Indians 7, Devil Rays 5

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Cleveland Indians have finally figured out a formula for winning: score more runs.

Ryan Ludwick had a pair of run-scoring singles as the Indians completed a three-game sweep by beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-5 Sunday.

The Indians have won 13 of 19 since Aug. 6. Since May 1, Cleveland is two-games under .500 at 51-53.

“We’re putting up more runs than we were and we’re winning,” Ludwick said.

Ludwick has played an important role offensively. He is 15-for-49 with four homers and 15 RBIs over his past 11 games.

Jake Westbrook (6-7) gave up four runs and nine hits over five innings.

“He had to work very hard to get through the five innings,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He was aggressive at the times he needed to be aggressive. When everything is not clicking for you and you still battle through five innings and put your team in position to win, that says a lot about a guy.”

David Riske pitched a perfect ninth for his third save. He has given up one run over his last 14 2-3 innings.

Marlon Anderson and Aubrey Huff drove in two runs each for Tampa Bay, which has lost five straight. The Devil Rays have allowed 36 runs during the skid.

“Cleveland, they’re pretty much like us,” Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford said. “Scrappy, just trying to get on. Everybody trying to do their part.”

Tampa Bay went 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

“We still put five runs on the board,” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “A few base hits here, a few base hits there, you score seven, eight, nine runs.”

Ludwick and Tim Laker had RBI singles during a four-run fifth that gave Cleveland a 7-3 lead. Jhonny Peralta and Coco Crisp added sacrifice fly’s.

Consecutive RBI singles by Casey Blake, Jody Gerut and Ludwick put the Indians up 3-0 in the third.

“With this ballclub, it seems like every day we have a guy who comes out in the lineup and has a big day,” Ludwick said. “When you have that, it’s a good feeling.”

Tampa Bay tied it in the bottom of the third on run-scoring singles by Huff, Rocco Baldelli and Anderson.

The Indians had five straight singles to start the third. The first four Tampa Bay hitters had singles in the bottom half. The teams combined for 10 singles overall during the inning.

Anderson picked up his second RBI on a grounder in the fifth that got the Devil Rays within 7-4.

Huff made it 7-5 in the seventh on his 23rd homer. That equals his career high set last season.

Tampa Bay starter Jeremi Gonzalez (6-6) gave up seven runs and 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings. The right-hander had allowed just eight runs over his previous 29 innings.

“When it’s not your day, you can throw anywhere and they’re going to hit it,” Gonzalez said. When it’s your day, you can throw it anywhere and they’regoing to miss.”


Gonzalez is returning home to Venezuela to be with his wife, who recently underwent surgery. He will rejoin the team on Thursday. … Blake has 14 RBIs over his past 12 games. … Crawford went 4-for-5. He stole second in the first and sixth and has an AL-best 43 stolen bases. … The Indians signed INF Benji Gil to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo. … Gonzalez hit two batters. Tampa Bay, which set a major league record with94 last year, has hit 75 batters this season.

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