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Indians edge Devil Rays, tie for wild-card lead

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Indians turned an error and the
absence of a ninth-inning balk call against Bob Wickman into
another victory.

Coco Crisp hit a two-run triple in a three-run, seventh inning,
and the Indians extended their winning streak to six by overcoming
a four-run deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-4 Tuesday
night.

"We just have to prepare and focus the same way, regardless of
who we're playing and where we're playing," Indians manager Eric
Wedge said.

Casey Blake homered for Cleveland, which won its ninth straight
road game. The Indians moved ahead of Oakland into second in the AL
wild card race, less than a percentage point behind the New York
Yankees.

Cleveland closed to 4-3 in the seventh when third baseman Alex
Gonzalez was charged with an error for misplaying Grady Sizemore's
two-out grounder against Trever Miller (1-2) with runners on second
and third. Crisp then tripled off Joe Borowski for a 5-4 lead.

Wickman, the third Indians reliever, retired Jorge Cantu on a
grounder back to the mound with runners on second and third for his
33rd save in 38 opportunities. Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella
argued with the umpires after it appeared Wickman did not stop
while getting into the stretch position as Julio Lugo, the runner
at third, faked a dash toward the plate with Cantu batting.

"He didn't stop," Lugo said. "It was obvious. Another call
against the Devil Rays. Another call, another game. I asked the
third base umpire. He said he didn't see anything. They just missed
the play."

After Cantu was retired, Piniella left the dugout again and
yelled at the umpires as they walked off the field.

"That was about as blatant a balk as I've ever seen in my
life," Piniella said. "They all said he stopped. Anyway, we
missed a lot of scoring opportunities and we didn't make a play.
That was the ballgame."

Wickman thought he paused long enough.

"I took the sign, I came up, quick pause and quick threw a
pitch up and away," Wickman said.

Wedge agreed.

"It was just a quick pitch," the manager said. "Wickman is a
guy that varies his times, varies his looks. That's the way he
pitches."

Jake Westbrook (12-13) gave up four runs -- all in the first --
and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings. He has won six of his last seven
starts.

"Down the stretch, everything counts, so I had to relax and
settle down," Westbrook said. "It was a big win."

Damon Hollins had a two-run single during a four-run first for
the Devil Rays, who lost for only the third time in the last 11
games. Aubrey Huff had an RBI double and Jonny Gomes drove in a run
with a single.

Cleveland closed to 4-1 in the second on Jose Hernandez's
sacrifice fly, and Blake hit a solo homer in the third.

Tampa Bay starter Mark Hendrickson allowed two runs and five
hits in six innings. He matched a career-high with seven
strikeouts.

Game notes
The Indians recalled LHP Brian Tallet from Triple-A Buffalo
and optioned RHP Andrew Brown to the International League club. ...
Tampa Bay CF Joey Gathright (sore left shoulder) was out of the
lineup and is day to day. He was hurt crashing into the wall after
making a running catch Monday on a drive by Cleveland SS Jhonny
Peralta. ... Devil Rays LF Carl Crawford stopped an 0-for-13 slide
with a fifth-inning single. ... Peralta struck out in all three of
his at-bats against Hendrickson. ... Borowski did allow two
inherited runners to score, but worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings.
That extended his shutout streak to a team-record 18 2-3 innings.