Indians 5, Giants 3
Blake had two hits, including a three-run homer, and the Indians completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 5-3 victory Sunday.
The Giants, then in New York, swept the Indians in the 1954 World Series— the last time these teams met.
The Indians weren’t thinking about the Polo Grounds though. They were thinking a successful road trip might have put them back in the AL Central race as they head home to continue interleague play. Cleveland crept a game over .500 for the first time since last Aug. 31.
“I don’t know if it’s too early to look at the standings but when you go on streaks like this you hope the other guys falter,” Blake said. “It can get frustrating if the teams ahead of you win when you win.”
Cliff Lee (7-3) allowed five hits over seven innings to win for the third time in four decisions as the Indians completed their second series sweep of the season, and their first on the road.
The Indians swept the Oakland Athletics at home from May 27-29 before beginning their season-high 12-game road trip, which they finished at 7-5.
“We have done a lot better job of swinging the bat,” Lee said. “The offense has turned it around a little bit on this trip.”
Cleveland, 7-2 in interleague play, has won six of its last seven to improve to 20-17 away from Jacobs Field.
Lee gave up three runs—one earned—with a walk and four strikeouts. He improved to 6-1 on the road. Matt Miller pitched the eighth and Bob Wickman got the last three outs for his 17th save in 20 chances.
“I was locating my fastball pretty good,” Lee said. “My curve wasn’t there for me so Victor (Martinez) decided to use my other pitches. That worked well enough.”
Kirk Rueter (2-5) dropped his third straight decision after giving up five runs and six hits through six innings. He walked four and struck out two.
“I felt pretty good,” Rueter said. “I made one bad pitch where Blake could hit it. If I keep it 2-0, you never know what might happen.”
The Giants have lost 14 of 16, and finished their homestand with a 1-5 mark.
San Francisco fell behind early in all five losses, and never held a lead against the Indians.
“It’s nice to start against a pitcher like Rueter who is not overpowering,” Blake said. “It was a matter of getting a good pitch and putting it in play.”
The Giants scored a pair of unearned runs in the sixth to make it 5-2. Jason Ellison was safe on Peralta’s throwing error to open the inning, and eventually scored on Lance Niekro’s sacrifice fly. Moises Alou hit a two-out double and scored when Peralta committed his second throwing error of the inning on a grounder hit by Ray Durham.
Mike Matheny’s sixth home run of the year, a solo shot with one out in the seventh, made it 5-3.
Indians RHP Kevin Millwood (strained right groin) is scheduled to come off the DL to make Thursday’s start against Colorado. … Giant starters are 1-10 with a 7.05 ERA in the last 16 games. … Peralta has nine errors in 46 games. … Michael Tucker had a pinch-hit single in the ninth for the Giants. It was his 1,000th career hit. … RHP Jim Brower was released after the game and RHP Jesse Foppert recalled from San Jose of the California League.