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INDIANS Tampa trashes Tribe, 13-3



Published: Thu, August 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Cleveland is less than a percentage point behind in the wild card race.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Travis Lee hurt the Cleveland Indians again.

Lee drove in a season-high four runs and Seth McClung won his third straight start as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Indians 13-3 on Wednesday night to stop their six-game winning streak.

"It was a lot of fun," said Lee, who had 11 RBIs over his previous 50 games. "We got great pitching by McClung, and the offense did well."

The Devil Rays have won four of six against Cleveland this season. Lee had a pinch-hit homer off closer Bob Wickman in the ninth inning of Tampa Bay's 1-0 win over the Indians on Aug. 14.

"Travis has been swinging the bat since the break," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "He's been productive, he really has. It's good to see. He's worked hard at it."

Not satisfied

Victor Martinez homered and had two RBIs for the Indians, who are less than a percentage point behind the New York Yankees and Oakland in the AL wild-card race. Cleveland had won nine straight on the road.

"I'm not happy because I hit a homer," Martinez said. "When I'm happy is when I help my team win, and we didn't do that today."

Lee had an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the third off Scott Elarton (7-7).

Lee went 2-for-2 against Elarton after having one hit in his previous 11 at-bats against the right-hander. Lee's fourth RBI came on a groundout the eighth.

McClung (5-7) allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings for Tampa Bay, which has won nine of 12. Over his past three outings -- two against Cleveland -- he has given up five runs in 19 1-3 innings.

"My performance, it's nothing compared to what those guys did today," McClung said of Tampa Bay's hitters. "It's about them. Tonight those guys went out there and shined. I just tried to get them back up there as quick as I could."

Busy boys

Aubrey Huff had a sacrifice fly in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth for the Devil Rays, who finished with 16 hits and scored in every inning but the fifth.

Elarton gave up seven runs and nine hits in 32/3 innings. He is 0-2 in his last four starts, both losses to Tampa Bay.

"It's just one of those days," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "We just didn't have a very good day. We've got to put it behind us and be ready to go tomorrow."

RBI singles by Jorge Cantu and Lee put the Devil Rays ahead 2-0 in the first. Cantu has four homers and eight RBIs in six games against Cleveland this season.

Alex Gonzalez made it 3-0 with a run-scoring double in the second.

Third-inning runs

Casey Blake hit an RBI single and Martinez had a sacrifice fly for Cleveland in the third, but the Devil Rays got the runs back in the bottom of the inning on Lee's two-run double.

Carl Crawford drove in a run with his 14th triple of the season and then scored on Huff's sacrifice fly that extended the Devil Rays lead to 7-2 in the fourth.

Martinez hit a solo homer in the sixth. Huff connected for his two-run shot off Brian Tallet in the bottom of the inning.

"They swung the bats pretty good, they scored a lot of run," Indians second baseman Ronnie Belliard said. "We've got to come back tomorrow and do the same thing."




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