It hasn't happened yet, but don't be surprised if Indians manager Eric Wedge finds himself lodged…
Westbrook Wins With Belliard Blast
"Tonight was a typically hard-fought game," Indians manager Eric Wedge told SportsTicker. "We had to keep going and it eventually paid off. It was an exciting series, a hard-fought series. It was everything we anticipated coming into it." Ron Belliard's three-run homer broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and Bob Wickman got his 41st save in relief of Jake Westbrook (15-14), who flirted with perfection for a few innings. Westbrook retired the first 12 he faced until walking Eric Chavez to open the fifth. He didn't give up a hit until Marco Scutaro singled to center after a leadoff walk to Jay Payton in the sixth. The right-hander gave up two hits and three runs over seven innings -- yielding a three-run, game-tying homer to Nick Swisher, his 18th, right after Scutaro broke up the no-hit bid. Cleveland got to former Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito (13-12) in the fifth. Grady Sizemore doubled and was bunted to third by Coco Crisp. Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner both walked to load the bases and Victor Martinez brought home Sizemore with a sacrifice fly to left for a 1-0 lead. Belliard singled home Peralta and another run scored when third baseman Eric Chavez bobbled a grounder hit by Jose Hernandez for an error -- allowing Hafner to score for a 3-0 lead. With the score tied 3-3, Peralta opened the seventh with a single and Zito again walked Hafner before striking out Martinez. Belliard then hit an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left for his 14th homer and a 6-3 lead. Mark Kotsay hit his 14th homer off Wickman in the ninth. MINOR-LEAGUE PLAYOFF TIME CLASS AA AKRON won Game 2 of the best-of-five Eastern League championship series, 4-3, at Portland as Nate Panther broke a 3-3 tie with a two-out homer in the fifth inning. It was the first road victory in 12 games thus far this year in all EL playoff games. Rafael Perez gave up three runs -- two earned -- over six innings for the win. He allowed nine hits, walked three and struck out seven. Chris Cooper struck out three of the four batters he faced in a perfect 1 2/3 innings and Edward Mujica, who had 24 regular-season saves, pitched a perfect 1 1/3 for another. Eider Torres went 3-for-4 for the Aeros, leading off the game with a double and scoring on a one-out double by Brad Snyder. Pat Osborn singled home Snyder with two outs for a 2-0 lead. Tied at 2 in the top of the third, Panther singled, stole second and scored on a two-out double by Ryan Mulhern. The series now shifts to Canal Park in Akron. Major-league veteran Wade Miller, who was 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA for the Boston Red Sox before going on the disabled list Aug. 9 with a sore right shoulder, will make his second rehab start for the Sea Dogs against Aeros right-hander Brian Slocum (7-5, 4.40 ERA). South Champion Akron vs. Second-Place Altoona Sept. 7: Akron 11, Altoona 7 Sept. 8: Akron 6, Altoona 4 Sept. 9: Altoona 3, Akron 0 Sept. 10: Altoona 6, Akron 3 Sept. 11: Akron 6, Altoona 4 EASTERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP Sept. 13: Portland 6, Akron 4 Sept. 14: Akron 4, at Portland 3 Sept. 16: Portland at Akron Sept. 17: Portland at Akron Sept. 18: Portland at Akron (if necessary) CLASS A KINSTON and Frederick were rained out of their decisive Game 5 in the Carolina League championship series and are scheduled to try again Thursday night. The best-of-five series is tied at two games apiece. The Indians are looking to repeat as champions by coming back from an 0-2 deficit for the second straight year. Frederick is seeking its first title since 1990. Game 5 will feature the starters in Game 1, Nick Pesco (0-1, 3.00 ERA) for Kinston and Brian Finch (1-0, 1.29 ERA) for the Keys. Left-hander Chuck Lofgren had been called up from Lake County by Kinston and would have made his Carolina League debut Wednesday night in the title game. Instead, it will be Pesco, who went 11-10 with a 3.82 ERA in the regular season, striking out 101 and walking only 39 in 153 1/3 innings. Frederick's Finch went 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA in the regular season, striking out 124 and walking 60 in 154 1/3 innings. SOUTHERN DIVISION FINALS First half champ Kinston vs. second half champ Winston-Salem Sept. 7: Kinston 3, at Winston-Salem 1 Sept. 8: Kinston 8, Winston-Salem 1 MILLS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Sept. 10: Frederick 3, Kinston 2 Sept. 11: Frederick 6, Kinston 2 Sept. 12: Kinston 3, Frederick 0 Sept. 13: Kinston 4, Frederick 3 Sept. 14: Frederick at Kinston rained out Sept. 15: Frederick at Kinston CLASS AAA BUFFALO was eliminated from the International League playoffs Sunday night by losing for the third straight home game after taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. North Champion Buffalo vs. Wild Card Indianapolis Sept. 7: Buffalo 5, at Indianapolis 1 Sept. 8: Buffalo 6, at Indianapolis 5 Sept. 9: Indianapolis 5, at Buffalo 2 Sept. 10: Indianapolis 4, at Buffalo 1 Sept. 11: Indianapolis 6, at Buffalo 4
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