Indians Don't Deal, But Keep Winning

Casey Blake, after hitting his 12th homer.

Jhonny Peralta drove in four runs to lead Cleveland to a 9-7 win in Seattle as the resurgent Indians -- without adding any help at the trading deadline -- stayed right in the thick of the AL wild card race. General manager Mark Shapiro didn't make a deal despite fielding plenty of calls from other teams.

"We tried to acquire some young guys who could fit the equation now," Shapiro told reporters in a conference call. "We weren't able to get those guys with what we thought was a reasonable price. There weren't that many to go after."

Shapiro said his phone kept ringing right up to the deadline, but he was not impressed by what was being offered.

"I had more volume of calls with interest in our players than I did targeting specific guys out there we'd like to trade for," Shapiro said. "There were times I was more optimistic than others, maybe later in the week last week. As we went into the weekend, I was not very hopeful. There are not many teams that feel they're out of it, that's the overriding factor."

The Indians remained four games behind wild-card leader Oakland by taking three of four from the Mariners.

Peralta (.298) hit a three-run double to spark Cleveland to an early lead and the bullpen held off Seattle's frequent comeback challenges.

Victor Martinez and Jeff Liefer each singled home a run in the first inning, but Jake Westbrook (9-12) yielded two runs in the bottom of the first to tie it.

The Indians came right back against Seattle starter Joel Pineiro in the second inning. Aaron Boone singled, Ben Broussard walked and both were bunted over by Casey Blake. Grady Sizemore then drew a walk to load the bases and Peralta drove them all home with a double to left for a 5-2 lead.

"Jhonny has been a very solid player for us," manager Eric Wedge told reporters. "He's someone who has stepped up in the middle of our lineup. With each day you can see him grow as a major leaguer."

The Mariners pulled within 5-3, but Blake hit his 12th homer in the fourth inning, Ron Belliard singled home a run in the fifth and Cleveland scored twice more in the sixth.

Seattle got within 9-7 before relievers Rafael Betancourt, Arthur Rhodes, Bobby Howry and Bob Wickman combined to pitch a scoreless final 3 1/3 innings with Wickman getting his 27th save.

MINOR MATTERS

CLASS AAA BUFFALO (62-48)
edged visiting Indianapolis, 2-1, as Ramon Vasquez (.222) singled home the winning run with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Garko (.293) opened the ninth with a single and went to third on a single by Jose Morban (.300), who then stole second. After Javier Cardona (.179) struck out, Joe Inglett (.311) was intentionally walked to load the bases and set up Vasquez. Andrew Brown (3-2, 3.70 ERA) struck out two in a perfect top of the ninth for the win. Starter Billy Traber (5.95 ERA) allowed one run over six innings and Fernando Cabrera (1.07 ERA) worked two hitless innings.

CLASS AA AKRON (61-45) rolled to a 9-3 win at Binghamton. Shaun Larkin (.225) hit his sixth homer, a grand slam, and Jonathan Van Every (.242) hit his 20th homer, a solo shot. Franklin Gutierrez (.250) had three of the Aeros' 11 hits and got his 14th stolen base of the season. Brian Slocum (7-5, 4.85 ERA) gave up two runs over five innings, striking out six. Mariano Gomez (6.10 ERA) allowed one run over 2 1/3 innings and Travis Foley (4.46 ERA) worked a perfect 1 2/3 innings for his first save. He got a save because he entered the game with Akron leading 4-3 before the Aeros scored five ninth-inning runs.

CLASS A KINSTON (14-22) lost at Wilmington, 3-1 -- its fifth loss in a row since a 25-4 victory on July 26. Nate Panther (.250) had two of Kinston's five hits and Rodney Choy Foo (.262) drove in the K-Tribe's run. Starter Adam Miller (4.20 ERA) allowed only one unearned run over six innings. He gave up two hits and one walk, striking out two. Tony Sipp (5-3, 2.69 ERA) gave up two runs over one inning and Matt Davis (6.31 ERA) pitched one hitless inning.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (15-20) lost at home to Delmarva, 3-2. The Captains got only four hits. Starter Chuck Lofgren (2.08 ERA) pitched five no-hit innings, striking out four -- but he also walked five and yielded one run. T.J. Burton (3-7, 3.75 ERA) allowed two runs over two innings before Jesus Soto and Kieran Mattison each worked one scoreless inning.

CLASS A MAHONING VALLEY (20-20) gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and lost at Vermont, 5-2. Chris Clem (.299) had three hits and Jose Constanza (.257) went 2-for-4 for the Scrappers. Starter Justin Pekarek (1.73 ERA) struck out nine over six scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks, In 26 innings overall this season, he has walked only seven and struck out 36. Matt Haynes (3.12 ERA) gave up two runs, one earned, ove 1 2/3 innings and Matt Loberg (0-2, 2.25 ERA) got only one out and gave up three unearned runs to lose it.

ROOKIE LEAGUE BURLINGTON (16-22) won at Pulaski, 9-0. P.J. Hiser (.333) drove in five runs with three hits, including his 11th homer, a two-run shot. Niuman Romero (.280) went 2-for-2 and scored three runs. Luis Valdez (2-4, 3.44 ERA) allowed two hits and one walk while striking out six over five scoreless innings. Mike Storey (4.22 ERA) gave up one hit and struck out five over the final four innings to earn his first save.

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