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Published: Wednesday, 5/27/2009

Pavano, 4 home runs help Tribe beat Rays


CLEVELAND - Carl Pavano won for the fifth time in six starts, Ryan Garko homered for the third time in two games and the Cleveland Indians beat the Tampa Bay Rays without needing a big comeback, 5-1 Tuesday night.

Garko hit his home run in the second inning after connecting twice and driving in five runs Monday night as the Indians rallied from 10 runs down to beat the Rays 11-10, the biggest collapse in Tampa Bay history.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Kelly Shoppach and Mark DeRosa also hit long balls for the Indians, who won for the fifth time in seven games and earned their 15th consecutive home win over the Rays since Sept. 29, 2005.

Pavano (5-4) allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. The right-hander walked two and struck out six to continue an outstanding month. He's 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA and only seven walks against 30 strikeouts since

May 1, when he got his first win of the season in Detroit.

Rays right-hander Matt Garza (4-3) struck out seven without

issuing a walk, but couldn't keep the ball in the park. He allowed four runs and five hits - three of them homers.

Garko hit the first pitch he saw from Garza over the wall in right-center with one out to put Cleveland ahead 1-0 in the second. On Monday night, Garko hit a two-run homer and three-run shot in the comeback.

Tampa Bay's bad run continued before last night's game when shortstop Jason Bartlett was put on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle. Bartlett, a career .276 hitter, is batting .373 with seven homers, 30 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

He joined second baseman Akinori Iwamura, closer Troy Percival, DH Pat Burrell, staff ace Scott Kazmir and four others on the Rays' crowded DL. Iwamura is lost for the season with a torn knee ligament.

The Rays mustered little offense against Pavano until Carlos Pena hit his AL-leading 16th homer to lead off the Rays' seventh.

NOTES: Rain delayed play 32 minutes in the bottom of the fourth. It drizzled throughout most of the final five innings. ... Cleveland optioned OF Matt LaPorta back to Triple-A Columbus and recalled OF Trevor Crowe. LaPorta hit .190 (8-for-42) with one homer and four RBIs in his first 13 career games after being called up May 2.

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