Tumbling Tribe Toppled In Texas
Victor Martinez tries to settle Jake Westbrook.
Victor Martinez tries to settle Jake Westbrook.
Indians Ink
Posted May 8, 2005


The Indians fell farther back in the AL Central Division on Sunday with a 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers and 40-year-old left-hander Kenny Rogers.

Cleveland (12-18) is in fourth place, two games behind Detroit (14-16), seven behind Minnesota (19-11) and a whopping 11 1/2 behind the Chicago White Sox (24-7).

The Indians started 12-18 last season, too, and were five back of first-place Chicago then. After 30 games in 2003, Cleveland was 9-21 and trailed first-place Kansas City by 11.

"Chicago has been on a roll since Day 1 and they're still riding it," Indians manager Eric Wedge told reporters after Cleveland fell to 1-8 this season against left-handed starters. "We've just got to grind it out."

The Indians got 10 hits off Rogers and three relievers, but left 11 runners on base. Jose Hernandez left two stranded to end the first inning and hit into double plays to end the sixth and eighth. Ryan Ludwick hit into a double play to end the second and Aaron Boone hit into yet another twin-killing in the seventh. Cleveland put two more runners on that inning, but Ron Belliard left both stranded. Travis Hafner struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth to end the game.

Rogers (3-2) won his third straight and extended his shutout streak to 21 innings with seven innings of six-hit ball. He walked four and struck out four and didn't allow an extra-base hit in lowering his ERA to 1.79.

Victor Martinez went 3-for-4 and doubled home Cleveland's first run in the eighth inning off reliever Brian Shouse. The Indians got another run on a fielder's choice groundout by Coco Crisp in the ninth before Francisco Cordero fanned Hafner.

The Rangers struck quickly off Jake Westbrook (1-6). David Dellucci led off the first inning with a triple and scored on Michael Young's fourth homer. Young fouled off seven pitches and hit the 11th he saw over the fence.

"He kept fouling them off until he got a pitch where he wanted it," said Westbrook, who gave up six runs and seven hits over 3 1/3 innings. "It was a sinker, down where I wanted it, but give him credit, he went down and got it."

MINOR MATTERS
CLASS AAA BUFFALO (16-13)
extended its winning streak to four by blasting Ottawa, 16-5, with a 15-hit attack that included homers by Brandon Phillips, Mike Kinkade and Dusty Wathan. Jason Bere (1-0) was activated from the Indians' extended spring training program and Kyle Denney placed on the disabled list with a sore elbow. Bere gave up five runs on six hits and three walks over five innings in his first start above Class AA in two years. Phillips (.239) hit his fourth homer leading off the first inning and went 2-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Wathan (.268) hit his second homer, a two-run shot, in the second and went 2-for-4. Kinkade (.286) hit a two-run homer, his third, in the seventh and went 2-for-5. Catcher Ryan Garko went 2-for-4 and is on a 19-for-38 (.500) tear that has lifted his average to .322. Andy Abad (2-for-3, .241) drove in four runs while Jake Gautreau and Jake Thrower also had two hits apiece for the Bisons. Buffalo improved to 12-6 at home and swept a two-game series from Ottawa by a total score of 26-7 to move into first place in the North Division of the International League, a half-game ahead of the Lynx. The Bisons start an eight-game trip in Durham on Monday and will go to Charlotte on Friday for another four-game set.

CLASS A AKRON (17-11) lost in 10 innings to visiting Harrisburg, 5-4. The Aeros scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score. Anthony Lunetta (1-for-5, .250) hit a two-run single and Scott Youngbauer (2-for-5, .222) followed with a two-run homer, his third. Akron then put runners on second and third with two outs, but Pat Osborn (1-for-5, .250) grounded out and the teams went to the 10th. Michael Aubrey (.290) and Jason Cooper (.233) both went 2-for-4 for Akron. Aeros starter Jake Dittler (3.11 ERA) allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits and four walks over seven innings. Steve Green (0-2, 3.93 ERA) gave up two runs, one earned, over two innings before Chris Cooper (2.93 ERA) got the final three outs. The Aeros, one game out of first place in the Southern Division, are at first-place Erie on Monday night to start a four-game series and 10-game trip.

CLASS A KINSTON (18-11) defeated visiting Salem, 12-3, as first baseman Ryan Mulhern (2-for-4, .320) drove in five runs with two homers, his sixth and seventh of the season. Caleb Brock, who hit a game-winning three-run homer Saturday with two outs in the 10th inning, scored five runs and went 4-for-5 to lift his average to .297. Brad Snyder (3-for-4, .339) and Kevin Kouzmanoff (2-for-3, .347) each had three RBI. Kinston starter Sean Smith gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. Winner Matt Davis (1-2, 5.40 ERA) allowed an unearned run and two hits over 2 2/3 innings and Jim Ed Warden (9.00 ERA) worked a hitless two innings. The K-Tribe, winners of four of five and leading the Southern Division by 2 1/2 games, will open a four-game series at Potomac on Monday night.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (16-13) was not scheduled on Sunday. The Captains, in fourth place and 3 1/2 games back in the Northern Division, start an eight-game trip Monday night that takes them to Asheville for four games and Hickory for another four.


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