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Cleveland 8, Tampa Bay 3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Cliff Lee felt in control the entire
time he was on the mound.

The left-handed rookie threw eight sharp innings, and Ryan
Ludwick and Casey Blake homered as the Cleveland Indians beat the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-3 Friday night.

"Completely satisfied," Lee said. "I try to be confident. I
try to go out there and speed up the tempo of the game. The defense
likes a guy that goes out and picks up the pace and goes after
guys."

Lee (2-1) allowed two runs, six hits and struck out seven in his
third start of the season. He retired his last nine batters.

"He has a tremendous focus out there and on top of that he's a
competitor," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Ludwick hit his homer in the third inning and Blake hit his in
the fourth. Both came with two outs and were off Joe Kennedy
(3-10).

"The pitches were probably mistakes," Blake said. "I don't
think he put those pitches where he wanted them."

Ludwick also had a run-scoring single during a four-run, seventh
for Cleveland, which has won 11 of 17 since Aug. 6.

Kennedy allowed eight runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings. The
Devil Rays opening day starter is 0-5 with a 7.33 ERA in nine
starts since returning from a left shoulder injury on July 9.

"It's been a struggle for him," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella
said. "I just haven't seen the consistency. I really haven't."

Kennedy is winless in 12 starts overall, dating back to May 13.

"It's frustrating," Kennedy said. "I had pretty good stuff. I
made two bad pitches. It's how my season has been going."

Aubrey Huff hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Devil Rays.
Rocco Baldelli and Adam Piatt had the other Tampa Bay RBI.

Julio Lugo started the Devil Rays two-run fourth with a triple.

Indians right fielder Alex Escobar just missed catching the
drive near the foul line after a long run. He then fell over a
short wall in foul territory and disappeared into the Rays Bullpen
Cafe.

Escobar climbed over the wall and tracked down the ball in time
to keep Lugo at third.

"If he had caught it, it probably would have been the play of
the week," Lee said. "He gave it a good effort. He's going full
speed and goes over the wall like that. You can't ask for
anymore."

Wedge was happy Escobar wasn't hurt.

"I was worried that he wasn't going to get up at all," Wedge
said. "I'm glad he got up and got the ball in. He just missed
getting there."

Lugo scored on Baldelli's single. Piatt added a sacrifice fly to
make it 4-2.

Coco Crisp, Matt Lawton and Ludwick had RBI singles in the
seventh as the Indians took an 8-2 lead. Crisp scored from third on
Jorge Sosa's wild pitch.

Ludwick is 10-for-24 with two homers and nine RBI over his past
five games.

"He's at his best in RBI situations, which is something you
definitely like," Wedge said.

Game notes
It was Lee's fifth career start. ... Kennedy rejoined the
team after returning home following his last start Sunday to be
with his ailing grandfather. ... The Indians are 34-34 when scoring
first. ... Devil Rays 2B Antonio Perez snapped an 0-for-18 slide
with a double in the fifth. ... Kennedy hit Lawton with a pitch in
the third. The Devil Rays top the AL with 73 hit batters.