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Indians Rally Upends Twins

The Indians owed Bartolo Colon, and Thursday night they paid up.

Colon gutted it for six innings and finally got his seventh win when the Cleveland Indians rallied for six runs in the sixth Thursday night to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-5.

Colon (7-3) gave up a season-high 10 hits many of them soft singles but hung around long enough to get his first victory since May 17 as the Indians rallied in the sixth off reliever Hector Carrasco (0-1).

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  • Â"I'm out of my slump now,Â" Colon said. Â"I think I can start pitching a lot better.Â"

    David Justice had a two-run single and Richie Sexson drove in two more with a triple his third in six games in the sixth to help the Indians overcame a 4-1 deficit. Cleveland, which leads the majors in runs, has scored five runs or more in an inning 17 times this season.

    Â"The thing about our offense,Â" Sexson said. Â"Is that it seems like we can do that in a heartbeat.Â"

    Colon had gone 0-2 in his last seven starts, but was the victim of some bad luck in at least two of those outings. In his last start, he took a 7-1 lead into the eighth before Kansas City rallied for 10 runs, six against the Indians bullpen.

    Cleveland's relievers didn't let that happen again as three pitchers closed out the win. Mike Jackson pitched a strong ninth for his 16th save.

    Jackson, who has struggled at times this year, looked much more like the pitcher who saved 40 games in 45 tries in 1998.

    Â"His velocity was up to 94 mph,Â" Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. Â"So that was good to see.Â"

    The Twins scored four runs off Colon, but they had to work for everyone one of them.

    Â"I don't know if Colon was gutting it out,Â" Minnesota's Todd Walker said. Â"He was blowing it up there at 99 mph. We were able to get a couple of hits, but believe me he was as tough as he usually is. He got tougher with men in scoring position.Â"

    Rookie Corey Koskie went 3-for-4 with a homer and scored three runs for the Twins. Javier Valentin had three hits and also homered. The pair entered the game 2-for-24 aginst the Indians.

    Three straight singles, two coming on balls that could have been turned into outs, and two sacrifices gave the Twins a 4-1 lead in the sixth against Colon.

    Rookie Joe Mays was pulled after five innings and 116 pitches, and replaced by Carrasco, who gave up consecutive singles to Jim Thome and Travis Fryman to start the sixth. One out later, Kenny Lofton walked and Omar Vizquel's sacrifice fly made it 4-2.

    After going to a 3-0 count on Roberto Alomar, Carrasco was lifted for Bob Wells, who then walked Alomar and Manny Ramirez to force in a run.

    Justice followed with his two-run single to put the Indians up 5-4, and the 6-foot-8 Sexson then tripled off the wall in dead center.

    Â"When I got to third base, New-New (Indians third base coach Jeff Newman) said that's your third triple this week,Â" said Sexson, who never had more than three triples in a season. Â"It's definitely odd.Â"

    By changing speeds and throwing breaking balls when the Indians were expecting his fastball, Mays held the Indians to just five hits in five innings.

    Â"I was glad to see him taken out of the game,Â" Hargrove said.

    Notes: Sexson snapped an 0-for-13 slide with his triple. ... It was Carrasco's first loss since July 23 last season. ... The bases-loaded walk gave Ramirez his major league-leading 84th RBI. ... Colon has pitched into the sixth inning in 13 of 16 starts. ... Heavy thunderstorms prevented the teams from taking batting practice. ... Valentin threw out Vizquel on a blown hit-and-run in the fifth inning and has now caught 40 percent (12-for-30) of potential base stealers. ... Over the last two seasons, the Indians have been in first place for 266 of 268 days. ... Sexson's fourth triple tied Lofton for the team lead. ... Cleveland now has 31 come-from-behind wins this season.

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

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