AMERICAN LEAGUE Long ball sparks big inning, rallies Tribe past Tampa Bay
C.C. Sabathia earned his 12th win of the season.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- This time, C.C. Sabathia needed the Cleveland Indians offense's help.
Jody Gerut and Travis Hafner homered during a six-run seventh inning Saturday as the Indians came from behind to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 7-5.
Sabathia (12-7) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings. He gave up three homers, which tied a career high.
"The guys swung the bats well and picked me up," Sabathia said. "That was great. We ended up getting a win."
Casey Blake had a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh for the Indians, who are 12-6 since Aug. 6.
"It was a great comeback victory," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I was happy we were able to comeback for C.C. He's picked us up so many times this year."
Tampa Bay starter Rob Bell held a 5-0 lead and had retired nine straight before Gerut opened the seventh with a homer.
After Ryan Ludwick walked, Hafner then ended Bell's night with a two-run shot that got the Indians within 5-3.
Matt Lawton made it a one-run game on an RBI grounder before Blake's two-run single put Cleveland ahead 6-5.
Hafner also hit a solo homer in the eighth to give the Indians a 7-5 lead. It was his first multihomer game.
"When guys get hits, everybody else gets confidence," Hafner said. "You start to get some guys on base, the team feeds off that."
David Riske pitched the ninth for his second save in seven opportunities.
Bell allowed three runs and five hits over six-plus innings. Loser Brandon Backe (1-1) gave up three runs, one hit and two walks while getting one out.
"The bullpen came in and didn't get the job done," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We walked four in that inning. We're going to spring training next year and guys that can't throw strikes aren't going north."
Adam Piatt had a pair of solo homers for Tampa Bay, which has dropped four straight. They were his first two homers since being claimed off waivers from Oakland last Tuesday.
"A win would have been better," Piatt said.
Julio Lugo ended Sabathia's bid for consecutive shutouts by hitting a leadoff homer in the first. The left-hander blanked Tampa Bay on just four hits in Cleveland's 1-0 win on Aug. 15.
"I struggled throwing fastballs for strikes," Sabathia said. "My breaking ball was good. My change up was leaving the yard quick."
Crisp cf4110Lugo ss5111
Lawton dh4001Rolls lf4000
Blake 3b5032Baldelli cf4000
Gerut rf4111Huff dh4020
Ldwick lf3100Piatt rf4222
Hafner 1b4233TLee 1b4110
Brssrd 1b0000Hall c4011
Bard c4110Sndbrg 3b3000
Peralta ss4000Crwfrd ph1000
JMcDld 2b3110Perez 2b1110
E--Bard (3). LOB--Cleveland 6, Tampa Bay 5. 2B--Blake (31), TLee (31), Hall (16). 3B--Perez (1). HR--Gerut (15), THafner 2 (10), Lugo (9), Piatt 2 (6). SB--Lawton (9), Blake (6). CS--Crisp (7), JMcDonald (3).
Backe L,1-1 1-313321
RBell pitched to 3 batters in the 7th. WP--DBaez, Backe. PB--Hall. Umpires--Home, Brian O'Nora; First, Phil Cuzzi; Second, Dan Iassogna; Third, Jerry Crawford. T--2:41. A--18,805.