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Published: Saturday, 6/29/2002

Tribe pounds out win

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Tribe shortstop Omar Vizquel goes up and over Arizona runner Luis Gonzalez for a double play. Tribe shortstop Omar Vizquel goes up and over Arizona runner Luis Gonzalez for a double play.
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CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians took out their anger on the Arizona Diamondbacks last night.

And left-hander C.C. Sabathia showed that he has the potential to be the anchor of the Tribe pitching staff one day after Bartolo Colon was traded.

Sabathia won for the first time since June 5, allowing just one earned run in 72/3 innings, and the Indians erupted for seven runs in the fourth inning en route to an 8-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Sabathia (6-6) struck out five, allowed four hits and walked three in winning for the first time in four starts - all against National League teams.

“C.C. pitched very good,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I was really happy with the way he pitched. He threw the ball well tonight, and he had really good command of his pitches.”

Sabathia, 21, has allowed three or fewer runs in all five of his June starts. He threw a season-high 120 pitches last night, but still hasn't yielded a homer since May 30 against the Detroit Tigers.

“I think we all need to step it up - not just me,” Sabathia said. “Bartolo was our workhorse; he carried the load. It's tough to ask myself, [Ryan] Drese or [Danys] Baez to carry the load. We're young, but together we'll get it done.”

Chris Magruder hit a three-run homer, and Ellis Burks added a two-run shot in the fourth as the Indians scored seven runs against the defending World Series champions before a sellout crowd of 42,586 fans at Jacobs Field.

It was the Tribe's most productive inning since scoring a season-high eight runs on June 1 against the Chicago White Sox.

“They were two big home runs,” Manuel said. “A three-run homer and two-run homer - that's a quick way to get runs. It's a nice way to play - that's the way we used to.”

The Indians tagged right-hander Miguel Batista (4-5) for five hits in their big inning. Ben Broussard's RBI single and John McDonald's sacrifice fly put the Indians up 2-0, then Magruder followed with his third homer and Burks belted his 13th as Cleveland improved to 6-10 in interleague play.

Batista threw 75 pitches in 32/3 innings. He allowed five hits and seven runs while walking five and striking out three. He also dropped to 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in four career games against the Tribe.

“Things definitely have been weird the last couple of days, so it was nice to break out with a big game,” said Magruder, who also stole his first base in the first inning.

With one out in the seventh, Jim Thome belted his 22nd homer of the year, a solo shot, off former Indian Greg Swindell, giving Cleveland an 8-1 lead.

It was Thome's third homer in as many games and his 25th in interleague play.

“This might lift us up and get us going,” he said. “At least we're hoping that's what it's going to do.”



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