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Indians Look Sharp And Win


With the way things have been going for the Cleveland Indians, they can't afford to lose any more players, particularly a starting pitcher.

Bartolo Colon pitched two-hit ball for 5 1-3 innings before leaving with tightness in his left knee and Roberto Alomar and Richie Sexson homered for the Indians, who beat Seattle 7-4 Friday night.

The injury-riddled Indians, already playing without Sandy Alomar, Travis Fryman, Wil Cordero and Kenny Lofton, won for the eighth time in 11 games and stopped the Mariners' four-game winning streak.

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  • Colon (13-4), who has won three straight starts and seven of eight, left after walking David Bell with one out in the sixth. He struck out six and walked two.

    Colon, 24, has been bothered by patella tendinitis in his left knee in his two years with the Indians. He was hit in the left ankle by a batted ball in his last start Sunday.

    "There's nothing serious," manager Mike Hargrove said. "No, I don't think he'll miss his next start. It's occurred before and it hasn't cost him a start."

    Hargrove stopped short of calling Colon's presence crucial for the Indians, though.

    "I've gotten beyond saying anybody's crucial with some of the things that we've dealt with this year," he said. "So I hesitate to say anybody is crucial because we've learned differently. We've lost four or five guys that I've thought ere crucial. The only one who is crucial around here is me."

    David Riske pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs and four hits. Paul Shue relieved in the seventh and Mike Jackson pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 31 chances.

    Seattle put two on with one out, but Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez struck out.

    "I definitely didn't want to face those guys to be honest with you in that situation," Jackson said. "I knew Griffey had the capability of hitting the ball out of the ballpark to tie the game and so did Alex. So I just had to bear down."

    John Halama (9-5), who won nine consecutive decisions from April 30-Aug. 3, lost his third straight start, giving up five runs and six hits in seven innings.

    "I can't live up in the zone with my fastball," Halama said. "I have to live down in the zone."

    Sexson's 23rd homer, a two-run drive, put Cleveland ahead in the second and Alomar led off the third with his 21st homer, matching the career high he set with Baltimore two years ago. Sexson was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Alomar was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

    "It's been a pretty good year, but I'm not going out there and playing for numbers," Alomar said. "I'm going out there to try to help this team win some games and, hopefully, I can help this team to get to the other level and that's to get to the World Series."

    Cleveland made it 5-0 in the fifth on Omar Vizquel's RBI double and Sexson's sacrifice fly.

    Seattle pulled within a run in the sixth on Rodriguez's RBI single off Riske, Edgar Martinez's two-run double and Jay Buhner's run-scoring infield single.

    Alex Ramirez hit an RBI groundout in the eighth, and Alomar had a run-scoring double in the ninth.

    Seattle manager Lou Piniella said he thought his team could come back after Colon left the game.

    "Colon is a pretty good pitcher," Piniella said. "He was throwing the ball pretty hard. Once he got out of there, we added four runs real quick."

    Notes

  • Colon beat Seattle for the second time this season and is 2-3 against the Mariners in his career.
  • Cleveland is 12-3 on the road against AL West teams.
  • The Mariners had their 17th sellout in 22 games at Safeco Field.
  • Griffey stole his 22nd base of the season. His previous career high was 20 last season.
  • Indians center fielder Kenny Lofton did not accompany his team to Seattle. He has a bruised right foot.
  • Martinez went 3-for-4 to raise his career batting average against Cleveland to .351.

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

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