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Published: Friday, 7/11/2008

Indians snap 10-game loss streak

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CLEVELAND - The Indians snapped out of one of the worst losing streaks in franchise history by beating a team that is suddenly trying to find answers of its own.

Ben Francisco had a career-high four RBIs and hit one of Cleveland's four home runs as the Indians snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 13-2 victory over Tampa Bay that extended the Rays' skid to four last night.

"It feels pretty good - a lot better than what we had been doing. That stunk," said Casey Blake, who along with David Dellucci also homered and had three RBIs.

Cleveland last dropped 10 in a row in 1979 and avoided its longest streak in 77 years by overcoming a 2-0 deficit. The last time the Indians lost 11 straight was 1931, on the way to a team-record 12 consecutive losses.

Francisco and David Dellucci each hit two-run homers in a five-run fifth against Andy Sonnanstine (10-4). Blake hit a solo shot in a seven-run eighth off Gary Glover.

"This was huge for all of us," said Dellucci, adding that a rather fiery pregame talk to the team by manager Eric Wedge gave him inspiration.

"He got right to the point while showing his faith in us," Dellucci said. "Afterward, we felt good about ourselves even though we know where we are in the standings."

Aaron Laffey (5-5) earned the last-place Indians' first win since recently traded CC Sabathia beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-0 on June 27. Laffey allowed two runs and four hits over six innings, winning for the first time in five starts since June 12.

"When we fell behind, it was like it was 10-0 and you felt it through the entire stadium," Laffey said. "But the guys came through against the best team in the big leagues."

Kelly Shoppach got Cleveland going by poking a one-out single to right in the fifth. Dellucci, in a 7-for-47 (.149) slump, followed with his seventh homer - and first since June 4.

"David gave us a shot of energy," Wedge said. "Then we had real good at-bats up and down the lineup."

Sonnanstine gave up nine hits and six runs over 51/3 innings. He had gone 4-0 and the Rays were 7-0 in his previous seven starts since May 27.

NOTES: The Indians claimed RHP Bryan Bullington, the No. 1 pick in the 2002 amateur draft, on waivers from the Pittsburgh and sold Triple-A INF Ryan Mulhern and RHP Dan Reichert to the Pirates. Bullington was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo.



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