CLEVELAND (AP) – Ronnie Belliard hit a three-run double to snap a seventh-inning tie and Jhonny Peralta homered twice for the Cleveland Indians, who broke a three-game losing streak by handing the Texas Rangers their eighth straight loss, 8-2 on Tuesday night.

C.C. Sabathia (9-9) won his third straight start for the Indians, who rebounded from a three-game sweep at home by Tampa Bay.

Texas dropped to 3-12 since a four-game winning streak from July 27-30.

Belliard lined a 3-2 pitch to left-center off Kenny Rogers (11-6), who was making his second start since serving a 13-game suspension for shoving two cameramen.

Travis Hafner opened the seventh with a sharply hit ball off the glove of second baseman Alfonso Soriano that was ruled an error. Victor Martinez followed with a slow tapper toward third that Rogers came off the mound and grabbed. Without any chance of getting the runner, he threw to first anyway. Mark Teixeira scrambled 12 feet off the bag to keep the ball from going past for an error, holding Hafner at second.

Jose Hernandez put down a sacrifice bunt that Rogers fielded, but dropped for another error, loading the bases.

Belliard’s double made it 5-2 and Casey Blake followed with a single, putting runners at first and third with no outs.

One out later, Grady Sizemore hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.

Sabathia gave up two runs and eight hits over seven innings.

One-out doubles by Michael Young and Teixeira gave Texas a 1-0 lead in the first.

Peralta’s 17th homer made it 2-1 in the bottom half, when the Indians thought they should have scored more.

After the two-run homer, Hafner walked and Martinez followed with a drive that appeared headed over the wall in center. Gary Matthews leaped and the ball disappeared from view, then suddenly appeared in his glove. Matthews threw back to the infield to double up Hafner.

Manager Eric Wedge argued with second base umpire Marvin Hudson and television replays clearly showed Matthews trapped the ball after it caromed off the top of the fence. It wasn’t a homer, but Martinez should have been awarded an RBI double.

Instead, the inning was over – and Rogers shut down the Indians until the seventh. He retired 17 of 18, including 12 straight after Jason Dubois’ leadoff single in the third.

Rod Barajas hit the first pitch from Sabathia in the fifth for his 12th homer and a 2-2 tie.

Rogers, winless in three starts since July 16, gave up three earned runs and six hits over seven innings.

Peralta hit his 18th homer off Francisco Cordero in the eighth and Hernandez added an RBI single in the inning.

Notes: Indians 3B Aaron Boone was a late scratch because of a sore neck. … Soriano has hit .344 (21-for-61) during a 15-game hitting streak. … Sabathia is 6-2 in his career against Texas. … Rogers fell to 13-14 all-time against Cleveland. … Texas last lost eight straight in June 2003. … Peralta’s 18 homers are the most by an Indians shortstop since Woodie Held hit 18 in 1962.

AP-ES-08-16-05 2133EDT


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