CLEVELAND (AP) - The Colorado Rockies packed for New York feeling pretty good about themselves.
They left Progressive Field with two hard-fought wins over a quality team, a renewed confidence and some momentum to take on the big, bad Yankees.
All they were missing was a sweep.
``It didn't work out,' Ty Wigginton said. ``I guess now we sleep this one off and get ready to play in the Big Apple.'
Wigginton homered twice but flied out to center field against Chris Perez for the final out in the ninth as the Cleveland Indians avoided being swept by Colorado, beating the Rockies 4-3 before embarking on a nine-game road trip to three NL cities.
Josh Tomlin came through with another quality outing and designated hitter Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer in his last start for a while to lead the Indians, who dropped one-run games to the Rockies in the first two games of the series.
Despite dropping the finale, the Rockies won consecutive series over Detroit and AL Central-leading Cleveland.
``We're not going to feel bad leaving town having won a series,' said manager Jim Tracy, whose club is 12-8 and hovering around .500 following an 8-21 May. ``They were great ballgames. We won a series against a club that's in first place.'
Tomlin (9-4) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings. He has gone at least six innings in 14 of 15 starts, and a minimum of five in all 27 as a major leaguer.
Hafner, sorely missed by the Indians when he was on the disabled list, homered in the sixth off Jason Hammel (4-7) and the Indians avoided being swept in three straight by Colorado.
Wigginton's second homer, a two-run shot in the seventh, got the Rockies close but they couldn't do much against the bullpen. Vinnie Pestano and Tony Sipp got the Indians to the ninth for Perez, who retired Wigginton on a routine fly to center fielder Grady Sizemore with the tying run at second for his 18th save.
Perez took the loss on Tuesday night, when he gave up a tiebreaking homer in the ninth to Seth Smith. This time, he struck out Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzki before Smith, who hardly missed a pitch in the series, lined a two-out double off the wall in right. Perez regrouped to get Wigginton.
``Smith gave us a breath of life with that double,' Tracy said. ``Actually, he hit the ball too well. He had that overspin on the ball, which drove it down and it hit in the middle of the wall. If he hits it more square, that thing would have been halfway up the seats out there. Wigginton hit the ball well, but it was to Sizemore.'
Blanked for two innings, the Indians scored twice in the third, getting one run on Sizemore's RBI single and the other on a mistake by Hammel, who is 1-6 in his past nine starts.
Travis Buck led off with a single and Jack Hannahan walked. Sizemore followed with his run-scoring single to center, and the Indians seemed to be in shape for a big inning before Hammel got two outs. With runners at second and third, the right-hander put two quick strikes on Hafner before Hammel inexplicably stopped in the middle of his windup and was called for a balk, bringing in Hannahan to make it 2-0.
Hammel said he couldn't remember which pitch catcher Matt Pagnozzi signaled for, and stopped his delivery rather than throw a wild pitch.
``It was between a fastball and a slider,' Hammel said. ``I just forgot. I've never had that happen before. I should have thrown something there and gotten it to the catcher. I didn't give our defense a chance to do anything.'
Tracy bemoaned the missed opportunities.
``They got an extra run on a balk and we lost the game by a run,' Tracy said. ``That's the tough part. When you look at the final score, it's certainly significant.'
Notes: For Giambi, it will be his second trip back to the Bronx as a visiting player. He returned with Oakland in 2009. Giambi starred for the Yankees from 2002-08. ... Smith batted .462 (6 of 13) with two doubles, two homers, three RBIs and multiple line drives in the series. ... It was Wigginton's 13th career two-homer game. ... Rockies 1B Todd Helton got a planned night off. ... Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd spent time before the game reminiscing in Cleveland's dugout with Indians president Mark Shapiro and former catcher Sandy Alomar. O'Dowd was in the Indians' front office from 1988-98.
The Associated Press News Service
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