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Published: Friday, 6/18/2010

Indians hand Pirates 12th straight loss

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PITTSBURGH — Carlos Santana reached base four times and hit an RBI double to help the Cleveland Indians extend Pittsburgh's second-longest losing streak in 55 years to 12 games with a 4-3 win over the Pirates Friday night.

Fausto Carmona won his second consecutive start, and Santana capped a four-run seventh inning put Cleveland up 4-0.

The Indians snapped a four-game losing streak

Neil Walker and Garrett Jones each had two hits and Ryan Church had a three-run double for the Pirates, who tied the franchise's second-longest longest single-season losing streak since at least 1900.

Pittsburgh, which fell to 0-7 in interleague games, lost 13 straight in 2006 and 14 straight from September 1954-April 1955.

The game between last-place teams from two cities that are rivals in football and only a two-hour drive apart matched the team with the least number of wins in the National League against the one with tied for the second-fewest victories in the American League. Nevertheless, it drew a crowd of 28,478 — fourth-largest of the season at PNC Park.

Carmona and Paul Maholm cruised through six shutout innings each, allowing only two hits apiece. But each was forced from the game during a the seventh, when all the game's runs were scored.

Jhonny Peralta led off the top of the inning with a liner high off the 21-foot wall in the right-field corner against Maholm (4-5), just beating the throw into second for a double.

After one out, Anderson Hernandez and Donald hit consecutive singles to right, the latter scoring Peralta. After Maholm struck out Carmona, Trevor Crowe and Shin-Soo Choo added RBI singles, ending Maholm's night after 6 2-3 innings, seven hits, four runs, two walks and five strikeouts.

Santana then doubled off of Joel Hanrahan, scoring Crowe — but Choo was thrown out at the plate easily.

Carmona (6-5) — coming off a complete game three-hitter Saturday against Washington — did not record an out in facing four batters in the seventh, leaving after Church's bases-clearing double to left-center.

But Rafael Perez came on and got rookie Pedro Alvarez to fly out to deep right-center and Ryan Doumit to pop out. Right-hander Frank Herrmann retired Ronny Cedeno on a fly to end the inning.

Chris Perez worked around a one-out double by Jose Tabata in the eighth, and Kerry Wood pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in seven opportunities.

Incidentally, it was his first save since June 5 — the previous day the Pirates won a game.

Notes: Pittsburgh has seven losing streaks of six games or more against AL teams since interleague play began in 1997. ... Crowe was back in the lineup after not starting Thursday's game because of a bruised right knee, the result of fouling a ball off of it Tuesday. ... Cleveland DH Travis Hafner was not in the lineup for the first of nine consecutive games in NL parks. He was hit by pitch as a pinch hitter in the ninth. ... The Pirates also lost 12 consecutive in the midst of the 1914 and 1939 seasons, and 13 straight spanning 1916-17.



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