Indians 4, Pirates 1


CLEVELAND (AP) – C.C. Sabathia pitched a three-hitter and Grady Sizemore hit his third homer in four games to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 Friday night.

Sabathia (3-1) improved to 8-3 in 20 interleague appearances as the Indians won for the 12th time in their last 13 games against a National League team. Cleveland had the best interleague record last season at 15-3.

The Indians have won four in a row following a season-high six-game losing streak. Pittsburgh has lost two in a row and fell to 3-18 on the road.

Sabathia struck out nine and walked one in Cleveland’s second complete game in three nights. Right-hander Jake Westbrook shut out Kansas City on Wednesday night.

Sizemore hit a 1-1 pitch from Zach Duke (2-5) over the wall in right for his seventh homer of the season and fifth in his last 12 games to spark Cleveland’s three-run first inning. It was his second time this season and fifth in his career that he led off a game with homer.

Jhonny Peralta drew a one-out walk and scored on a two-out double by Victor Martinez to make it 2-0. Martinez broke an 0-for-21 streak with an opposite-field drive off the right-field wall. He scored on a single by Eduardo Perez.

Freddy Sanchez hit his fourth homer in the fourth to cut the Cleveland lead to 3-1.

Duke allowed only one hit over his final six innings, but lost his third consecutive start. He issued two walks in both the fourth and fifth innings, but escaped those jams in his first career start against an AL team. The left-hander walked six and struck out six over seven innings.

Perez hit his fifth homer with two outs in the eighth off John Grabow to make it 4-1.

Cleveland right fielder Casey Blake went 0-for-2 with two walks, ending his career-high hitting streak at 15 games.

The Pirates’ Jason Bay went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and had his 10-game hitting streak snapped.

Notes: The Indians are 86-72 in interleague play since 1997, while Pittsburgh is 49-73. … The Pirates lead the all-time series between the teams, 10-9. … Sanchez has an RBI in seven of his last 10 games. … Blake hit .426 (23-for-54) during his hitting streak. … Bay batted .341 (14-for-41) during his streak.

AP-ES-05-19-06 2122EDT