Blake has two HRs, seven RBIs in Indians’ 13-9 win

6-02-08 -- Casey Blake homered twice and matched a career high with seven RBIs before Ben Francisco hit a tiebreaking two-run homer to power the Cleveland Indians past the Texas Rangers 13-9 on Monday night.

Francisco’s homer in the seventh came on the first pitch by reliever Joaquin Benoit, breaking an 8-8 tie after the Indians had blown a five-run lead.

Blake hit two-run homers in the second and third innings, then added a three-run double in the fourth that made it 8-3. The seven RBIs are the most by an American League player this season.

Josh Hamilton, chosen Monday as the AL player of the month for May to become the first player to win the monthly award in April and May the same season, homered in his third straight game for Texas. The two-run shot was his AL-best 16th and increased his majors-leading RBI total to 65 in his 58 games.

Marlon Byrd tied the game in the fifth with his fourth career grand slam, off left-hander Aaron Laffey.

Masa Kobayashi (3-2) allowed a hit and a run with three strikeouts in 1 2-3 innings.

Eddie Guardado (0-1) came on at the start of the seventh, and struck out Grady Sizemore for the second out after allowing a single to No. 9 hitter Asdrubal Cabrera. Benoit then left a breaking ball over the plate for Francisco, whose third homer skimmed the top of the left-field wall and snapped his 3-for-15 slide.

David Dellucci added another two-run homer off Benoit in the eighth, a 405-foot shot to straightaway center. Blake then flew out to center before Benoit walked four consecutive batters, the last to Francisco on four pitches, for another run.

Dellucci had a leadoff double in the second before Blake’s homer to left-center. Blake next homer, his sixth of the season, went to almost the same spot. Shin-soo Choo followed that with an infield single and scored on a double by Cabrera.

The Indians loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, on a walk and two singles, before Blake doubled into the right-field corner. That bases-clearing hit came on the 100th—and last—pitch thrown by rookie Doug Mathis.

Mathis started in place of Vicente Padilla, who was placed on bereavement leave while still home in his native Nicaragua dealing with a personal family matter. Padilla left the team Sunday.

Ian Kinsler led off the Texas fifth with a double and came home on Michael Young’s single. After Hamilton singled and Milton Bradley walked to load the bases, Byrd hit the Rangers’ fifth grand slam this season.

Young and Kinsler both went 3-for-5 to extend their hitting streaks, Young to 18 consecutive games for the longest in the AL this season, one more than Kinsler’s career-best streak. The Rangers finished with 15 hits, one less than Cleveland, which got three-hit games from Blake and Jhonny Peralta.

Laffey allowed eight runs and 11 hits over five innings. Since being recalled April 28 from Triple-A Buffalo, he had allowed only seven earned runs in six previous starts—and four of those came in his first game back.

Notes

It was Blake’s eighth career multihomer game, his first since Sept. 30, 2006 against Tampa Bay. His other seven-RBI game was July 5, 2003, at Minnesota. … Philadelphia’s Jayson Werth had eight RBIs against Toronto on May 16, and Atlanta’s Jeff Francoeur drove in seven runs April 12 at Washington. … Indians third base coach Joel Skinner missed the game to attend his son’s high school graduation in Ohio. Bench coach Jeff Datz coached third. … Byrd’s grand slam matched his home run and RBI totals for his first 24 games. He had one homer and four RBIs before then.


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