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Portugal Redeemed vs. Tribe


Mark Portugal knew the Fenway Park crowd would be friendlier on Wednesday than the last time he pitched.

He left his kids at home.

"They were here last time. They were probably (among) the 33,000 booing me," he said after rebounding from his worst outing of the year with his best to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2.

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Game Summary

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  • Portugal (7-8) scattered 10 hits and one earned run in 8 2-3 innings to rebound from his shortest outing in three years: a one-inning, six-run outing in which he literally fell off the mound.

    This time, Portugal struck out five and walked none before running into trouble in the ninth the only inning in which the Indians mustered more than one hit, scoring their only earned run on three hits.

    And this time it was manager Jimy Williams who was booed when he pulled Portugal with just one out to go and took away his a chance at his first complete game of the season.

    "He'd done the job. He pitched such a great game," Williams said. "He's a tough customer, to bounce back like that. It was important for us, with the relievers getting a rest. (It was) certainly a lift for him, too."

    In addition to rescuing Portugal from last week's embarrassment, which was witnessed by his children, the outing rescued an overworked Boston bullpen that had blown the previous two games in the ninth inning.

    "It was going to be important for us to get into the bullpen," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "But we just couldn't score many runs today."

    Nomar Garciaparra went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to raise his league-leading batting average to .368. Jose Offerman and Brian Daubach each reached base four times.

    A pregamfire caused minor damage to the Fenway Park roof but did not delay the first pitch. Fire officials said that a worker's blowtorch was to blame.

    Bartolo Colon (10-4), who had been 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA since the All-Star break, gave up three runs before recording the first out. He allowed five runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out four in 4 1-3 innings as Cleveland lost for just the second time in its last nine games.

    Offerman tripled to the deepest part of the ballpark in center field to lead off the first, then scored on John Valentin's single. Daubach walked, and Garciaparra and Troy O'Leary had RBI singles to make it 3-0.

    Cleveland made it 3-1 in the third when Einar Diaz reached on Valentin's error at third base and scored on Roberto Alomar's double. Daubach's RBI single in the fourth made it 4-1, and Trot Nixon singled home Garciaparra in the fifth to make it 5-1.

    In the seventh, Offerman drew a leadoff walk, took third on Daubach's single and scored on Garciaparra's double. Butch Huskey was intentionally walked to load the bases, then Daubach scored with two out to make it 7-1 when Diaz couldn't handle the third strike to Nixon.

    Notes

  • Manny Ramirez leads the majors with 108 RBIs but had none in the three-game series. He sat out on Wednesday.
  • The teams traded minor leaguers, with the Red Sox sending infielder Jose Olmeda to the Indians for left-handed pitcher Mike Matthews.
  • Garciaparra was 14-for-25 in the six-game homestand.
  • Darren Lewis has one hit in his last 17 at-bats.
  • Kenny Lofton missed his seventh consecutive game with a sore right hamstring.
  • The Red Sox assigned catcher Creighton Gubanich outright to Pawtucket.

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

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