CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Indians didn't get to bed until the wee
hours of morning. They never woke up.
Jorge Cantu homered and had three RBI, Mark Hendrickson
survived a miserable start and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays snapped a
four-game losing streak with an 8-6 win over sluggish and sloppy
Cleveland on Friday night.
The Indians hardly played like the same team which just went 6-0
during a road trip to Detroit and Kansas City, vaulting them to
within 2½ games of Los Angeles in the AL wild-card chase.
Cleveland equaled a season high with four errors -- a fifth was
taken away by the official scorer after the game -- and couldn't
come up with the big hit in several clutch situations. The Indians,
who didn't arrive home until 3 a.m. Friday, foiled potential
rallies by grounding into four double plays, including one by Aaron
Boone to end the game, and stranded 11 runners.
"We played like got in at 3:30 in the morning, that's for
sure," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We had an off-day."
Cantu hit a two-run single in Tampa Bay's six-run second inning
and added a solo homer, his 16th, in the fourth off Jake Westbrook
(10-13) as the Devil Rays improved to 16-11 since the All-Star
break -- the AL's fourth-best mark.
More impressively, Tampa Bay is now 8-8 on the road since July
14 after going 8-35 in road games in the season's first half.
Travis Lee also homered for the young and improving Devil Rays,
who came in as the AL's poorest defensive team but turned the
double plays that turned the game.
"It seemed like we were in trouble in every inning," Tampa Bay
manager Lou Piniella said. "But we had the knack for getting out
Hendrickson (7-7) gave up three runs and five hits in the first,
but left the bases loaded. The 6-foot-9 lefty, who once played for
the Cleveland Cavaliers, squirmed out of other trouble, getting
inning-ending double plays in the fourth and fifth.
Hendrickson made it through 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs
and 12 hits.
"I kind of labored in the first," he said. "But our offense
did a great job. They turned around and put up that six spot. That
kind of fired me up."
Danys Baez work the ninth for his 24th save.
Down 3-0 after one, these Devil Rays, unlike Devil Rays teams of
the past, bounced back and scored six times off Westbrook. The
right-hander became uncharacteristically rattled after shortstop
Jhonny Peralta booted a potential double-play ball on Alex
Gonzalez's grounder, allowing a run to score.
Westbrook then walked Pete Laforest and Joey Gathright, Tampa's
No. 8 and 9 hitters, to force in another run. Julio Lugo's RBI
single tied it at 3 before Cantu's two-run single made it 5-3.
Aubrey Huff's sacrifice fly capped the six-run outburst off
Westbrook, whose hole got deeper in the third when he gave up a
leadoff homer to Lee, his fifth, to make it 7-3.
"It was important to answer right away, especially when you're
on the road," Piniella said. "We swung the bats well. That was a
nice inning for us."
Westbrook couldn't blame a late night for his poor outing. He
came back to Cleveland ahead of his teammates.
"I didn't have an excuse," he said. "I flew in early. I made
some bad pitches and the walks kind of killed me."
Westbrook, who had gone 4-0 in his last four starts, was charged
with six runs and eight hits in four innings, his shortest stint in
Back from the road, the Indians didn't waste any time getting
cozy at home, scoring three runs in the first on Peralta's RBI
single and Belliard's two-run double.
The clubs were playing for the first time since May 23 of
last season. ... Casey Blake narrowly missed hitting the Indians'
third grand slam in three games. With the bases loaded in the
first, Blake's drive toward the corner in right was only foul by a
few feet. ... Cantu was in a 3-for-23 slump before his single in
the second. ... The Indians fell to 27-28 at home. Their 36-25 road
record is the AL's second best. ... Cleveland RHP Fernando Cabrera
struck out a career-high six, also a season high for an Indians