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Third rally decisive in 12-inning victory

Third rally decisive in 12-inning victory

Indians 9 Blue Jays 7


What: Indians at Toronto.

When: 12:37 p.m.

Where: Rogers Centre.

TV/radio: SportsTime Ohio; WTAM AM/1100.

Pitchers: Anthony Reyes (1-0, 7.58) vs. Brett Cecil (0-0, 0.00).

Toronto - From a versatility point of view, it may have been Eric Wedge's perfect game.

When Jensen Lewis struck out Aaron Hill for the final out in the Indians' 9-7, 12-inning victory over Toronto on Monday night at Rogers Centre, Wedge had his shortstop playing third base, his second baseman playing short, his third baseman playing first, his former second baseman playing left field and a pinch-runner playing second.

From a comeback point of view, it was extraordinary.

"A team can come back once or twice," Wedge said, "but to do it three times at this level . . . it's almost unheard of. I don't think you're ever going to see as much fight in a ballclub as you saw in our guys tonight."

Brian Tallet, former Indians left-hander, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against his old club. He had a 2-0 lead and the red-hot Blue Jays behind him.

But with one out in the seventh, Ryan Garko singled through the middle to end the no-hitter. Rookie Matt LaPorta sent Tallet's next pitch into the left-field seats to make it 2-2. Not a bad way to get your first big-league hit.

After a bunt single by Ben Francisco, a double by Grady Sizemore, an RBI grounder by Asdrubal Cabrera that scored Francisco, via a neat hook slide, the Indians had taken the lead from Tallet, 3-2.

The Blue Jays came right back against Fausto Carmona in the seventh. Vernon Wells hit a two-out, two-run single to center to put Toronto in front, 4-3.

It was time for Comeback II.

In the ninth, Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo hit consecutive two-out, run-scoring hits to put the Tribe ahead, 6-4.

David Dellucci, pinch-hitting for LaPorta, started the rally with a one-out single. Barfield pinch ran and went to second on Francisco's sacrifice bunt. Cabrera singled to right to score Barfield from second and tie the score, 4-4.

The Tribe was positioned perfectly for the win. They had closer Kerry Wood on the mound with a 6-4 lead and two out in the ninth, but he couldn't close the deal.

With runners on second and third, Jose Bautista, who entered the game in seventh as a pinch-runner, hit a game-tying, two-run single to left. The ball landed in front of Barfield, a second baseman trying to learn to play the outfield, as Marco Scutaro and Alex Rios scored.

It was Barfield's first big-league appearance as an outfielder. Bautista fooled him with a big swing and he got a bad break on a ball that should have been caught.

"Probably a more experienced outfielder catches that ball," Wedge said, "but Josh is probably the only guy on our club who could have scored from second in the ninth."

To make matters worse, Wood felt Bautista should have never had a chance to bloop his single into left field.

"I though I had him struck out," said Wood, referring to a two-strike breaking ball that plate umpire Bill Welke called a ball.

It was time for Comeback III, but not before Rafael Betancourt (1-1) gave the Indians two scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th.

"The thing I'm most happy about is giving the team a chance to win," Betancourt said. "If I give up one run there, the game is over."

Mark DeRosa started the final rally with a leadoff double off Shawn Camp (0-1) in the 12th. Luis Valbuena drew a one-out walk and Barfield singled to score DeRosa for a 7-6 lead. Sizemore followed with a two-run double into the right field corner for a 9-6 lead.

Now all that remained was the save. And the only relievers left in Wedge's cupboard were Rafael Perez and Jensen Lewis. Yeah, that Perez and that Lewis.

Perez gave up a leadoff double to Scott Rolen, but did retire Lyle Overbay. Rod Barajas and John McDonald singled to make it 9-7. Out went Perez, in came Lewis, he of the six homers in 12 1/3 innings.

Lewis got Scutaro to roll a double play to Jhonny Peralta at third. He threw to second for the force, but Valbuena's relay to first short-hopped DeRosa, who pulled his foot off the bag. Lewis finally ended it with the strikeout of Hill for his first save.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:, 216-999-5158

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 6, 2009

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