Rain Can't Dampen Suddenly Hot Tribe

Ryan Garko hits one of his two RBI doubles.

The juggernaut that was supposed to be the 2006 Cleveland Indians continued its August surge with a 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. That gave the Tribe a 14-5 record since Aug. 5 and a lofty 35-18 mark in the month over the last two seasons. Down on the farm, Tribe affiliates went a combined 3-3. Akron lost in its first attempt to clinch the Southern Division title in the Eastern League.

The Indians and Blue Jays played in a steady drizzle at Jacobs Field, where Grady Sizemore (.296) and Ryan Garko (.338) supplied the big hits.

Sizemore went 3-for-5 with three runs, two doubles, and a solo homer, his 20th of the season. Garko (.338) was 2-for-4 with both hits being RBI doubles.

Manager Eric Wedge, not one to hyperbolize even the best of players, heaped praise upon Sizemore.

"If he's not the best all-around player in the league, he's near the top," Wedge told reporters. "He's just a great all-around player who works as hard as anyone we have. I'll take him over anybody."

Paul Byrd (9-6, 4.74 ERA) allowed four runs (three earned) over five shaky innings in which he gave up 10 hits.

He gave up four straight hits without retirng a batter in the sixth, leaving with the bases loaded.

Fernando Cabrera (5.01) did superb relief work by allowing only one run to score -- on a double play grounder and then getting the next man to fly out.

Cabrera worked two scoreless innings, Rafael Betancourt (4.47) gave up only one walk in the eighth and Tom Mastny (0.87) pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four chances.

Class AAA Buffalo (70-66) won at home over Ottawa, 5-4. Kevin Kouzmanoff (.369) hit a two-run homer, his seventh with Buffalo and 22nd of the season overall. Jason Cooper (.226) went 3-for-4 with two runs and a solo homer, his 13th, while Asdrubal Cabrera (.266) went 3-for-3 with a run and RBI. Jeremy Guthrie (8-5, 3.23 ERA) gave up three runs over six innings. Juan Lara (3.00) yielded one run over two innings and Danny Graves (3.94) got one strikeout in a perfect ninth for his first save. The Bisons conclude their home season with games against Ottawa on Tuesday and against Rochester on Wednesday and Thursday before going to Rochester for two games and then Ottawa for the final two of the season.

Class AA Akron (82-53) lost at second-place Altoona, 5-3, and failed to clinch the championship of the Southern Division of the Eastern League. The Aeros have a seven-game lead with seven to play -- three more at Altoona and four at last-place Erie. Brian Barton (.357) went 1-for-3 with a run, two RBI and a stolen base -- his 14th with the Aeros and 30th overall for the season. Ryan Mulhern (.271) went 3-for-4 with a run. Aaron Laffey (8-5, 3.59 ERA) gave up five runs on 10 hits and three walks over five innings. Dan Denham (4.88), Reid Santos (3.52) and Matt Davis (2.25) each pitched one hitless inning.

Class A Kinston (34-28, 47-23) scored eight runs in the eighth inning and defeated Potomac, 8-3, in its final regular-season home game. Scott Lewis (1.52 ERA) struck out four and allowed one walk and four hits over five scoreless innings. Scott Roehl (4-6, 4.02 ERA) gave up one run over three innings and Ryan Knippschild (3.93) yielded one run in the ninth. The Indians got five of their nine hits and four walks in the eighth when they sent 13 men to bat. Rodney Choy Foo (.296) had two RBI in the inning, on a double and sacrifice fly and Nate Panther (.274) a two-run single. Kinston, which won the first half championship in the Southern Division of the Carolina League, will play four games at Winston-Salem and three at Myrtle Beach to end the second half.

Class A Lake County (32-29, 29-41) lost at Hagerstown, 7-5. Seven different Captains had one hit apiece. Mike Butia (.304) hit a two-run homer, his fifth. Jeff Stevens (7-3, 4.35 ERA) gave up 10 hits and six runs (five earned) over five innings. Mark Jecmen (4.37) fanned one over two hitless innings and Julio Pinto (4.79) gave up a solo homer in one inning. The Captains will finish the season with three more games at Hagerstown and four at Lakewood.

Class A Mahoning Valley (34-32) allowed seven runs over the final two innings and lost to visiting Auburn, 10-6, dropping one game back in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League. Dustin Realini (.247) went 2-for-5 with one run and two RBI; Adam Davis (.217) was 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI; Jason Denham (.312) went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI; and Evandy DeLeon (.226) 1-for-4 with a run and RBI. Neil Wagner (0-1, 1.53 ERA), who had allowed only two runs in his first 22 outings, suffered his second blown save and the loss when he gave up three runs on two hits and two walks over only two-thirds of an inning. Starter Michael Eisenberg (4.34) gave up three runs over five innings and Kyle Collina (5.06) allowed three more over 2 1/3 innings. The Scrappers go to State College for two games, then are back home for two games apiece against Williamsport and State College before finishing the season with two apiece at Williamsport and Auburn.

Rookie League Burlington (34-32) defeated Danville, 9-2. Jerad Head (.246) went 2-for-5 with three runs and hit a two-run homer, his 10th. Trevor Mortensen (.282) drove in three runs with two hits, including a two-run homer, his second; Felipe Garcia (.302) had three hits, a run and RBI; Richard Martinez (.317) was 2-for-3 with two runs; and Alfred Ard (.213) had two hits, a run and RBI. Mike Storey (3-6, 4.11 ERA) allowed only two hits over seven scoreless innings, walking one and striking out three. Brett Andrade (3.12) gave up two runs over one inning and Brandt Sanders (2.70) fanned two over one perfect inning. Burlington is in second place, five games back, in the East Division of the Appalachian League with two games left, both at home against first-place Danville.

GCL Indians (21-29) finished their season last week and some of their players are now playing for Lake County, Mahoning Valley and Burlington.

TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (HITTING)

PLAYER

TEAM

AB

H

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB

SO

1. J. Head

Burlington

5

2

1

3

2

0

0

0

2. T. Mortensen

Burlington

4

2

1

1

3

0

0

0

3. J. Cooper

Buffalo

4

3

1

2

1

0

0

1


TODAY'S FARM SYSTEM THREE STARS (PITCHING)

PLAYER

Team

W

L

SV

IP

ER

H

BB

SO

1. M. Storey

Burlington

1

0

0

7.0

0

2

1

3

2. S. Lewis

Kinston

0

0

0

5.0

0

4

1

4

3. D. Graves

Buffalo

0

0

1

1.0

0

0

0

1

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