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Wells And Jays Down Indians


David Wells had more October fun at the expense of the Cleveland Indians. This time he beat them on the final day of the regular season instead of in the playoffs.

Wells pitched his league-leading seventh complete game, working around nine hits Sunday as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Indians 9-2.

"They bring out the best in me. They're a team with a lot of offensive ability, and that's why I like facing them," Wells said.

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  • "If you can't spoil them one way, I guess you've got to spoil them another," he said. "That's something our team can be proud of, that we played these last three games as hard as if it was the start of the season."

    The Indians, 97-65, treated the game as a tuneup for their divisional series with the Boston Red Sox starting Wednesday night at Jacobs Field.

    Cleveland finished with 1,009 runs, the most in the major leagues since the Red Sox scored 1,027 in 1950.

    "Everybody has an upbeat attitude," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "They're excited and ready to go. All that doesn't count if you don't get the hits and some good pitching. We understand that postseason play is extremely difficult, but we're ready."

    Hargrove did not disclose who will start Game 1 and who will start the rest of the series against Boston.

    "I'll wait. I'll talk to the pitchers involved. It's not a state secret, obviously, but I'm not going public right now," he said.

    Last year, Wells was 2-0 against the Indians in the AL championship series. The Yankees traded him to Toronto on Feb. 18 for Roger Clemens, and Wells went 17-10 with a 4.82 ERA, making him 51-24 in the last three seasons.

    Clemens, coming off consecutive AL Cy Young Awards, slumped to 14-10 with a 4.70 ERA.

    Wells was pleased with leading the league in innings pitched, with 231 2-3.
    "It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? I had no clue. It just goes to show you that if you stay in ballgames you have a chance to win, and I want that opportunity," he said.

    Against the Indians, Wells struck out six and walked one as the Blue Jays finished 84-78, four wins fewer than last year. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third when Enrique Wilson bounced into a forceout at the plate, and Omar Vizquel and Mandy Ramirez struck out.

    Tony Batista's eighth-inning grand slam on Mike Jackson's first pitch broke open the game. Jose Cruz Jr. hit a three-run homer in the sixth off Charles Nagy, making his first relief appearance since 1990.

    Ramirez went 0-for-2 and finished with a team-record 165 RBIs, the most in the majors since Jimmie Foxx drove in 175 for Boston in 1938. It matched the 12th-highest total ever.

    Dave Burba (15-9) struck out eight in five innings, allowing an unearned run and two singles and walking none.

    Burba's wild pitch with Casey Blake on third gave Toronto its first run in the third.

    "I just tried to throw as many strikes as I could. I hope to pitch like that in the postseason. It just goes to show you don't have to throw everything 100 miles an hour, but if you change speeds and go in and out on the strike zone, you've got a chance," Burba said.

    Vizquel homered in the sixth, his fifth of the season and first hitting right-handed.

    Notes

  • Vizquel stole 42 bases, second-most in the AL behind Seattle's Brian Hunter.
  • Batista's grand slam gave him 100 RBIs playing for Toronto and Arizona this season.
  • The Blue Jays' Tony Fernandez tied Felipe Alou for the most games played by a Dominican-born player at 2,082.
  • The Indians drew 43,012, their 373rd consecutive sellout, and finished at 3,468,460, leading the AL in attendance for the first time since 1948 the last time they won the World Series.

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

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