Tribe Offense Helps Lee Win No. 22
Cliff Lee ... win No. 22.
Cliff Lee ... win No. 22.
Indians Ink
Posted Sep 12, 2008


Cliff Lee has had better outings this season. He hasn't often had as much offensive support, however, as he did Friday night in a 12-5 triumph over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. The left-hander gave up 11 hits and four earned runs over 8 1-3 innings, but the Indians unleashed a 15-hit attack to help him boost his record to 22-2. Lee has gone 5-0 in five starts against the Royals.

Kelly Shoppach and Shin-Soo Choo both homered and had three RBI while Asdrubal Cabrera had a homer and two RBI for Cleveland.

The Indians also threw out two Royals runners at home plate. Right-fielder Franklin Gutierrez gunned down one and Lee tossed out another on a ball bounced back to him that he momentarily fumbled before throwing to Shoppach.

Lee improved to 11-0 in 12 starts since a July 6 loss to Minnesota. That is the longest winning streak by a Cleveland pitcher since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry won 15 in a row in 1974.

"I know there have been some tremendous pitching seasons by starting pitchers over the years," Indians manager Eric Wedge told reporters. "But this is without a doubt nothing like I've ever seen."

Lee struck out three without issuing a walk -- the 11th time this season he did not allow a base on balls. Not only that, but he never got to a three-ball count on any batter.

The Royals' first run came after an error by shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the second inning. Jose Guillen hit his 19th homer in the sixth and led off the ninth with his 20th of the season. Lee gave up two more runs before Jensen Lewis came on to get the final two outs.

Shoppach (.272) went 2-for-5 with his 20th homer; Choo (.305) was 3-for-5 with his 10th homer and Cabrera (.244) was 1-for-2 with two walks and his fifth homer.

Grady Sizemore (.265) snapped his 0-for-25 streak with a single, then added two doubles to go 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.

Jamey Carroll (.272) and Gutierrez (.242) also had two hits and two runs apiece.

It all added up to another win for Lee, who needs one more to tie Vean Gregg for the most victories in a season by an Indians left-hander. Gregg did it 97 years ago.


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