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Indians finish interleague with 15-3 record

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Despite getting the day off, Victor Martinez
knew he might be needed as a pinch-hitter.

Martinez singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning,
leading the Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds
on Sunday.

"It was kind of a day off for me, but I stayed ready," said
Martinez, who is 7-for-15 (.467) with five RBI in his career
pinch-hitting.

Cleveland completed interleague play with a major league-best
15-3 record and improved to 22-10 overall since May 21.

The Reds went 7-8 against the American League, but have lost 14
of 16 road games to drop to 7-26 away from home overall.

Jody Gerut opened the eighth with a bloop double that fell in
front of left-fielder Adam Dunn.

"As soon as he hit it, I froze," said Dunn. "By the time I
saw it, it was too late. The glare was bad the entire game."

Gerut moved to third on a grounder, but could not score when
Alex Cora grounded right to second baseman Rich Aurilia for the
second out. Martinez, batting for Josh Bard, fouled off four
consecutive 1-2 pitches from David Weathers (4-1) before hitting a
2-2 pitch between first and second to score Gerut.

"I kept throwing him sinker after sinker that he fouled off,"
Weathers said. "I came in off the plate a little and he muscled it
out there. It was a great at-bat."

Martinez extended his hitting streak to eight games during which
he has hit .464 (13-for-28) with nine RBI.

"I'm feeling better, more comfortable swinging," said
Martinez, a .284 career hitter who is hitting just .239 overall and
went to the plate with only a .207 average from the left side this
year.

"He kept throwing it away, away, then I was able to get my
hands through on an inside pitch," he said. "I was lucky it found
a hole."

Bob Howry (5-2) got the final out of the eighth inning and Bob
Wickman worked the ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances. It was
Wickman's 100th save with Cleveland and 190th of his career.

Cleveland took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Grady Sizemore doubled
and advanced to third on a bunt single by Coco Crisp. After Hafner
struck out, Ben Broussard hit a one-hopper back to Aaron Harang, who hesitated before throwing to second to force Crisp. That
cost the Reds a chance at a double play, and Sizemore scored
easily.

"I turned and nobody was at the bag," Harang said. "I didn't
want to throw it into center field. I had to wait for somebody to
get there."

Shortstop Felipe Lopez viewed it differently.

"I guess he didn't have a good grip on the ball, so he took an
extra step," he said. "I was there. He just didn't have the
ball."

The Reds tied it in the eighth off Arthur Rhodes, who gave up a
single to Sean Casey and walked Ken Griffey Jr. before getting Joe
Randa to ground into a double play. Dunn then shattered his bat on
a grounder right at second baseman Ronnie Belliard, who misplayed
it for an error as Casey scored.

Indians starter C.C. Sabathia gave up two runs over five innings
as he bounced back from two terrible starts in which he had allowed
15 runs over eight innings, raising his ERA from 3.91 to 4.66.

The left-hander battled through a rocky -- but scoreless -- first
inning in which he made 31 pitches, gave up one hit, one walk and
went to a 3-2 count on all five batters he faced. With two runners
on, he struck out Casey and Griffey, then got Randa to foul out and
end the threat.

The Reds broke through in the second. Wily Mo Pena hit a one-out
single and scored when Jason LaRue hit his sixth homer on a 3-1
pitch to put Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

Hafner tied it with a two-run double with the bases loaded in
the third.

Game notes
The attendance of 29,335 gave the Indians a three-game
series total of 99,005 against their intrastate rivals. ...
Cleveland leads the all-time series 23-16. ... Indians 3B Casey
Blake went 0-for-3 to snap his 11-game hitting streak. ... In six
interleague games in AL ballparks, Reds designated hitters combined
to hit .136 (3-for-22) with one homer and one RBI. ... Reds LHP
Brian Shackelford made his big-league debut and struck out the
first batter he faced -- Sizemore.