Tribe's Westbrook Finally Gets Support

Jhonny Peralta hits a two-run single.

Suddenly, Indians bats are hotter than Cleveland's stifling weather -- even with Jake Westbrook on the mound. The Indians rapped out 15 hits in an 11-2 win at Jacobs Field over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

It was a rare offensive outburst for Westbrook (3-9), who allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings -- and nearly got as many runs in one game (11) as he received in all of his nine losses (15). The Indians averaged just 2.6 runs over the right-hander's previous 13 starts this year.

But Grady Sizemore (.307) and Jose Hernandez (.228) each went 3-for-5, Jhonny Peralta (.271) had two hits and drove in three runs and Travis Hafner (.280) had two hits, including a 474-foot homer into the second deck in right field.

It all added up to Cleveland's seventh win in eight games and 15th in 22. The Indians improved to 17-0 when they score six or more runs.

"It's nice to get it," Westbrook told reporters who asked what it felt like to get a lead. "It was better that they kept adding to it. You think about it. It's tough to go out and pitch well when all you have is a lot of losses to show for it."

That's what all the Rockies pitchers have felt like on the road this season, where Colorado is 4-24.

MINOR MATTERS

CLASS AAA BUFFALO (41-21) won at Louisville, 6-1, as Jake Gautreau (.293) and Joe Inglett (.330) each went 2-for-4 and Jason Cooper (.250) drove in two runs. Kyle Denney (1-1, 5.08 ERA) gave up five hits over five scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out three. Steve Watkins (4.48 ERA) allowed one run and three hits over 2 1/3 innings and Chad Zerbe (3.62 ERA) allowed two hits over a final scoreless 1 2/3 innings. The Bisons lead the North Division of the International League by 6 1/2 games.

CLASS AA AKRON (39-25) extended its lead in the Southern Division of the Eastern League to 4 1/2 games with a 6-2 win at Erie. Eider Torres (.285) went 4-for-5 as the Aeros pounded out 18 hits. Brad Snyder (.429) went 3-for-5 and hit his second homer since being promoted from Class A Kinston on Saturday. Shaun Larkin (.288) hit his fourth homer and went 2-for-5 and Javier Cardona (.250), acquired last week in a trade from St. Louis, went 3-for-4. Pat Osborn (.258) and Ivan Ochoa (.247) also had two hits apiece. J.D. Martin (3-0, 2.82 ERA) gave up one run on seven hits over six innings. He struck out four without a walk. Steve Green (3.96 ERA) pitched two scoreless and Michael Hernandez (6.23 ERA) gave up one run in one inning.

CLASS A KINSTON (37-28) had its lead in the Southern Division of the Carolina League trimmed to one game by Northern Division leader Lynchburg, 7-2. Ryan Mulhern (.319) went 2-for-4 with his 14th homer off former Akron Aeros pitcher Derrick Van Dusen, who was released by the Indians earlier this year, but improved to 3-2 at the lower level. Rafael Perez (7-4, 3.68 ERA) gave up six runs over five innings. Matt Davis (4.93 ERA) worked two scoreless, Juan Lara (4.50 ERA) allowed one run over 1 1/3 innings and Jim Ed Warden (5.09 ERA) got the final two outs.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (38-28) pulled within two games of first place and one game out of second in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League with a 9-5 win at Delmarva. Argenis Reyes (.330), Brian Finegan (.276) and Chris Gimenez (.220) all had three hits for the Captains. Chad Longworth (.280) went 1-for-4 with three RBI. Starter Chuck Lofgren (4.93 ERA) gave up two runs on six hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings, striking out four. Chris Niesel (5-2, 4.57 ERA) allowed three runs over 2 1/3 innings, but got the win. Kyle Collins (2.20 ERA) worked a perfect eighth and Kieran Mattison (2.11 ERA) a scoreless ninth.

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