Indians 10, Phillies 6
CLEVELAND (AP)—Casey Blake is more relaxed since his 26-game hitting streak ended—and still coming up with timely hits.
Blake put Cleveland ahead with a two-run single in an eight-run sixth inning and the Indians beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-6 Wednesday night.
“I was kind of hoping that hit would lead to something bigger,” said Blake, whose streak—longest in the majors this year—was stopped Monday. “If I went up in that situation needing a hit to keep the streak alive, I have to admit it would be in the back of my mind. I was more focused, more relaxed.”
C.C. Sabathia (10-2) pitched six innings to help Cleveland take two of three and remain tied with Detroit for the AL Central lead. Sabathia joined Josh Beckett of Boston and John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels as the majors’ only 10-game winners.
The left-hander also matched Hall of Famer Addie Joss as the only pitchers in Indians history with 10 or more victories in seven consecutive seasons. Joss did it in 1902-09.
“If I win 20 and we get to the playoffs, I’m very happy,” Sabathia said. “If I only win one more and we get to the playoffs, I’m still happy.”
Jon Lieber (3-5) left due to a strained right ankle after yielding Blake’s hit between short and third that put Cleveland ahead 5-4.
“I twisted it more than anything,” said Lieber, who stumbled as he ran off the mound to back up home plate. “I had it looked at and everything is stable. I iced it and I’ll ice it again tomorrow.
“I was worried. It didn’t feel that good. I hadn’t had something pop like that in a long time.”
Lieber gave up seven runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings and said he was not sure if he would miss his next start.
“I wouldn’t think so, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he said.
Lieber was replaced by Michael Zagurski, who gave up an RBI single to Martinez and walked Travis Hafner to load the bases.
Peralta hit a two-run double against right-hander Yoel Hernandez. One out later, Nixon’s two-run double to right-center made it 10-4.
“He made some bad pitches to Peralta and Nixon,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “You don’t have to give them something to hit there.”
Sabathia gave up four runs and five hits to win for the first time in three starts since a five-hit, 1-0 triumph over Kansas City on June 5. The left-hander struck out four and walked one, improving to 7-1 at Jacobs Field. He has only walked 10 in 92 1-3 innings since April 15.
Rod Barajas put the Phillies ahead in the third with a two-run homer, his fourth. Barajas is 6-for-14 (.429) with three homers in his career against Sabathia.
“He always wears me out,” Sabathia said. “It’s not even a weird deal. He always hits bullets—homers and doubles. He’s got my number.”
Cleveland put two runners on with none out in three of the first four innings, but Lieber allowed only two runs. Martinez had an RBI groundout in the third and Barfield tied it with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
“We had to hold them right there, but we’ve had trouble holding them,” Manuel said.
Barfield’s RBI double made it 4-3 in the bottom half. Then Grady Sizemore was walked intentionally to bring up Blake.
A note on the Indians’ clubhouse message board reminded them to wear suits and ties this Friday for a tour of the White House and Capitol. Cleveland will play an interleague series in Washington—their last game there was a 3-2 loss on Sept. 22, 1971 before the Washington Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers in 1972. … Sabathia has pitched at least six innings in 15 of 16 starts. He went five innings May 21 against Seattle.