Series: Game 2 of 3

Cleveland leads 2-0 (as of 5/15)

Game 1: Friday, May 14
Tampa Bay7Final
in 10
Game 2: Saturday, May 15
Tampa Bay7Final
Game 3: Sunday, May 16
Tampa Bay0Final

Devil Rays 7

(10-25, 3-16 away)

Indians 9

(16-19, 10-7 home)

    1:05 PM ET, May 15, 2004

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 012100102 7 10 1
    CLE 24200010 - 9 8 0

    W: J. Westbrook (3-1)

    L: V. Zambrano (3-4)

    Devil Rays have lost seven straight road games

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Victor Martinez seems to enjoy batting cleanup for the Cleveland Indians.

    Martinez drove in a career-high five runs and the Indians held on to defeat Tampa Bay 9-7 on Saturday, extending the Devil Rays' road losing streak to seven games.

    "Victor thrives in RBI situations," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He had one of the best at-bats of the season."

    That came when Martinez fouled off several pitches before lining an opposite-field, three-run double in a four-run second inning.

    "I saw the way they were pitching me," Martinez said of his drive to left-center. "They didn't throw anything inside, they worked fastballs and sinkers away, away, so I just went with it."

    Martinez had an RBI double in the third and added a sacrifice fly. He had a chance for more RBI in the seventh, but was intentionally walked with runners on second and third.

    The switch-hitting catcher finished 2-for-3 and has 18 RBI in 11 games since being moved into the cleanup spot.

    "It's just another spot in the lineup," said Martinez, batting .270 with six homers and 27 RBI overall. "Whether I am hitting fourth, seventh or eighth, I try to put a swing on the ball. Then anything can happen."

    Jake Westbrook (3-1) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander improved to 3-0 in four starts since beginning the year in the bullpen.

    "I wasn't as sharp, but it sure does help when the offense gets so many runs," Westbrook said. "When I got in trouble, I tried to limit it."

    Jose Jimenez allowed consecutive two-out RBI singles in the ninth to Julio Lugo and Aubrey Huff before getting Rocco Baldelli to ground out to end it.

    The Devil Rays dropped to 3-16 on the road. Tampa Bay has lost 11 straight road series since taking two of three games in Seattle on Aug. 26-28. Since the start of last season, Tampa Bay is 30-70 on the road.

    "The amazing thing is we're starting to swing the bats better and now we're having problems on the pitching side," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "The only other thing that can go wrong once we start hitting and pitching together is our fielding."

    Matt Lawton gave the Indians a fast start with a leadoff homer in the first against Victor Zambrano (3-4). Martinez's sacrifice fly later in the inning made it 2-0.

    Robert Fick made it 2-1 with a sac fly in the second.

    The Indians took a five-run lead in the bottom of the second. After Martinez's three-run double, Cleveland loaded the bases and scored when reliever Travis Harper hit Ben Broussard in the left foot with a pitch.

    Huff and Baldelli hit consecutive RBI doubles in the third to bring Tampa Bay within 6-3.

    Jody Gerut and Martinez made it a five-run lead again with consecutive RBI doubles in the bottom half.

    "We left a lot of runners on base (13), but scoring nine runs ain't bad," said Gerut, who went 2-for-3 and stretched his career-high hitting streak to 17 games. "I'll take that. The offense is clicking."

    Jose Cruz Jr. lined Westbrook's first pitch of the fourth into Tampa Bay's bullpen for his fifth homer to make it 8-4.

    Brook Fordyce doubled to open the seventh for Tampa Bay, advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch by Westbrook.

    Pinch-hitter Lou Merloni was hit by the first pitch from Tampa Bay reliever Trever Miller with the bases loaded in the seventh to make it 9-5.

    Zambrano gave up six runs and four hits over 1 1-3 innings. He tied a career high with seven walks, and had a few words for plate umpire Gerry Davis when he left.

    "What happened out there was my fault," Zambrano said. "I was fighting with my mechanics and I'm not going to talk about that."

    Game notes

    Rain delayed the start for 1 hour, 15 minutes. ... Cleveland lefty Cliff Bartosh struck out three in 1 2-3 hitless innings in his major league debut. ... Cleveland has scored in the first inning in 10 of its last 12 games. ... The Indians have outscored opponents 29-7 in the second inning overall. ... Indians OF Coco Crisp left six runners stranded in the first two innings. ... The Indians drew 12 walks for the first time since 1996. The 12 walks tied a Devil Rays team record for the most given up in a game. ... Lugo is 7-for-14 with four doubles and eight RBI in his last three games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press