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Published: Tuesday, 5/13/2008

Indians settle for split with Jays

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND - Asdrubal Cabrera delivered a home run in the first game of a doubleheader yesterday and the 14th unassisted triple play in major league history in the nightcap.

The drive helped Cleveland win 3-0.

The fielding gem wasn't enough to complete the sweep.

"It's a triple play, but I'm not going to talk about it; we didn't win the game," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Shannon Stewart hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, Aaron Hill added a two-run single, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Cleveland 3-0 last night to salvage a split of the doubleheader.

"It's nice to get one with nothing else going our way," Hill said after Toronto snapped a 31-inning scoreless streak and won for just the second time in seven games.

The nightcap featured terrific pitching by Toronto's Shaun Marcum and Cleveland's Cliff Lee, who got a big assist from Cabrera in the fifth inning.

With Kevin Mench and Marco Scutaro on with singles and running on the 1-0 pitch, Cabrera made a diving backhand catch of a line drive by Lyle Overbay, touched second base to retire Mench, and then tagged out Scutaro.

Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made the last unassisted triple play in the majors, on April 29, 2007, against Atlanta. Oakland second baseman Randy Velarde last turned the trick in the AL, on May 29, 2000, against the Yankees.

"That was pretty neat," said Lee, who pitched nine scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.67 but failed to improve on his 6-0 record.

"It doesn't matter now, though. The bottom line is we've got to win."

Lee got even more defense in the top of the ninth from first baseman Victor Martinez and right fielder Franklin Gutierrez.

With one out and Stewart on second, Martinez, ordinarily a catcher, leaped to snare a line drive off the bat of Alex Rios. After an infield single by Scott Rolen sent Stewart to third, Mench lined an 0-2 pitch into the right-center gap. Gutierrez raced over and dived to catch it to keep it scoreless.

"We made multiple plays on defense, but didn't do anything on offense," Wedge said after Cleveland totaled eight hits in the two games - just three in the second game.

"Our approach was about as poor if not the poorest I've seen all year," Wedge said.

Fausto Carmona (4-1) pitched a five-hitter, and Cabrera hit a two-run homer in Cleveland's 3-0 victory in the first game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a team had both pitchers throw nine scoreless innings in a doubleheader was Boston on Sept. 5, 1977, when Don Aase and Reggie Cleveland both won in Toronto.

Marcum allowed two hits in eight innings, striking out five without a walk to match Lee pitch-for-pitch. Lee yielded seven hits, walked two, and struck out five.

B.J. Ryan (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth for the win and Scott Downs pitched the 10th for his fourth save.

Matt Stairs singled to open the Toronto 10th and took second on Overbay's infield single on a ball that glanced off Rafael Betancourt's left elbow and ricocheted into foul ground.

Betancourt (1-2) was examined by trainers and stayed in the game to face Gregg Zahn, who bunted over both runners. Pinch-hitter Brad Wilkerson was intentionally walked to load the bases for Stewart, whose flyball to center easily scored Stairs. Hill's single to center made it 3-0.

Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak after Carmona struck out three and walked four in his second shutout and third complete game in 47 big league starts.



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