It was for Bob Wickman, too.
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Elarton Elated

Casey Blake hits a two-run homer.

Scott Elarton almost forgot what it was like to win a ballgame.<br><br> Almost.<br><br> The right-hander won for the first time in 18 starts as Casey Blake hit a two-run homer to lift the Indians over the Detroit Tigers, 5-4, Wednesday night at Jacobs Field.<br><br> "It's been a long time," said Elarton, who hadn't won since Sept. 19, 2003, when he was with Colorado. "I don't know what to say. It's a different feeling, I know that."<br><br> It was for Bob Wickman, too.<br>

Wickman pitched the ninth inning for his first save -- since July 20, 2002!

The reliever missed all of last season after having reconstructive elbow surgery and was only recently activated after missing almost all of the first three months of this season.

"He tried to give me the game ball," Elarton said. "I said, 'No, I got a win after I had (shoulder) surgery, so this one is yours.' "

Elarton went 0-6 with a 9.80 ERA this year for the Rockies, who released him May 17. Cleveland signed him to a minor-league contract May 25 and sent him to Triple-A Buffalo, where he went 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA in three starts.

The Indians purchased his contract June 12, but in eight previous starts before Wednesday, he had gone 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA.

"I don't base anything on wins and losses," he said. "But this one feels good. I had a good feeling all day."

Elarton said he believes he is nearly back to the form he had in 2000, when he went 17-7 for Houston before encountering shoulder problems and having surgery that sidelined him all of 2002.

"I feel good and strong," Elarton said. "My stuff is good, almost back to where it was, and my command is getting there. That's the biggest thing for me, getting back to being confident enough in my stuff to throw strikes."

He walked only one and struck out five over seven innings, but still trailed 4-3 until Blake hit his 17th homer -- a two-run shot in the seventh off Tigers reliever Jamie Walker (1-4).

"It's nice to see that number in the win column," Elarton said. "It's a win. I can't complain about a thing. I don't care if it was 10-9. It's a win."

And this win put Cleveland (52-50) two games over .500 for the first time since April 27, 2002.

Carlos Guillen hit a two-run homer and Jason Smith a solo shot for Detroit.

Matt Lawton's RBI single in the first inning put Cleveland ahead 1-0. Blake's RBI single in the third made it 2-0.

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