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Indians Win Game, But Lose Thome


Dwight Gooden's only regret was his father wasn't able to see him pitch a regular season game in their hometown.

The Cleveland right-hander, who grew up in Tampa and owns a home less than 15 minutes from Tropicana Field, allowed five hits and struck out a season-high six in 6 1-3 innings Friday night to beat Tampa Bay 5-1.

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    Forum: Does Jim Thome's loss kill the Indians' World Series hopes?


  • "It felt real good, but I had mixed emotions," said Gooden, whose father Dan, died in January 1997. "With family and friends all here, it was good. I had a lot of support.

    "On the other side, I remember when they were first building this place and my father used to talk about it a little bit. The first couple of innings were a little emotional for me, but after that I felt real good and had some fun."

    The excitement of Gooden's victory was tempered by an injury that's expected to sideline Jim Thome, Cleveland's All-Star first baseman, four-to-six weeks.

    Thome, batting .303 with 29 homers and 82 RBIs, broke a bone in his right hand when Wilson Alvarez (5-10) hit him with a pitch in the seventh innig. Manager Mike Hargrove said he will be placed on the disabled list.

    "You don't like for stuff like that to happen," Thome said. "The two positives are, it's not all the way broken -- it's a fracture -- and I rather it happen August 7, not September 7. At least I can come back in the middle of September ... and be ready for the playoffs."

    Gooden (4-6) gave up an RBI double to Kevin Stocker in the third. He kept the Indians in the game, working out of a jam with runners at second and third in the sixth inning.

    "Doc threw the ball real well tonight," Hargrove said. "He had a dynamite breaking ball, he located his fastball well and pitched ahead."

    Meanwhile, Jeff Manto celebrated his return to the major leagues with a homer and three RBI.

    Cleveland purchased Manto's contract from Triple-A Buffalo earlier Friday, and the move paid off immediately as the 33-year-old infielder homered in his first at-bat off Alvarez for a 1-0 lead in the second.

    His two-run, bases-loaded single off Alvarez highlighted a four-run seventh that broke open the game. Enrique Wilson also had a two-run single in the inning.

    Manto, who went 2-for-3 , also showed his flexibility on defense, starting at third base and moving to first after Thome was injured.

    Alvarez allowed just two hits in six innings. After hitting Thome, the left-hander gave up a double to Travis Fryman -- Cleveland's first hit since Manto's homer -- and walked Mark Whiten, loading the bases.

    Manto singled up the middle to break the 1-1 tie, and Wilson chased Alvarez with his two-run single.

    Notes

  • The Indians placed pitcher Chad Ogea on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this year. He has tendinitis in the middle finger on his throwing hand. The right-hander already has missed 10 weeks because of knee surgery during spring training and a strained right pectoral muscle in June.
  • Gooden left 54 tickets for family and friends.
  • Manto began the season with Cleveland and appeared in seven games before being claimed on waivers by the Detroit Tigers. He signed with Buffalo on June 16 and was hitting .314 with 19 homers and 52 RBI in 48 games when the Indians purchased his contract.
  • Alvarez has allowed 12 homers in his last nine starts after allowing one in his first seven starts this season. The left-hander has lost five of six decisions since coming off the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis July 6.

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