Tribe gain ground on A's, Yankees in wild-card race

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Cleveland turned to the long ball to tighten the AL wild-card race.

Victor Martinez and Ben Broussard hit two-run homers in a seven-run seventh inning, leading the Indians to an 11-4 victory
over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday night.

Coco Crisp, Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta homered for Cleveland, which has won five straight to move within a percentage point of Oakland and the Yankees in the AL wild-card race. It was Cleveland's eighth straight road win and the Indians (69-56) are a season-high 13 games over .500.

"Everybody contributed," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's nice to see guys coming together like that."

Travis Lee and Jorge Cantu homered for Tampa Bay, which had a five-game winning streak end. The Devil Rays had beaten the Indians six straight times, including a three-game sweep earlier this month at Cleveland.

"We knew we had to come here and play hard," Peralta said.

Travis Hafner broke a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a sacrifice fly off reliever Travis Miller (1-1). Martinez followed with his two-run shot. Broussard hit a two-run drive off Jesus Colome before Sizemore and Crisp added RBI singles to make it 11-4.

"We had momentum," Broussard said. "We got good swings and put up numbers tonight."

The seventh inning ended when Devil Rays center fielder Joey Gathright crashed into the wall after making a running catch to take away a potential two-run extra-base hit from Peralta. Gathright left after the play with a bruised left shoulder and is considered day-to-day.

"A situation like that, you just don't think about anything ... you just go get it," Gathright said. "They were scoring runs ... we wanted to get out of that inning any way you can. You just go until the wall stops you."

Crisp put the Indians up 1-0 in the first with his homer.

Lee hit a three-run homer to give the Devil Rays a 3-1 lead in the second. Lee's drive came after Aubrey Huff and Jonny Gomes started the inning by drawing walks from Kevin Millwood (7-10). The right-hander had walked only two batters over 29 innings in his four previous starts.

"Walks are never good, and one of the bad pitches I made was to Lee and he hit it out of the park," Millwood said. "I didn't think I had great stuff. I started feeling better by the fifth inning and started battling through it."

Millwood went six innings, giving up four runs and five hits. He had seven strikeouts and three walks.

Sizemore's two-run homer and a solo shot by Peralta off Doug Waechter gave the Indians a 4-3 lead in the third. Peralta has 20 homers, three short of tying Woodie Held's team record for a shortstop set in 1961.

Tampa Bay tied it at 4 in the bottom of the third on Cantu's solo homer. He is 9-for-18 with four homers and seven RBI against Cleveland this season.

"We hit some balls hard," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We just got blown out there in the seventh inning. They've got some talent over there. A good young ballclub. They're right in the hunt for the postseason."

Waechter allowed four runs and eight hits -- including three homers -- in six innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Game notes
Crisp snapped an 0-for-12 slide with his homer. ... Waechter has given up 31 homers in 130 1/3 career innings at Tropicana Field. ... Sizemore has four homers and 16 RBI in his last 16 games. ... Lee has 99 homers in his career. ... The Indians also hit five homers on June 25 against Cincinnati. ... Crisp is the ninth Cleveland player to have 10 or more homers this season. Texas and Cincinnati are the only other teams to accomplish the feat this year.