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Indians Rout Tigers, 14-5


Someone was going to pay for the Indians' 20-run loss to the Yankees last weekend.

Sorry, Dave Borkowski.

Jim Thome and Richie Sexson hit long home runs in Cleveland's eight-run second inning Tuesday night, and the Indians looked more like themselves in a 14-5 rout of the Detroit Tigers.

Omar Vizquel added four RBIs and Sexson homered twice for Cleveland, which won for just the fourth time in 13 games since the All-Star break.

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Game Summary

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  • For the first time in the second half, the Indians pummeled an opposing starting pitcher, and they scored at least 10 runs for the 17th time this season. Cleveland got six doubles and posted its highest run total in 72 games, despite playing without Manny Ramirez, the major league RBIs leader who is sidelined with a bruised left knee.

    "We just wish we could have had done half of this in the series against the Yankees," Vizquel said. "That's what it's all about. We've got to get it done with the big teams."

    Yes, nothing like a trip back into the AL Central to right the Indians. Cleveland had lost nine of 10 entering the series, but by winning the first two games, the Indians improved to 25-11 in their division.

    "We're getting a lot of pitches to hit against these guys," Vizquel said. "Against the Yankees it was a different story."

    Borkowski (0-1) was battered for eight runs and seven hits in the second, including the two bombs by Thome and Sexson that measured a combined 914 feet.

    "That's why they're the best hitting team in baseball," said Borkowski, making his third major league start. "I mean, it's ridiculous trying to face them. Those first three batters are unbelievable."

    The top of Cleveland's lineup Kenny Lofton, Vizquel and Roberto Alomar went 9-for-15 with five doubles, four runs and seven RBIs.

    "I must admit I was a little baffled," Borkowski said. "I started to think, 'What do you have to do, make a perfect pitch to every hitter?"'

    Cleveland's defense also sparkled with Lofton and Alomar making consecutive stellar plays in te seventh. Starter Charles Nagy also made a nice play on a bunt to get Bill Haselman leading off.

    Alomar ranged into short right to make a diving stop of Deivi Cruz's grounder, spun on his knees and fired the ball to first to nip the runner. Moments earlier, Lofton made a sliding catch to rob Luis Polonia of a fourth hit.

    "We should have had three straight hits and we got none," Detroit manager Larry Parrish said. "A great play by Nagy. A diving catch by Lofton and then a highlight reel play by Alomar."

    Polonia had three hits and Tony Clark homered for the Tigers, who helped the Indians by making four errors.

    Nagy (12-6) allowed five runs and nine hits in eight innings to improve to 16-4 in 23 career starts against the Tigers. Steve Karsay, activated from the DL on Monday, made his first appearance since July 1 by pitched a hitless ninth.

    A one-out walk to rookie Russell Branyan, making his Jacobs Field debut, got the Indians started in the second, and Alex Ramirez followed with a single to send Branyan to third.

    Einar Diaz hit an RBI single and Lofton went the other way for a two-run double to left, putting the Indians up 3-1. Vizquel had a run-scoring single and took second when Polonia let the ball get past him for an error.

    Vizquel stole third and scored on Alomar's sacrifice fly. The Indians were still exchanging high-fives in the dugout when Thome hit Borkowski's first pitch 478 feet to dead center.

    It was the third longest homer in Jacobs Field history, surpassed only by Thome's 511-foot shot here on July 3 and Mark McGwire's 485-footer here in 1997.

    Jacob Cruz's two-out single kept the inning alive and Sexson made it 8-1 with a towering, 436-foot shot to left.

    "Tonight we put it all together," Sexson said. "It was a solid all-around game and it was good to see us come back like that."

    Notes:

  • The Indians have scored five runs or more 21 times this season.
  • Tigers 2B Frank Catalanotto committed two errors on one play in the fifth.
  • Dwight Gooden, Cleveland's scheduled starter Wednesday, shot down a report he asked the Indians to trade him. "That's false," he said. "That never happened." Gooden, who lost his job as the No. 5 starter earlier this month, had been scheduled to start in New York last week. But Indians manager Mike Hargrove decided to start Tom Candiotti after already telling Gooden he would pitch against the Yankees. Asked if he was starting Wednesday, Gooden joked, "As of now."
  • Detroit LHP Justin Thompson, who left Monday's start after just 2 1-3 innings, reported no additional soreness in his shoulder. He is expected to throw on the side Thursday in Toronto.
  • Clark extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.

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

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