Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Francisco belts HR for victory in debut

CLEVELAND - Ben Francisco had a memorable debut for the Cleveland Indians.

Making his first start in the major leagues, he recorded his first career hit in the fourth and then led off the ninth with a home run off Tampa Bay's Shawn Camp to give the Cleveland Indians a 2-1 win.

"It was an awesome day," he said. "I was just trying to get on base and I ended up doing something special."

The homer came on a 2-2 pitch and landed in the left-field bleachers.

Francisco, who played left field, has spent most of the season at Triple-A Buffalo, where he batted .329 with six homers and 34 RBIs. He was with the team from May 1-3 and was called up June 20.

"Ben had a great game," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It has to be some kind of thrill for that young man."

The Devil Rays have lost five straight and 12 of 16. Tampa Bay has scored 10 runs during its losing streak.

"We've got to get our offense started again," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "The game was pretty much lost in the first inning. We have to get more runs in that situation."

Camp (0-2) started the ninth.

Following the game, he sat staring into his locker and refused to talk.

"Not right now," he said when approached by reporters. He also refused comment after showering.

Tampa Bay's baserunning proved costly in the ninth. Ty Wigginton singled with one out off Joe Borowski (1-3). With two outs, pinch-runner Josh Wilson was picked off first by Borowski, who recorded his first win since Sept. 2 against Milwaukee while he was pitching for Florida.

It was the Indians' 24th comeback win of the season, which leads the majors. It also was the second time this week they have won a game with a walk-off homer. Kelly Shoppach's three-run homer in the ninth beat Oakland on Tuesday night.

The game turned into a great pitching matchup between starters Edwin Jackson and Jake Westbrook.

Jackson, who recorded his first win since Sept. 26, 2005, in his last start Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, gave up one run and six hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out six, including striking out the side in the sixth.

"I gave my team a chance to win," Jackson said. "I feel good about that. I'd feel a lot better if the team did win. It's about the team winning."

Westbrook allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven, walked two and retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced.

"That's the best I've felt this season," he said. "I threw a lot of pitches in the first inning, but I got into a good groove after that."

Westbrook was making his second start since being on the disabled list because of a left abdominal strain from May 7-June 24. He allowed three runs in seven innings against Washington on Sunday.

Tampa Bay's first run came in the second on Brendan Harris' single. The Indians scored in the third on Victor Martinez's groundout.

The Devil Rays loaded the bases with one out in the first, but Westbrook struck out Carlos Pena and Wigginton. Westbrook retired the first two hitters in the second, but Dioner Navarro singled and Akinori Iwamura walked before Harris' single gave Tampa Bay the lead.

Grady Sizemore walked and stole his 23rd base, a career high, in the third.

He scored on Martinez's groundout.

Delmon Young went 0-for-4, snapping his hitting streak at 13 games.

Carl Crawford, who went 0-for-4, is four hits shy of 900 in his career.

NOTES: Pena, who came into the game with 11 career homers at Jacobs Field, struck out in all four at-bats. ... Second baseman B.J. Upton (strained left quad), who is on a rehabilitation assignment at Class A Vero Beach, didn't play last night. He felt fatigued after playing five innings Thursday and was held out as a precaution. ... Westbrook's seven strikeouts were a season high. ... Outfielder Jason Michaels, who has an 11-game hitting streak, didn't play in the game.

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