by Scott Feldman)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 104-62, Eddie Guardado 6-5, Joaquin Benoit 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 8-7
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 26, Eddie Guardado 3, Joaquin Benoit 4
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3100101 .257
Casey Blake, 3B4000011 .213
Travis Hafner, DH3100010 .214
Ben Francisco, RF-LF4223010 .365
Michael Aubrey, 1B4010000 .231
Jhonny Peralta, SS4121001 .219
David Dellucci, LF3000001 .222
    Franklin Gutierrez, RF0000000 .235
Kelly Shoppach, C3010010 .222
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B3010012 .176
Totals3157415  
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco (10, Feldman)
HR - Ben Francisco (2, Feldman), Jhonny Peralta (9, Feldman)
RBI - Ben Francisco 3 (11), Jhonny Peralta (16)
SB - Grady Sizemore (10, 2nd base off Feldman/Laird)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - A. Cabrera-Peralta-Aubrey
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,7-1) 6.2722480 1.50
Rafael Perez (H,7) 1.1000110 3.27
Joe Borowski (S,3) 1100000 14.40
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 113-81, Rafael Perez 20-12, Joe Borowski 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 4-7, Rafael Perez 3-0
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 30, Rafael Perez 5, Joe Borowski 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40504
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Damien Beal, Third Base - Dan Iassogna