Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 9/28)

Game 1: Thursday, September 28
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Cleveland5
Game 2: Friday, September 29
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Cleveland2
Game 3: Saturday, September 30
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Cleveland6
Game 4: Sunday, October 1
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Devil Rays 4

(61-98, 20-58 away)

Indians 5

(75-84, 41-37 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 28, 2006

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

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    TB 301000000 4 11 0
    CLE 00002030 - 5 9 0

    W: P. Byrd (10-9)

    L: R. Lugo (2-4)

    S: R. Betancourt (3)

    Garko sparks late three-run rally, lifts Tribe past Devil Rays

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays can't find a way to win on the road.

    Ryan Garko doubled home the go-ahead run in a three-run seventh inning to help the Cleveland Indians rally to a 5-4 victory Thursday night, dropping the Devil Rays to 3-28 on the road since the All-Star break.

    Elias Says
    Cleveland Indians
    The Indians fell behind 4-0 against the Devil Rays, and you couldn't blame the home crowd if it had no hope. Cleveland entered the contest with one win this season in a game in which it trailed by four or more runs, tying them with the Dodgers and Cubs for the lowest total in the majors. But the Indians rallied to beat Tampa Bay 5-4.

    • For more Elias Says, click here

    Grady Sizemore and Andy Marte hit two-run homers and Paul Byrd (10-9) won for the first time in five September starts for Cleveland.

    The Devil Rays, coming off the largest shutout win in team history, 11-0 on Wednesday night in Boston, again failed to win consecutive road games for the first time since June 16-17 at Philadelphia.

    "I don't know why we can't win on the road," manager Joe Maddon said. "I have no explanation."

    Tampa Bay must win all three remaining games in Cleveland to avoid becoming the first team in history to lose 99 games while posting a winning home record.

    "We just fail to execute on the road -- obviously quite a bit," designated hitter Greg Norton said. "It's not like we are thinking about it. We just don't get things done."

    Sizemore hit the first pitch from reliever Jon Switzer for his 28th homer, a two-run shot in the seventh inning that tied it at 4.

    Ruddy Lugo (2-4) then walked Jason Michaels, who scored on Garko's double into the left-field corner. It gave the rookie first baseman 21 RBI in his last 20 games.

    "Guys in front of me keep getting on base," Garko said. "I just try to get a pitch and hit it."

    Matt Miller pitched a scoreless eighth and Rafael Betancourt worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for his third save.

    He gave up consecutive singles to Ben Zobrist and Rocco Baldelli, who stole second base as Carl Crawford struck out. Betancourt then intentionally walked Norton with one out to load the bases and struck out Ty Wigginton and Jorge Cantu on six pitches to end the threat.

    "That was amazing," Byrd said. "I can't say enough about my teammates."

    The right-hander was not as happy with his own performance after allowing four runs and eight hits over seven innings to improve to 2-3 in 12 starts since July 25.

    "It feels good to win, but it's just a small feel-good," said Byrd, who expressed appreciation for fan support despite a disappointing season by flinging his jersey to a youngster sitting behind the Indians' dugout after the game.

    "The Cleveland fans have been great," said Byrd, who was signed to a two-year, $14.25 million contract as a free agent last December by general manager Mark Shapiro.

    "Shapiro put his confidence in me and I felt like I couldn't answer," Byrd said. "I have to figure out why and that starts tomorrow, so I can get it done next season."

    Norton hit a two-run homer, his 16th, with one out in the Tampa Bay first. Cantu added an RBI double later in the inning for a 3-0 lead.

    In the third, Norton singled and scored on Wigginton's triple off the left-field wall to make it 4-0.

    Joe Inglett singled and scored on Marte's fifth homer to get Cleveland within 4-2 in the fifth against Devil Rays starter J.P. Howell.

    Howell extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings before yielding the homer to Marte. The left-hander allowed two runs and six hits over five innings.

    Game notes


    The Devil Rays have led in 120 games this year but have lost an AL-record 59 times after holding a lead. The NL record is 66 blown-lead losses by the 1998 Florida Marlins. ... Sizemore has scored 133 runs, tying Hall of Famer Tris Speaker (1933) for fifth most in Indians history in a season. ... Cantu is 26-for-109 (.239) with runners in scoring position this season, after batting .325 in that situation in 2005.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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