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Sabathia knocks Rangers down for count, 13th win


• Coming up aces: Sabathia (13-4) bounced back from allowing 13 runs while losing his two previous July starts, giving up three earned runs and striking out two.

• Unsung hero: Grady Sizemore made a marvelous, multiple-run-saving catch in the fourth and then knocked the ball 419 feet over the fence for a go-ahead homer in the following innning.


• Goat: Kameron Loe (5-8) was clobbered for six runs, six hits and four walks in six innings to take the loss.


• Quotable: "I was having a hard time seeing the ball, really. I kind of thought he popped it up, and it kind of got behind me a little bit. I just tried to get back there and catch it."
-- Sizemore, talking about his nice recovery to snare Travis Metcalf's wind-blown flyball against the wall.

-- ESPN.com news services

Indians 7, Rangers 5

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia got plenty of help to
become the first 13-game winner in the major leagues.

While it was another shaky start for Sabathia, Cleveland's ace
left-hander was backed by Grady Sizemore -- who contributed with his
bat and his glove -- and a rally killing defensive play by Josh
Barfield in the Indians' 7-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on
Thursday night.

"I give credit to all these guys. They did the work," Sabathia
said. "I kind of kept us above water and then just tried to make
sure we stayed in there. These guys definitely deserve all the
credit for this one."

Sabathia, who allowed 13 runs in 11 innings while losing his two previous July starts, squandered a 4-0 lead against the Rangers.
That was before Sizemore's long tiebreaking home run leading off
the fifth.

Two days before his 27th birthday, Sabathia (13-4) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings with two strikeouts and a walk.
The three-time All-Star left-hander had a throwing error that led
to an unearned run.

"He had to work real hard for it, but he never gave into it,"
manager Eric Wedge said. "That goes a long way with me. That goes
a long way for us. ... Ultimately, he left the game with us in the
lead."

An inning before his 16th homer, a 419-foot shot that made it
5-4, Sizemore made a nice recovery in center field to catch Travis
Metcalf's wind-blown flyball against the wall. The Rangers had the
bases loaded when Sizemore took a step in, then raced back to make
the catch.

"I was having a hard time seeing the ball, really," Sizemore
said. "I kind of thought he popped it up, and it kind of got
behind me a little bit. I just tried to get back there and catch it."

Sizemore did and only one run scored on the play before Kenny Lofton hit a hard short-hopper up the middle. Barfield, the second
baseman, fielded the ball from his knee and made the relay to start
an inning-ending double play.

"That's a play you look back on. He made a heck of a play on
it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We could have used
some luck tonight."

Joe Borowski gave up Mark Teixeira's RBI single in the ninth before picking up his 27th save in 30 chances.

Kameron Loe (5-8) allowed six runs and six hits over six innings. He lost his second straight start since a career-best
four-game winning streak.

After Sizemore's homer, Casey Blake got a triple when his
sinking liner got past diving left fielder Brad Wilkerson. Blake
came home on a strange 4-6-3 RBI groundout by Ryan Garko that
initially appeared to be an inning-ending double play.

Ramon Vazquez, playing shortstop with Michael Young away to
attend a family funeral, was to the side of the base when he caught
the relay from Jerry Hairston and made the throw to get Garko out
at first. The runner at second was safe, allowing Blake to score.

The Indians loaded the bases in the second before Trot Nixon's
two-run double. Ben Francisco had a sacrifice fly before Sizemore's
two-out RBI single made it 4-0.

"It's hard to recover from a four-run inning. A lot of my
losses have been because of one bad inning," Loe said. "I've been
getting run support. If I can eliminate the big inning, I'll be all
right."

Texas got three runs back in the bottom of the second -- all
after two outs. Wilkerson had a double before Gerald Laird's
two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Vazquez hit the next pitch
into the right-center gap for a double and came home on Metcalf's
bunt single when Sabathia threw the ball wide of first base.

Wilkerson had a leadoff walk in the fourth before consecutive
bunt singles by Laird and Vazquez, who beat out the throw on an
attempted sacrifice bunt. Vazquez finished 3-for-4.

Game notes
Lofton, the 40-year-old center fielder, made a running
over-the-shoulder basket catch near the wall on Jhonny Peralta's
flyball to end the seventh. ... Garko extended a 13-game hitting
streak with a leadoff ground-rule double in the eighth. He scored
when Francisco singled. ... C Laird leads the AL with nine bunt
singles. ... The last batter Sabathia faced was No. 9 hitter
Metcalf, who flew out to end a 13-pitch at-bat with two men on for
the final out in the sixth.