Winning Ways Are Back
Grady Sizemore jogs out his two-run homer.
Grady Sizemore jogs out his two-run homer.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 24, 2004

Cliff Lee won for just the second time in more than two months while Grady Sizemore and Josh Bard hit homers to help the Indians defeat Minnesota, 9-7, Thursday night.

All nine Indians had at least one hit as Cleveland built a 7-2 lead and went on to its third straight victory. The Indians are just 8-12 in September, however.

"We've got to finish strong," Tribe first baseman Ben Broussard said. "You don't want to end on a bad note."

Lee (12-8) certainly had been striking a few wrong chords in the second half of the season. The left-hander, who began the year 10-1, then went 1-7 with a 10.03 ERA before topping the Twins.

"I've been humbled," Lee told reporters. "I started out cruising pretty good. The hitters started adjusting to me, started to figure me out and I didn't do a good job of handling that."

He gave up five runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out seven.

Bard hit his first homer and drove in three runs, Coco Crisp had three hits and two RBI and Sizemore hit his third homer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning.

Two-out RBI singles by Broussard and Crisp put Cleveland ahead in the first inning against rookie right-hander J.D. Durbin.

Bard hit a two-run double in the fourth and scored on an RBI double by Brandon Phillips for a 5-0 lead.

Minnesota got within 5-2 in the fifth on RBI singles by Luis Rivas and Lew Ford, but Sizemore's two-run shot in the bottom half made it 7-2.

Rivas had a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 7-3 and David Riske came on with the bases loaded. He yielded a two-run single to Shannon Stewart that put the Twins within 7-5.

Crisp's RBI double in the seventh made it 8-5, and Bard hit his first homer since last Sept. 20 in the eighth for a 9-6 lead.

Rafael Betancourt gave up a pinch-hit RBI single to Justin Morneau in the ninth before finishing for his fourth save.

Indians manager Eric Wedge was ejected in the eighth for arguing with first-base umpire Tim Timmons, who changed an out call to safe. Pinch-hitter Jason Kubel grounded to shortstop Omar Vizquel, whose low throw appeared to be caught by Broussard, but TV replays showed that the first baseman may have juggled the ball as he was taking his foot off the bag ... so Timmons ruled safe. Broussard got an error and Wedge got the heave-ho.

Cliff Lee delivers a pitch in his second win since July 17.

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C Josh Bard (profile)
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OF Grady Sizemore (profile)
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