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Cleveland at Tampa Bay

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Cleveland (14-24)000002000260
Tampa Bay (18-20) «00012001x480

Upton goes deep again as Rays double up Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Maddon is hopeful the Rays are back to playing championship-caliber baseball.

B.J. Upton homered for the second consecutive day, Matt Garza pitched six effective innings and Tampa Bay beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 on Saturday.

"I expect us to get back to the playoffs and I expect that we'll stop making the little mistakes that we didn't make in the past," The Rays manager said.

The defending AL champions Rays (18-20) have won 10 of 16.

Hours after he completed the Rays' rally from seven runs down with a game-ending drive Friday night for an 8-7 victory over Cleveland, Upton put the Rays ahead 1-0 with his second home run of the season off Carl Pavano in the fourth.

"B.J.'s homer was big," Maddon said.

Upton, who started the season on the disabled list after left shoulder surgery, is hitting .192. However, he has worked recently on the lower half of his batting stance and has seven hits in his last 19 at-bats.

Gabe Gross and Akinori Iwamura pulled off a double steal in the fifth, giving Tampa Bay at least one stolen base in 18 straight games, which is the longest stretch in the AL since the New York Yankees had a 19-game run in 1914. Both scored on Jason Bartlett's single to make it 3-0.

"The double steal really killed me," Pavano said.

Bartlett stole second later in the fifth, but left was stranded on base. The Rays have stolen three bases or more in a game 11 times this season.

Garza (4-2) gave up two runs and five hits. The right-hander had three strikeouts and four walks.

"Today was a lucky day," Garza said of getting away with the four walks without too much trouble.

Joe Nelson, the third Tampa Bay reliever, worked the ninth for his second save.

Maddon opted to use Nelson over closer Troy Percival because of the strong left-handed presence in the Cleveland lineup. Lefty's are hitting .476 against Percival this season.

Pavano (3-4) had his three-start winning streak end. He allowed three runs, six hits, two walks and struck out six in five-plus innings.

The Indians pulled to 3-2 in the sixth on Jhonny Peralta's RBI double and a sacrifice fly by David Dellucci.

Tampa Bay went up 4-2 on Ben Zobrist's RBI double in the eighth.

Cleveland loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth, but failed to score when Garza induced a grounder to third from Kelly Shoppach. The Indians went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

"We missed opportunities, and in a tight game like that, that's usually the difference," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Victor Martinez went 3-for-4, raising his batting average to .409, for the Indians.

"He's doing everything he can to help get us going," Wedge said. "He's just been on a mission."

Notes

  • Cleveland plans to call up LHP David Huff from Triple-A Columbus to start Sunday's game. It will be his major league debut. To make room for Huff, the Indians are taking RHP Masa Kobayashi off the roster and would like him to go to Triple-A Columbus, but Kobayashi has the option to reject the assignment. "We're hoping that he'll accept the assignment," Wedge said, "go down there and get ready to work and get himself going." Kobayashi has an 8.38 ERA with no decisions in 10 games this year.
  • Rays DH Pat Burrell (neck stiffness) will be re-evaluated Sunday. He had a cortisone shot on Friday.
  • Pavano struck out his first four batters.
  • Garza threw 40 of his 120 pitches during the sixth.
 
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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B.J. Upton's average still hasn't reached .200 but he does have homers in consecutive games. (AP)
B.J. Upton's average still hasn't reached .200 but he does have homers in consecutive games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

J. Peralta
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

B. Upton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4000110 .220
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS5000032 .315
Victor Martinez, 1B4130000 .409
Shin-Soo Choo, RF4110012 .295
Jhonny Peralta, 3B4021000 .265
Matt LaPorta, LF4000024 .194
Dave Dellucci, DH1001100 .235
    Ben Francisco, PR-DH0000000 .236
Kelly Shoppach, C2000214 .210
Luis Valbuena, 2B4000003 .105
Totals3226248  
Batting
2B - Jhonny Peralta (8, Garza)
SF - Dave Dellucci (1)
RBI - Jhonny Peralta (16), Dave Dellucci (1)
SB - Ben Francisco (7, 2nd base off Balfour/Navarro)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - A. Cabrera-Martinez, Valbuena-A. Cabrera-Martinez
PB - Kelly Shoppach (1)
Cleveland Indians
Carl Pavano (L,3-4) 5633261 6.33
Aaron Laffey 3211230 3.41
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 92-59, Aaron Laffey 52-30
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 5-2, Aaron Laffey 4-2
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 21, Aaron Laffey 13
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton, CF4111031 .192
Carl Crawford, LF4120011 .338
Evan Longoria, 3B3010111 .343
Carlos Pena, 1B3000133 .250
Willy Aybar, DH3000103 .259
Gabe Gross, RF1100100 .258
   a- Ben Zobrist, PH-RF2011001 .291
Akinori Iwamura, 2B4120004 .281
Jason Bartlett, SS3012001 .359
Dioner Navarro, C3000011 .179
Totals3048449  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Gross in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ben Zobrist (7, Laffey)
3B - Carl Crawford (3, Pavano)
HR - B.J. Upton (2, Pavano)
RBI - B.J. Upton (6), Ben Zobrist (19), Jason Bartlett 2 (16)
2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist (7)
SB - Gabe Gross (2, 3rd base off Pavano/Shoppach), Akinori Iwamura (8, 2nd base off Pavano/Shoppach), Jason Bartlett (10, 2nd base off Pavano/Shoppach)
Team LOB - 6
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza (W,4-2) 6522430 3.50
Brian Shouse (H,5) 1100020 3.29
Grant Balfour (H,3) 1000020 5.94
Joe Nelson (S,2) 1000010 5.94
HBP - Dellucci (by Grant Balfour)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 120-71, Brian Shouse 19-12, Grant Balfour 17-10, Joe Nelson 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 8-7, Brian Shouse 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 27, Brian Shouse 4, Grant Balfour 4, Joe Nelson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34235
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Greg Gibson