The Stopper: Cliff Lee Ends Loss Streak

Cliff Lee snapped the Indians' seven-game losing streak and Ben Francisco hit a three-run homer that actually counted as Cleveland defeated the Texas Rangers 5-2 Saturday night. Lee broke a Cleveland loss streak for the fourth time this season. Francisco, robbed of a three-run homer by a bad call by the umpires on Friday night, continued his hot hitting in the cleanup spot.

"I never thought I'd be hitting fourth in the major leagues," said Francisco, recently called up from Triple-A Buffalo and who has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 16-for-38 (.421). "I'm just happy to be here and helping the team win."

Lee (7-1, 1.50 ERA) has been winning all season. Previously this year, he broke three-game losing streaks three times, but this was the first time he had to rebound for his own loss.

The left-hander had his only poor outing of the season Sunday in Cincinnati, but came back to work 6 2/3 strong innings against the hot-hitting Rangers. Lee gave up seven hits, four walks and two runs, striking out eight.

"They've got a good lineup, a lot of good hitters, so I'm happy I gave my team a chance to win," Lee said.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead, but Francisco doubled and scored in the second, then hit his second homer of the season in the third.

"It felt good to hit one over the rail where there was no doubt," Francisco said.

It was Cleveland's second homer out of the No. 4 spot in the batting order all season -- since Travis Hafner did it April 4 at Oakland in the fourth game of the year.

Jhonny Peralta hit his ninth homer in the sixth.

"Jhonny had good at-bats, a much better approach tonight," manager Eric Wedge said. "Even if he didn't get two hits, if he had flown out four times, he was better. If he takes that approach to the plate with him, he's going to succeed. It was good to see."

Rafael Perez retired all four Rangers he faced and Joe Borowski returned to the closer's role to get his third save.

Borowski, activated Friday after being on the disabled list since April 15 with a strained right triceps, gave up only a two-out single to Michael Young.

"It was happy that I felt good and my location (of pitches) was good," said Borowski, who even after leading the American League with 45 saves a year ago admitted to being nervous.

"I felt butterflies on the first batter because of all I've gone through of late," he said. "It was good to be able to go out and let loose without having it in the back of my head, worrying about pain.

"To get the save and stop a losing streak -- I wouldn't want it any other way."


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