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Burba Solid In Cleveland Win


The Cleveland Indians disagree strongly with their detractors: They think their starting pitching is plenty good enough.

Dave Burba pitched 7 1-3 strong innings and the Indians scored two unearned runs on Ryan Jackson's error in the fourth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-0 Saturday.

"We don't have (Greg) Maddux, (Tom) Glavine, (John) Smoltz and people like that, but we've got good starters in (Steve) Karsay, (Bartolo) Colon, (Charles) Nagy and Burba," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We've got good, solid starters and at time we compete and sneak up somebody."

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Game Summary

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  • Burba (10-7) allowed five singles, including a pair to David Bell, while walking three before being taken out in the eighth after his third walk.

    Ricardo Rincon came in with two runners on and struck out Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, Seattle's two big offensive guns. Griffey and Rodriguez went 0-for-7 on the day.

    "Those are two of the top hitters in the game today obviously," Hargrove said. "Everytime you get them out, you kind of thank your lucky stars that they didn't hit one about five miles."

    In Friday night's game, Colon allowed two hits and one run in 5 1-3 innings in a 7-4 victory over Seattle.

    "We have good pitching," Burba said. "The consensus around the nation is that we don't, but I think we have a great pitching staff. People are always saying that we need this and we need that. Well, we're not in first place because it's luck."

    Burba left the game after making 119 pitches. He as hoping for his second major league shutout.

    "I was trying to get the shutout," Burba said. "That's something to look back on in your career. But it didn't work out."

    Cleveland beat Seattle for the second straight game at new Safeco Field and for the sixth time in eight games this season.

    In the fourth, Enrique Wilson opened with a double off rookie Gil Meche (4-3), Roberto Alomar sacrificed Wilson to third and Manny Ramirez drew a walk. After David Justice struck out, Jim Thome hit a sharp grounder that went between Ramirez's legs off Jackson's glove at first base into right field to score Wilson.

    "Any time you make a mistake like that in the field, you don't feel too comfortable," said Jackson, who was called from Triple-A Tacoma last Sunday to replace the injured John Mabry.

    "I got shielded (by Ramirez) for a split second, but there are no excuses," he added. "I've got to come up with the ball in that situation."

    Ramirez scored Cleveland's second run on Richie Sexson's single.

    The Indians broke the game open with four runs in the eighth off Jeff Fassero, the Mariners' former No. 1 starter who was demoted to the bullpen Aug. 6.

    Ramirez and Sexson had RBI doubles, Carlos Baerga singled in a run and Jim Thome had an RBI groundout.

    Seattle manager Lou Piniella said it wasn't a case of too much Indians' pitching, though.

    "We haven't been to maintain a consistent offense," he said.

    Piniella said he doesn't think his team's move to Safeco Field last month has anything to do with the Mariners' problems scoring runs.

    "Other teams come in here and swing the bats," he said.

    Meche went six innings and gave up two unearned runs, five hits and three walks. He struck out seven.

    Notes

  • The Mariners surpassed 1 million in attendance in their 23rd game at Safeco.
  • Griffey, a nine-time Gold Glove center fielder, nearly made a tremendous diving catch of Thome's line drive in the sixth, but the ball popped out after Griffey hit the ground for a single
  • The Indians improved to an AL-best 37-22 on the road.
  • Burba is 4-1 lifetime against Seattle. He pitched for the Mariners in 1990 and 1991.
  • The Indians had their fifth shutout of the year and Seattle was shut out for the fifth time.
  • Alomar's 28th stolen base gave the Indians 107, tops in the AL.
  • Griffey and Rodriguez are 2-for-16 in the series.
  • The Mariners are 7-16 against the AL's three division leaders; Cleveland, the Yankees and Texas.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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