Tribe's Benny B + Bags Juiced = Magic

Ben Broussard hits his three-run double.

There's something about batting with the bases loaded that gets Ben Broussard filled up, too -- with confidence.

Broussard doubled home three runs in Cleveland's four-run first inning to help the Indians defeat the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4, Friday night.

"Any time you can come up with guys in scoring position, that's a fun time to swing the bat," Broussard said. "In that situation, the pressure's on the pitcher, so you just look to put a good swing on a good pitch."

Broussard has had his fill of success with the bags filled. He's 2-for-3 this season in that situation after going 7-for-11 with three homers and 23 RBI with the bases loaded a year ago.

That was part of the reasoning behind manager Eric Wedge putting Broussard into the cleanup spot in the order on Wednesday in Anaheim, when the first baseman delivered three hits.

"He's a clutch hitter," said Wedge, who dropped Broussard down to seventh against a left-handed starter on Friday night. "Certain hitters want to be up there in that situation. He thrives on it."

Broussard got his opportunity because Blue Jays starter Ted Lilly couldn't find the plate. The left-hander threw 47 pitches and walked four in the first inning alone, including Coco Crisp with the bases loaded to force home one run.

Broussard followed with a line double over a leaping second baseman Orlando Hudson that rolled through the gap in right-center and gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead.

After Toronto scored two runs -- one earned -- in the second inning, Jose Hernandez hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom half to put the Tribe ahead, 5-2.

It looked good for Indians starter Jake Westbrook to get his second win in eight decisions -- until a rainstorm delayed play for 72 minutes with two outs in the top of the fourth.

Wedge decided not to try and send Westbrook back out after the long layoff.

"That's just the way things have gone so far for me this year," Westbrook said. "Anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. But the bottom line is, the team got the win."

The move looked shaky when Alex Rios hit the third pitch after the delay from reliever Jason Davis into the right-field seats for his first homer to make it 5-4.

But Davis, Bob Howry (3-1), Arthur Rhodes and Bob Wickman held the Blue Jays scoreless the rest of the way -- with Wickman getting his 10th save.

Meanwhile, Ryan Ludwick homered in the fifth to make it 6-4. It was the 29th solo shot of 40 homers hit by the Indians this season. Ludwick has seven hits this season and three of them have been homers.


dropped a half-game out of first place in the Northern Division of the International League with an 11-5 loss at Charlotte. Second baseman Jake Gautreau (.279) went 2-for-3 with his seventh homer, a solo shot and Jody Gerut continued his strong play, going 2-for-4 as the centerfielder to put his average at .405 (15-for-37). Jason Bere (1-1, 13.00 ERA) gave up eight runs on eight hits over four innings as the Bisons went from a 2-0 lead to an 8-3 deficit. Kaz Tadano (2.97 ERA) went the final four innings, yielding three runs and five hits.

CLASS A AKRON (20-13) used a three-run seventh inning to win at New Britain, 3-1. Trailing, 1-0, Jason Cooper (2-for-3, .267) hit a one-out homer, his eighth, to tie the score. Pat Osborn (0-for-3, .255) walked and Jonathan Van Every (1-for-4, .214) followed with his fourth homer. Jake Dittler (3-2, 2.56 ERA) gave up one unearned run on three hits and two walks over eight innings. The right-hander struck out six, then turned it over to Todd Pennington (3.00 ERA), who walked two, but struck out two in the ninth for his sixth save.

CLASS A KINSTON (21-13) defeated visiting Frederick, 5-2, as third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (2-for-4, .367) drove in three runs and hit a two-run homer, his sixth. First baseman Shaun Larkin (.284) went 3-for-3, catcher Caleb Brock (.309) and left fielder Brad Snyder (.320) were both 1-for-3 and second baseman Micah Schilling (.261) 2-for-4 for the K-Tribe. Starter Sean Smith (2.30 ERA) gave up a solo homer and four hits over 5 1/3 innings, but Matt Davis (2-2, 5.16 ERA) relinquished the lead by giving up one run on three hits over 2 2/3 innings. Edward Mujica (3.86 ERA) worked a perfect ninth, striking out two, for his sixth save.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (19-15) won at Hickory 4-0 as Chris Niesel and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. Niesel (3-2, 4.42 ERA) gave up four hits and three walks over seven innings. Kieran Mattison (3.00 ERA) struck out two and gave up one hit in one inning and Bo Ashabraner (6.35 ERA) gave up a hit in the ninth. Second baseman Marshall Szabo (2-for-4, .243) hit a solo homer, his second, and drove in two runs to lead the Captains' offense. Recommended Stories

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