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Indians wallop Rays

Indians wallop Rays
Indians 11

Rays 7

St. Petersburg, Fla. - The Indians did two things Thursday night at Tropicana Field many thought could not be done.

In beating the defending AL champion Rays, 11-7, they not only made a 9-0 lead stand up, but actually won two straight games for just the second time this season.

"It's good to win two straight," said winning pitcher Fausto Carmona. "Maybe we can win tomorrow and the next day, too."

This one belonged to the offense. Asdrubal Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo, the second, third and fourth hitters in the lineup, went a combined 12-for-15 with eight runs and nine RBI. Cabrera went 4-for-5 with four runs and two RBI. He reached base five straight times.

Martinez and Choo went 4-for-5 as well. Martinez drove in four runs and Choo three. The Indians finished the game with 18 hits.

"You're talking about your No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, right there," said manager Eric Wedge. "That's over the top."

Carmona (2-4, 5.70) entered the sixth with a 9-0 lead, but he combined with Matt Herges to give up six runs in the inning to let the Rays back in the game. Ben Zobrist hit a three-run homer off Herges to start the alarm bells ringing in the Tribe's fragile bullpen.

"I didn't care about the 9-0 lead," said Carmona. "I don't know what changed in that inning. The ball was moving too much."

Carmona allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

It's the fifth time in eight starts that he's had more walks than strikeouts.

"Fausto was as good as we've seen him this season for the first five innings," said Wedge. "I think when you get a big lead like that, there's a tendency to change what you're doing. The true test of discipline is to pitch the same no matter what the score. Fausto will learn from that."

The Indians used two runs on four straight hits in the eighth to put the Rays away for good. Grady Sizemore opened with a bloop single and scored on Cabrera's triple. Martinez singled home Cabrera, who is hitting .336 (45-for-134).

"I feel comfortable at the plate," said Cabrera. "I'm swinging at strikes and making the pitcher bring the ball up."

James Shields (3-4, 3.98) allowed five runs, two earned, on 10 hits in five innings to take the loss. He is 0-3 lifetime against the Indians .

It's the first time the Indians have won consecutive games since April 15-16.

"I think we're going to start winning more games now," said Cabrera.

Seven of the Tribe's first nine runs came with two out. They scored three two-out runs in the fifth, two of them coming on Martinez's first of two doubles. They added four two-out runs in the sixth, two of them coming on Choo's fourth homer of the season. Choo's first homer since April 19 almost hit the back wall of Tropicana Field in right field.

"I hit that good," said Choo.

Matt LaPorta started the three-run fifth and four-run sixth with singles. Martinez doubled him home in the fifth. In the sixth, with two out, LaPorta stole second for his first big-league steal and scored on Cabrera's double.

Carmona walked B.J. Upton and Gabe Kapler to start the sixth. Upton scored on a wild pitch after stealing second and third. Kapler scored on Willy Aybar's single. When Gabe Gross doubled to make it 9-3, Herges relieved and promptly gave up a three-run homer to Zobrist on a 1-2 pitch. He retired the next five batters he faced.

"It looked like Matt left a pitch over to Zobrist, but after that he did a great job," said Wedge. "He got five straight [outs] when the momentum was starting to shift in the game."

Aaron Laffey pitched the last two innings, allowing one run on one hit.

The Rays went to the World Series last year, but the Indians usually play well against them. After they gave up the season last year by trading CC Sabathia in July, the Indians swept the Rays right before the All-Star break to ignite their second half rally. They are 61-28 lifetime against Tampa Bay and 20-5 since 2006.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-5158

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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