Indians, Hafner Find Home In The Dome

Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer, Casey Blake belted a solo shot and Jake Westbrook finally got a win as the Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, Tuesday night in the Metrodome.

"The bats are heading in the right direction and what we have to do is work off this win tomorrow," manager Eric Wedge told reporters.

Westbrook (1-5) finally got some offensive support and won for the first time since beating Kansas City last Sept. 27.

"Jake did his job and gave us a chance to win a ballgame," said Wedge. "He's had some tough losses and it is good to see him get the first one out of the way."

Rafael Betancourt (1.84 ERA), Arthur Rhodes (1.32 ERA) and Bob Wickman (5.79 ERA) each pitched a scoreless inning as the Indians (10-15) won for only the second time in six games. Minnesota dropped to 15-10.

Wickman allowed a one-out infield single to Michael Cuddyer. After Nick Punto lined out, Cuddyer went to second on fielder's indifference and to third on a balk by Wickman -- who then walked Shannon Stewart.

Stewart stole second as pinch-hitter Matt LeCroy worked the count to 3-and-1. But LeCroy swung and missed on the next two pitches from Wickman, who got sixth save.

"Wicky got a little of of sync, but battled back," said Wedge.

Westbrook allowed two runs on eight hits and one walk over six innings. He struck out three and lowered his ERA from 6.35 to 5.77.

A year ago, the right-hander went 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA, third-lowest in the AL. The Indians scored a total of only six runs in his five previous starts this season.

Hafner (.296) put Cleveland ahead, 2-0, with his third homer in the first inning off right-hander Joe Mays. Blake (.187) snapped a 1-for-27 slump by hitting his fourth homer in the second and Ronnie Belliard (.296) added an RBI double later in the inning for a 4-0 lead.

Westbrook gave up a homer to Justin Morneau, his third, in the bottom half and an RBI single to Joe Mauer in the third.

Ben Broussard (.253) went 3-for-5 and Coco Crisp (.252) 2-for-4 as Cleveland totaled 10 hits and seven walks off five Minnesota pitchers. Aaron Boone, went 0-for-5 to drop his average to .115 and the Indians still struggled with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-13.

MINOR MATTERS
CLASS AAA BUFFALO (12-12)
overcame a 4-0 deficit to defeat visiting Scranton Wilkes-Barre, 10-5. Shortstop Brandon Phillips (.229) went 3-for-5) with a three-run homer, his first, and third baseman Mike Kinkade (.260) went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Right-fielder Ernie Young (.309) hit his fourth homer and went 2-for-4 while center-fielder John Rodriguez (.250) also went 2-for-4. Kenny Rayborn (1-0, 6.61) was the winner in relief. He allowed one run and four hits over five innings. Starter Kyle Denney (5.79 ERA) gave up two walks, six hits and four runs over two innings. Andrew Brown (5.25 ERA) pitched two scoreless innings. Jody Gerut, in the lineup as the designated hitter in his first game of the season, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Gerut is on a rehab assignment after having reconstructive knee surgery last September and spending the first month of the season at the Cleveland Indians' extending spring training program in Florida.

CLASS A AKRON (14-8) lost at Binghamton, 9-3, despite center-fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.277) going 3-for-4 with one run, one RBI and two stolen bases. Second baseman Anthony Lunetta (.333), recently called up from Class A Lake County, went 2-for-5 and also stole a base. Right-hander Jake Dittler (2-2, 3.23) gave up 12 hits and seven runs, though only five were earned because of his own throwing error. Travis Foley (4.91) allowed three hits and two unearned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

CLASS A KINSTON (14-10) won at Lynchburg, 7-1, as Rafael Perez (4-0, 0.60) continued to pitch well. The left-hander allowed one run on five hits and three walks over six innings, striking out six. In 30 innings this season, he has given up only five earned runs, 16 hits and six walks while fanning 27. Tom Mastny (3.38 ERA) struck out four and gave up one hit and one walk over two scoreless innings and Edward Mujica (6.43 ERA) worked a hitless ninth. Center-fielder Brad Snyder (.330) stayed hot, going 3-for-5 with one run and his fifth stolen base. Second baseman Micah Schilling (.289) went 2-for-5 and hit his first homer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning. DH Ryan Mulhern (.349) also went 2-for-5, while shortstop Chris De La Cruz (.226) and first baseman Shaun Larkin (.273) were 2-for-4.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (14-11) was routed at Lexington, 16-4. Second baseman Argenis Reyes (.354) went 3-for-5, but made one of the Captains' five errors. Third baseman Matt Whitney made three of them and also went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .150. Captains starter Reid Santos (0-3, 9.12 ERA) was hit hard, allowing 11 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) over 3 2/3 innings. Josh Harris (13.03 ERA) also had a forgettable outing, giving up six runs on five hits and four walks over 1 2/3 innings. Bright spots were Kyle Collins (0.79 ERA) who worked a scoreless 1 1/3 innings and infielder Jose Ortega, who made his pitching debut and gave up only one walk in working a hitless inning.