|Cleveland (49-62) «||0||1||1||0||2||0||0||1||0||5||8||1|
|Tampa Bay (66-45)||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||8||1|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cliff Lee overcame early struggles and less-than-stellar stuff en route to another victory.
"Honestly, I didn't have my best stuff," Lee said. "Most of the innings I felt I had to battle quite a bit. They put me to the test petty good."
Lee (15-2) went seven innings, giving up two runs and eight hits. The left-hander is 9-2 in 13 road starts.
Tampa Bay's five-game winning streak ended. The Rays, who went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position against Lee, are three games ahead of Boston in the AL East. The Red Sox lost 4-3 to Kansas City.
David Dellucci hit his 100th career homer for the Indians, who improved to 20-36 on the road. Cleveland is 5-0 against the Rays this season, including a four-game sweep at home July 10-13.
Rafael Perez pitched the final two innings to record his second save.
Akinori Iwamura drove in both runs for Tampa Bay, which fell to 43-17 at home. Tampa Bay is 26-60 all-time in games with Cleveland.
"For some reason we play really well against these guys," Dellucci said. "And when Cliff Lee is on the mound, you just follow his lead."
Kelly Shoppach put the Indians ahead 1-0 with an RBI double in the second. He made it 5-2 on a run-scoring in the eighth, and has eight RBI over his last seven games.
Cleveland took a 2-0 lead on Asdrubal Cabrera's third-inning solo homer.
Lee worked out of jams in the first and second innings, leaving five runners on base and holding Tampa Bay to 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position over the stretch.
"Fastball command. He throws the fastball where he wants to," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I see a guy pitching with a lot of confidence."
After needing just seven pitches to work a perfect third, Lee allowed a two-run, two-out single to Iwamura in the fourth that tied it at 2.
"He did a good job when he had to," Rays first baseman Carlos Pena said. "He's done an incredible job this year."
Dellucci hit a two-run shot to put Cleveland back up 4-2 in the fifth.
"Growing up, I never thought I'd hit one homer, let alone 100," Dellucci said. "It's just a sign that you played in the 'bigs' for a long time."
Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza (9-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He is 0-3 with a 4.68 ERA in five games against Cleveland.
"I was off tonight," he said.
The announced crowd at Tropicana Field was 17,049.
|Indians ace Cliff Lee has good reason to smile after notching his 15th win of the season. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Grady Sizemore, CF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.273|
|David Dellucci, DH||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.238|
|Ben Francisco, LF||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.273|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||3||2||1||0||1||1||2||.270|
|Kelly Shoppach, C||4||0||2||2||0||1||0||.280|
|Ryan Garko, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.240|
|Andy Marte, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.167|
|Franklin Gutierrez, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.213|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.204|
|2B - Kelly Shoppach (19, Garza)|
|HR - David Dellucci (10, Garza), Asdrubal Cabrera (3, Garza)|
|RBI - David Dellucci 2 (39), Kelly Shoppach 2 (35), Asdrubal Cabrera (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - David Dellucci 2 (16), Kelly Shoppach (11)|
|SB - Jhonny Peralta (3, 3rd base off Hammel/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Marte-A. Cabrera-Garko|
|E - Ben Francisco (2, Dropped fly)|
|Cliff Lee (W,15-2)||7||8||2||2||2||2||0||2.58|
|Rafael Perez (S,2)||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.96|
|HBP - Pena (by Cliff Lee)|
|WP - Cliff Lee (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 115-81, Rafael Perez 15-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 3-16, Rafael Perez 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 32, Rafael Perez 6|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, 2B||4||0||3||2||1||0||0||.280|
|B.J. Upton, CF||4||0||1||0||1||0||4||.269|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||.232|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.276|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.300|
|Willy Aybar, SS||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.227|
|Eric Hinske, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.253|
|a- Shawn Riggans, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.242|
|Jonny Gomes, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.182|
|Gabe Gross, RF||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.223|
|a-struck out for Hinske in the 8th|
|2B - Gabe Gross (10, Lee)|
|RBI - Akinori Iwamura 2 (32)|
|2-OUT RBI - Akinori Iwamura 2 (12)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Aybar-Pena, Longoria-Iwamura-Pena|
|E - Dioner Navarro (2, Throwing)|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Garza (L,9-7)||5||7||4||4||2||4||2||3.70|
|WP - Matt Garza (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 102-60, Jason Hammel 45-27, Al Reyes 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 4-5, Jason Hammel 3-3, Al Reyes 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Matt Garza 22, Jason Hammel 11, Al Reyes 3|
|Attendance - 17049|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano|